Do you ever peel your citrus fruit and toss the peel in the trash? Stop now! There are so many different ways to use citrus peels (from oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and more) at home. The next time you eat an orange or grapefruit or squeeze lemon juice for your lemonade, hold onto those citrus peels!


Ways to use citrus peels at home:

  • Make your own citrus zest.  Using a zester, grate the citrus peels (after you have washed them) to make a fine zest.  You can add this zest to soups, rice dishes, and many baked goods.  No worries if you don’t need it right that moment.  Just place the zest in a small container in the freezer and it will be there when you need it for your next recipe.
  • Make lemon pepper.  Don’t buy seasonings in the grocery store. Many contain MSG and other unhealthy ingredients. Just use a bit of lemon zest along with freshly ground pepper for your own lemon pepper. It’s much healthier.
  • Flavored olive oils.  Add two tablespoons of citrus zest to extra virgin olive oil to turn it into an olive oil with a delicate lemon taste.  Allow the extra virgin olive oil to sit for a few weeks after you have added the zest before you use it. Shake the bottle, strain out the zest and it is ready to be used.
  • Make lemon tea. Add lemon to iced or hot tea to give it a citrus taste. Lemon is most popular but you could try this with orange or grapefruit as well.
  • Kitchen deodorizer. Throw a few lemon peels in the bottom of your garbage can to help stop kitchen odors. Toss them in your garbage disposal to deodorize it and keep it fresh.
  • Potpourri. Place the citrus peels in a small pan with water and simmer gently on the stove top. This will make your kitchen smell like citrus. Just watch the pan and add more water as necessary.  You can add a cinnamon stick or cloves to this as well.
  • Whiten your nails. Rub lemon juice over your nails to help whiten them. Just leave the lemon juice on.

How do you use citrus peels in your home? Have I missed any ways to use citrus peels that you know of? What is your favorite type of citrus peel to use around the house?