One of the great things about being green is making use of seemingly useless pieces of waste. Before throwing away lemon peel (or any other citrus peel for that matter) what could be better than making use of it around your home? Here are some great uses for lemon peel to try out.
Lemon-infused olive oil
The zest of a lemon contains plenty of nutrients including potassium, vitamin C and even calcium. It also adds delicious flavour to a number of dishes. Thanks to its strong, sharp flavour, it is easy to infuse a number of cooking ingredients with lemon to easily bring its flavour directly into your cooking. Try making lemon-infused olive oil by adding half a cup of olive oil to a jar and adding 3 tablespoons of finely grated lemon zest. Leave for at least 2 weeks before straining, and use the oil for cooking fish, chickens or drizzling over salads.
Zest up your ice cubes
Make your summer drinks extra refreshing with lemon zest ice cubes. Use a zester to create thin strips of lemon zest and add them to an ice cube tray before topping up with water and freezing.
Lemon and vinegar cleaner
Lemon juice and white vinegar are both fantastic natural cleaners. Why not combine their cleaning power? Fill a small jar with lemon peel and top up with white vinegar. Leave for at least 2 weeks before removing the peel. The remaining liquid can be diluted 50/50 with water and used for versatile household cleaning, especially for cutting through kitchen grease and bathroom limescale.
Freshen your fridge
One of the most effective uses for lemon peel is deodorising with its fresh, zesty scent. A slice of lemon peel in the fridge works to remove bad odours and freshen it up, far better than any artificially scented air freshener or cleaner!
Keep your surfaces sparkling
Lemon is naturally antibacterial. A slice of lemon can be used to wipe down kitchen surfaces and chopping boards to remove lingering food odours and kill germs.
De-scale your kettle
If the inside of your kettle is caked with limescale, add a few slices of lemon peel and top up with water. Allow the kettle to boil a few times, then tip the water away. The limescale should be significantly loosened and easily wiped away with a cloth.
Clean your microwave
Microwave seen a few too many exploding bowls of soup? To clean cooked-on food from the inside of your microwave, add 4 or 5 pieces of lemon peel to a bowl and half fill with water. Heat in the microwave on full power for 5 minutes, allowing the zesty steam to gather on the inner walls. The food stains should now be loose enough to be wiped away with a wet cloth.
Dried lemon peel can make perfect natural firelighters. Cut lemon peel into chunks and bake in the oven until dried out and dark. You can use these as an alternative to petroleum products when lighting camp fires or barbecues!
Image sourced: Alejandra Owenstagsgreen productslemon peelnatural cleaning