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Clever Citrus

Food is not only something you can eat, but often you can find good reason to play with it, too. For instance, there are many things to do with citrus peels after the fruit has been eaten.

Peels can be used as a chemical free cleanser. Citrus rinds, especially those from lemons and limes, are great for scouring. Cut fruit in half, and once you have eaten the insides save the peels. Fill them with baking soda and a bit of vinegar and you have a natural scrubber. Try using to clean your sinks, pots and pans, counters, stovetops, grout and tiles. Just rinse with water and the clean-up is done. Although it is not abrasive, do a surface test first if you are worried about any damage. Even stubborn laundry stains can be lessened with this mixture and a bit of lemon lightening power. More than practical, this type of washing is convenient too.

For things where you want a bit more scrubbing action, say a dirty garage floor or concrete patio, do the same as above but also add a little Epsom salt. This will provide a grainier scrub that is good for spills and stains on floors that don’t leave scratches. Also the bottoms of work or hiking boots can be cleaned this way.

You can use fruit peels for exfoliating beauty treatments as well. Cut an orange peel in half, fill halfway with brown sugar and add a few drops of organic honey and olive oil. Use in the shower on areas like elbows, knees and heels that are prone to dry skin. This also makes a good nail scrubber. Rinse, and you have a natural cleanser that  can even be tossed into the compost when you’re done.

Peel halves can also be filled with store bought or homemade candles for a fragrant glow. Cut a sliver off the bottom, not enough to tear through the skin but just enough to allow it to be steady so that candles will be secure. Place candles in the middle and don’t let the wick get near the edges of the peel. It will smell wonderful as it burns and will look neat too. Additionally, peeled and dried citrus rinds make a great natural potpourri.

You can also use them for bowls. These are fun for parties or to make everyday meals special. Create fruit peel containers by cleaning out the flesh and scraping the sides gently to remove any pulp. Fill up with things like gelatin, fruit salad, sorbets and ice creams. These natural bowls are great for on the go, and you won’t feel bad about tossing your packaging since it’s naturally biodegradable.

Nature provides in genius and generous ways. The health benefits of fruits combined with a variety of other natural uses is a brilliant bonus.

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