Clever ways to use … winter citrus
Winter is peak citrus season in Australia, with an abundance of beautiful, plump and juicy citrus fruits ripe for the picking. Not only are citrus fruits packed with nutrients and vitamins that help ward off winter illness, but they also have a variety of uses around the home. Below you’ll find three clever uses for winter citrus and ways to use more of the fruit to minimise food waste.
1. Start your day with a dose of vitamin C
Citrus varieties like oranges, mandarins and lemons are a great source of vitamin C which is vital to the good health of the immune system, connective tissue and heart. You can get approximately 90% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C from one medium-sized orange. But if you don’t feel like eating an orange there are still ways to get a good dose of vitamin C. Start your day (yes, before your coffee), with a glass of warm water and add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. There’s a great deal of anecdotal evidence surrounding the benefits of drinking lemon water, such as aiding digestion, lowering blood pressure, improving skin radiance and protecting against free radicals.
2. Make your own multipurpose cleaning spray
Don’t throw away citrus peel because you can save money on cleaning products, reduce waste and make your own toxin free household cleaning spray with it. To make multipurpose cleaning spray you need only two ingredients, citrus peel (lemon and orange work best) and distilled vinegar. Fill a jar with peels and add distilled vinegar. Ensure that the peels are entirely submerged, close the lid and place the jar in a cool, dark place to infuse. After approximately 8 weeks strain the mixture to remove the peels (if desired) and the liquid can be used as a multipurpose cleaner to keep your benches sparkling clean and your surfaces fresh.
3. Dehydrate citrus slices to garnish and infuse cocktails and spirits
Take cocktails, mocktails and spirits to the next level with beautifully dried citrus rounds. Citrus can be dried in an air fryer, a dehydrator, or the oven. To dry citrus in the oven, preheat the oven to 80C, then slice the citrus thinly (around 3 millimetres) trying to be as consistent as possible. Lay citrus rounds on a wire rack set over a lined baking tray and bake them for 5 hours, or until dry to the touch, rotating every few hours to ensure even cooking. Allow them to cool completely before use and store in an airtight container for up to one month.