It’s an interesting thing about the peels of many fruits andvegetables; many of them are edible and yet we either throw them out or compostthem. Don’t get me wrong, compostingis great, but what if you could find other uses for old peels?
There are in fact a plethora of fruit and vegetable peeluses. Some of the things to do with peels will surprise you, while other usesfor old peels are fairly common sense. Keep reading to find out what to do withpeelings.
As you prepare salad, soup or stew, fill a container withthe peelings and other discarded produce; you will be surprised at the volumeof wasted food. Sure it can go in the compost but why when there are so manyother things to do with peels.
Have you ever considered the peel of an orange?That’s quite a bit of waste that most people don’t eat even though it’sperfectly edible. What to do with peelings from an orange instead? Put them (orlemonor limerinds) down the garbage disposal to clean and deodorize the unit.
Try making citrus peelings into candy. All it takes is somewater, sugar, citrus peels and a candy thermometer. Citrus peels can also beinfused into simple syrup, an equal mixture of water and dissolved sugar toflavor cocktails or tea. They can be infused into liqueurs, vinegars or oils aswell.
Lemon peels are high in citric acid, a natural cleanser. Mixvinegar, water and citrus peels into a spray bottle and use it to clean areasaround the kitchen or bath. Rinse with water after use and revel in the freshcitrus scent.
Grapefruitrinds are high in fiber and antioxidants. Use the peel to make tea. Just steepgrapefruit peels in boiling water and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Sweetenwith honey.
Bananapeels get a bad rap and are primarily the butt of jokes, but there is aninteresting use for old peels of banana. Use banana peels to shine shoes orhouseplants. Wipe them with a clean cloth after polishing.
You may have noticed that fruit is a primary ingredient inmany beauty products. Take avocado,for instance. This fruit is said to have moisturizing properties and can befound in shampoos, conditioners and lotions. Why not use the discarded peelfrom your avocado sandwich to give your skin a boost? Just rub the inside ofthe peel on your skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water andblot dry.
Use old fruit peels to scent the air in your home. Citrus isperfect for this, but appleor pearpeels lend a lovely aroma as well, especially when combined with cinnamonstick. Either dry the peelings and use them in potpourri, or steep them in hotwater to impart a burst of citrus into the air.
With their sharp fragrance, citrus fruits seem to be obviouscandidates for things to do with peels, but what about vegetable peel uses? Arethere things to do with peels from veggies besides composting? There are amultitude of uses for peels from vegetables besides composting them.
It turns out that there are plenty of things to do withveggie peelings. Use either the leftovers from juicing or whiz up some veggiepeels in the food processor and combine with coarse raw sugar, honey and oliveoil for facial scrub that is nutrient rich.
If you would rather eat your discarded veggie peels, here’sa great idea: baked veggie peels. Just mix the root veggie peels like potato,parsnipor carrotwith a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and any spices (such as garlicpowder or curry). Place the peels on a baking sheet in a single layer and bakeat 400 F. (204 C.) until the peels are crispy and browned. Check the peels atsix minutes to see if they are done; if not, cook an additional 2-4minutes.
If using potato peels, cook immediately or they become grayto pink and mushy. Other root vegetable peels can be kept in the fridge for afew days until you are ready to bake them.
Lastly, a fabulous thing to do with veggie peels is to add them to vegetarian stock. Just cover root veggie peelings along with the ends from celery, the skin of some onions, beet or carrot tops, even tomato ends along with parsley or other herb stems with water and simmer. Be aware that the bright colored peels of beet may result in a reddish stock, but is still usable.
NOTE: While this may seem common sense, it is important to note that prior to using ANY peelings for consumption or use in home beauty products, you should thoroughly wash them to remove any possible pesticides, dirt, or other materials.
Don't throw your kitchen scraps away put them to work. The outer skins of fruit and vegetables are filled with flavor and vitamins, and most often have enough matter left in them for another go-round.
Some people are peelers, some people aren't. Some people swear by the nutrients and fiber found in produce skins, others shy away from the taste or texture, or prefer removing the outer layer to reduce pesticide load. Regardless of your peeling preferences, citrus rinds, potato and other root/tuber peels, scooped-out avocados, and even cheese rinds all have more than one life.
Aim to use organic produce in these applications, and make sure to scrub well. And if you don't have time or need for them at the moment, most of them can be frozen for future use.
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6 Creative Ways to Use Orange Peels in Your Garden
One of the things I love most about gardening is I can use so many household items and scraps to make my garden shine. Gardens thrive off of the items we may otherwise be inclined to throw away, making them even more frugal and affordable to enjoy.
Orange peels are no exception when it comes to household scraps you can use in your garden. Take a look below at 6 Creative Ways to Use Orange Peels in Your Garden, and you might never throw a peel away again! Here are some creative ways to use orange peels to get you started.
6 Creative Ways to Use Orange Peels in Your Garden
Before we begin, let’s chat about what kind of orange peels you should use. Ideally you want to use orange peels that have not been treated by or exposed to any chemicals. It doesn’t hurt to rinse your peels prior to use, but chances are you may rinse them anyways before you eat the inside fruit.
Otherwise, you can use all varieties of orange peels for these projects. You don’t have to use a certain type of orange, so no worries there.
1. Make your own biting bug and insect repellent.
If mosquitoes and other biting bugs are an issue, orange peels can help. You can place orange peels around the garden while you work to keep these insects away, or just try rubbing an orange peel on your clothing. Some of the pests that orange peels can help repel include: aphids, slugs, mosquitoes, and biting flies.
If you are feeling fancy, fill a mason jar with orange peels and water. Add a floating votive. As the water gently heats the orange peel oils will give off a scent that repels biting pests. This is a pretty and practical way to decorate your picnic table and patio.
RELATED: Do spiders give you the creeps? See how to make your own DIY Spider Repellent using essential oils. Just a little spray is sure to help keep those creepy crawlies far away!
2. Add some acidity to your soil.
Some plants thrive off of acidic soil. If you are planting a perennial that needs acidity in the soil, orange peels may be able to help. You can always add some shredded orange peels into the hole prior to planting. So, how do you know if your plant likes acidic soil? It is always best to read the instructions tag prior to planting. If there is no tag, be sure to ask a gardening center employee or head to a trusted gardening website to find out.
3. Keep aphids at bay.
Aphids may be tiny, but they can destroy your plants in no time. Orange peels can help keep aphids away and protect your plants when you use them in a natural pest repelling spray. Just add the peels to a spray bottle and fill with hot water. Shake well, then allow the mixture to cool thoroughly.
You can then spray the mixture wherever aphids are present. It is safe on plants and a more natural, chemical free way to repel bugs.
4. Make your own budget friendly fertilizer.
Did you know that orange peels are chock full of nitrogen? Nitrogen is essential to good fertilizer. When your soil needs a boost, you can add in ground up orange peels. The peels will release the nitrogen and the result is nutrient rich soil your plants will love.
5. Keep furry critters out of your garden.
Did you know that dogs and cats dislike the smell of citrus? They sure do. If you have problems with furry critters coming into your garden, citrus peels can help. Place orange peels around the perimeter of the garden and the scent should keep dogs and cats from wandering in.
You can even try placing orange peels in areas where animals tend to dig as the scent may be enough to discourage them from the act.
RELATED: Are pests a problem? Check out how to repel garden pests using Irish Spring soap and say goodbye to mice, chipmunks, and deer bothering your plants.
6. Give your compost pile a boost.
Compost is one of the easiest and cheapest way to keep your plants nourished. Start saving your kitchen scraps such as egg shells, orange peels, vegetable peels, and even junk mail so you can shred them and add them to your compost pile.
These kitchen scraps contain nutrients that will blend together and break down into what gardeners call “black gold” soil, a nutritious soil that will give your plants a tremendous boost.
RELATED: Are you limited on space? See how to make a mini compost bin plus learn what to put into your compost!
So there you have it, 6 Creative Ways to Use Orange Peels in Your Garden! As you can see all of these ways to use orange peels are quite simple and can be quite effective. Using orange peels in your garden can save you money, time, and trips to the gardening center as well.
So the next time you treat yourself to an orange, don’t toss those peels. Save them in a baggie so you can give one (or all!) of these gardening tricks a try!
Do you love to garden? See what other gardening content we have been working on:
Ways to Use Egg Shells in the Garden
See how egg shells can make a huge difference in your garden when it comes to feeding your plants and keeping pests like slugs away!
How to Use Worm Castings in the Garden
Worm castings can benefit your plants in many ways and should be considered when planting a garden. See how to use worm castings and get amazing results.
Alea Milham is the owner of Premeditated Leftovers and the author of Prep-Ahead Meals from Scatch. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.
We have a small eclectic front garden.
The neighbourhood cats used our garden as their toilet.
The orange peel has done the trick.
No more cat poo.
We have greenhouses and also produce. We are having a lot of trouble with slugs and aphids. I was happy to read your organic remedy for aphids as I have a neighbor who owns a produce house and can get his ole citrus .
Can I sock the peels in water an let them decompost and put them in the dirt after?
Thank you for the citrus peel idea. I just juiced some of my Meyer lemons (84 cubes of lemon juice made in ice cube trays and frozen) and saved the peels to make lemon marmelaide but will spread some in my yard. I tried the citrus peel on butterfly bushes and no more aphids!
The peels will keep cats away from your garden.
Just put them between your plants.
Greetings from the Netherlands.
Yes, this is one I heard about years ago. Surprised the one about cats was not on this site as well.
Instead of throwing your banana peels away, try these!
Most of us toss our banana peels into the garbage without a second thought. But there are actually a lot of different ways that you can reuse your banana peel. I didn’t know about any of these either, but my mind is blown away by the versatility of the humble banana peel. And they’re all great ideas for helping your plants grow. So, next time you snack on a banana, stop before throwing the banana peel into the trash. There might be something that you can use it for around your home or garden.
And below, are some of their many uses:
1. Spray-On Fertilizer
Gather up your banana peels, some eggshells for calcium, some Epsom salt for magnesium, and mix them all together in a spray bottle. This mix can be used in your garden or your home in order to give your plants a little vitamin boost.
2. Banana Peel “Tea”
Stick your banana peel in a water-filled jar for two days then water your plants with it. The nutrients will help to invigorate your plants with an added boost of nutrition.
3. Encourage Plants to Bloom
Everyone knows that bananas are rich in potassium, so it stands to reason that so are the peels. And this potassium can help plants to grow and bloom. Additionally, it helps plants to absorb nutrients, as well as water from the soil. This allows them to develop resistance against diseases.
4. Fortify the Soil
This one is so easy, all you do is dig a few small but deep holes in your garden, fill them with banana peels and cover them. As they begin to decompose, the peels will release vital nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus into the soil.
5. Create a Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit flies are annoying and pesky little buggers. But coming up with a non-toxic way of trapping them is possible thanks to banana peels. Chop up some banana peels and place them in a container with some apple cider vinegar. Place the container in your home or garden where you want to get rid of fruit flies and watch as the solution takes care of your fruit fly problem.
6. Aphid Control
There isn’t much scientific reasoning for this one, but many seasoned gardeners swear by this trick to getting rid of aphids without using pesticides. All you do is place banana peels on the affected plants and supposedly the aphids hate the smell of banana peels and will leave your plants alone. Again, can’t be scientifically proven but many gardeners will swear by this trick.
7. Add to Compost
If you’re wanting to create some nutrient-rich compost at home, make sure that banana peels are part of yours.
8. Attract Butterflies and Birds
Apparently, banana peels can attract butterflies, birds, wasps, bees, and caterpillars. So, you can use them to get some insect life into your garden. However, you might want to remove them at night to avoid attracting other critters into your garden.
9. Banana Vinegar
Mixing banana peels with vinegar sounds gross, but apparently, plants that love acidic soil – such as blueberries – absolutely love this solution.
10. Prepare Your Garden Bed
If you are planning on growing vegetables in a raised bed, then preparing the soil with banana peels is a good idea. You can add them to the compost and fertilizer mix to create nutrient-rich soil that your plants will love.
11. Fertilize Tomato Plants
Tomatoes require heavy fertilization. And nothing does it better for these plants than banana peels, given that they contain potassium, iron, and calcium. Your tomatoes will absolutely love this!
12 Feed Your Seedlings
If you have seedlings and you want to see them grow up big and strong then feed them banana peels. Just add them to the soil as tiny bits and mix them into the topsoil. It’ll help the seedling grow up strong and thrive.