Saturday, March 14, 2015

Uses for Leftover Lemon Peels

Lemon Squeezer, Lemon Juice, Citrus

It is about 80 degrees here in southern Georgia. This is my first time out of the north for the winter. I desperately miss the snow, but this warm weather is kind of fun. The kids woke up, felt the beautiful air and requested lemonade. So the two youngest got a quick lesson in how to make a delicious homemade lemonade and they got to practice using measuring cups to measure things out. I will purposely use a smaller measuring cup than needed so that the kids have to mathematically reason about how to get the amount they need. It is a great secret math lesson in disguise!

 Now, I looked at the pile of lemons left over and wondered what the heck to do with it all... Sure seems like a waste to throw these out. So, we began our mission to find ways of reusing everything we have left.

Here are some of our finds:

A natural air freshener
You can add the peels to water, cloves and cinnamon. Then simmer on the stove to hide any *burnt* smells or anything else nasty going on in your kitchen... not that I ever multitask too much and burn dinner, night after night after night...
You could also just throw the peels in your fireplace if you have one to get a nice aroma as well.

Make your own lemon zest
I hope I am using the right name for this here. But basically, you grate the lemons. Then let it dry. Place it in a jar and have it to use later for flavoring different dishes.

Lemon Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner
Fill up a big jar with the leftovers, cover it with vinegar and seal it up tight. After a few weeks (2 or 3), you can take out the peels and add water. Some say a 50/50 mix is the way to go.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning
You could make a tasty seasoning. Find out more at one of my favorite places to read recipes: Simply Scratch. (She has an amazing blueberry muffin recipe as well.)

Bug Deterrent
Ants, roaches, fleas, oh my! You can place peels in different areas of your home to keep them away. Try placing them near doors, window sills, or even the hidden corners. This should keep them from wanting to come any closer. (This might work outside for stray cats too!)

Coffee Pots and Cups
I want to try this one for my hubby's coffee pot. Supposedly you can place lemon peels, ice and salt in a container with coffee stains, swish it around, dump it out and the stains will wipe away.

Natural Shiner
Do you have any stainless steel, chrome or copper? Using a lemon peel and some sea salt, you should be able to scrub off anything that is keeping it looking dull.

Help with Motion Sickness
I get motion sickness really bad, but I am not sure I could do this. Some say if you suck on a lemon slice you will stop being nauseous.

Natural Dish Detergent
I love this idea. I make my own detergent for the dish washer and one of the ingredients is citric acid. So it only makes sense that lemons could help do the job. You can add lemon rinds to the dish water to help get rid of grease and help the dishes to sparkle.

Make Your Own Vitamin C Powder
Oh. my. gosh. I love this idea. Check it out here. (While you are there, check out the other great ideas, like getting rid of soap scum, whitening teeth, seed starters or even candied lemon peels... so many great ideas!)

Be sure to check out some of the links in this post, because there are even more ideas from all of these fabulous people on more ways to use those lemony leftovers.

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