Don’t throw away your citrus peels

Don’t throw away your citrus peels

If you live in the North Island and certain parts of the South Island your backyard trees will be brimming with lemons, limes, mandarins and oranges at this time of the year. It’s tempting just to eat the juicy flesh but there are so many great ways to use up the peels and zest. If you are running short on time you can freeze lemons and limes whole. Alternatively, freeze the juice in ice cube trays, then once frozen pop them out into a container or bag and store in the freezer. For the zest, grate then lay out on a tray in your freezer. Once frozen scoop up into a bag or a jar and then defrost when needed.

 Orange Sauce

This  orange sauce is perfect for leftover roast pork or chicken.

Lemon Brownies

Christine’s lemon brownies use the juice and zest as do these healthy bliss balls

Lemon Vinaigrette

Image credit: Kelli Foster

Use the zest and juice and combine with herbs from your garden to make salad dressings. Check out these 5 simple dressings.

Preserved lemonsPreserving lemons


Preserved lemons are easy to prepare and are a great addition to Middle Eastern recipes like this chicken tangine or lentil soup. They also look gorgeous when you use glass jars to preserve them in, so they make great gifts.

Granny June’s marmalade

If you like marmalade or know someone who does, what better way of using up citrus fruit than whipping up your own? You can use any combination of citrus oranges, limes and tangelos. This recipe uses the whole fruit.

Chocolate dipped candied citrus

Chocolate dipped candied citrus

The combination of chocolate and orange is truly inspired. These chocolate dipped candied citrus treats are a good looking and great tasting way of using up citrus. If you aren’t as keen on chocolate dipped, you can also dip in sugar or if you have time on your hands make mixed peel for baking.

Mandarin jaffa cakes

Mandarin Jaffa Cakes

Continuing with the chocolate citrus theme and inspired by the British jaffa cake, these mini chocolate mandarin cakes which use the whole of the mandarin are sure to be gobbled up in no time. Annabel Langbein’s orange lightning cake recipe also uses the whole of an orange, as do her whole orange muffins. 

Orange and Lemon Powder

Make dried orange or lemon powder and add to cakes or salads.

Easy Lemon Lime Cordial

This easy cordial can be made out of lemons, limes, grapefruit or even tangelos and lasts for up to 3 months in the fridge. Add it to  your SodaStream and then hey presto  you have lemonade or add honey and ginger to make a soothing drink for sore throats.

Citrus cleaner


Ok, it’s not quite food but we love this natural cleaner for the home that is also an easy way to use up any kind of peel from lemon to mandarin.