The citrus family contains a variety of healthy and delicious fruits that are filled with cancer-fighting flavonoids and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As with herbs and spices, citrus offers a great way to boost the flavor profile of foods.
When it comes to citrus, we often waste more than we actually use. We might squeeze a lemon or lime in our beverage or over our food or eat an orange, but most of the time, the peels are thrown out. Surprisingly the peel is the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit. All citrus fruits can be used entirely, and each part has a versatility that allows it to be used in many creative ways. So let the fun begin!
Creative and delicious ways to use citrus:
- Make a dressing by using a 2:1 ratio of oil to citrus juice (don’t forget the zest), and then get creative with garlic, herbs, and another flavoring. If needed, sweeten with a bit of maple syrup.
- Squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
- Add sliced lemons, limes, and oranges to a gallon of fresh water and allow the flavors to infuse. Refrigerate and enjoy!
- Zest all of your citrus fruit before eating or using it, and freeze the zest until you need it.
- Juice your citrus and freeze it in ice cube trays.
- Make a citrus jam: Using 4 citrus fruits, cut the peel from the flesh, then cut the peel into thin strips and boil with juice and flesh of fruit, 2 tablespoons sweetener, and 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
- Preserve citrus by coating each slice of citrus with salt. Place in a jar, and using a wooden spoon, mash the citrus until enough juice is released to cover it. Seal and store for 1 week in a cool, dry place, then transfer to the fridge. Use for stews, soups, fish, vegetables, and cakes. The possibilities are endless!
- Dry the peels with the pith removed (white part) and use these for tea, infuse beverages, and create citrus cider.
- Candy the peel. Remove peel from citrus, cut into strips, boil for 15 minutes, drain, rinse, and drain. Bring a pot of equal parts of maple syrup or honey and water to a boil, add the peels, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Save lemon rinds: Store them in vinegar to make a homemade cleaning product. Let them sit for 2 weeks, strain vinegar and combine with equal parts water.
- Make citrus salt by zesting the citrus and letting it dry overnight. Combine with equal amounts of salt.
- Use leftover citrus to make marinades for fish, meat, vegetables, etc.
- Add citrus to your smoothies.
- Make a citrus salad with fresh mint and zest.