Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zero Waste: Citrus Fruits: Part 1

One of my favorite snacks is fresh fruit. I love the taste of a freshly peeled mandarin orange and the scent is divine. A lot of people forget the nutritious value and benefits of citrus rinds, and toss them directly in the trash.

We don't eat citrus rind very much in Western cultures, probably because of the bitter flavor in the white portion of the rind. With access to food, 24/7 who can blame us? But citrus zest is a great addition to desserts and not to mention can be used to make yummy lemon, orange, or lime curd for pies or pudding flavoring.

Clean your fruit first!
Before you can work with the peel, you need to make sure the fruit is clean.
Try my recipe for vinegar fruit and veggi cleaner here.

A diagram of a lemon. Photo by André Karwath aka Aka, creative commons. Diagram by

How to Peel Fruit to Save Citrus Rind:

 1. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, carefully peel away the thin layer of colorful rind, leaving the bitter white flesh intact. 
2. Don't worry you can scratch off any residual white pith if you accidentally peel it too deep. 
3. Continue until the whole fruit is peeled down to the white flesh. Set the peels aside to use or refrigerate or freeze.
4. Peel away the white flesh (pith) and discard. The fruit is ready to eat and there is very little waste.

**Another option: use a zester for finer grating for recipes requiring citrus zest. A zester looks like a cheese grater but has much smaller teeth.

 Check Out Part 2 for a tasty sugar free chocolate orange tea recipe!
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