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What to do with Lemon Peels?

 
Alex Ojeda
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I have access to a load of lemon peel for when I make my organic lemon juices and cleanses. Is there anything that can be done with these that could fit under the heading of Permaculture? Realize that these have been put through a 2 ton press and are not pretty anymore. I made candied peels one time, but that's just silly amounts of sugar. Currently I have a 55 gallon barrel that is composting. If they can compost just sitting in a barrel (it's an experiment). I sometimes dig a hole and bury a bucket full. Any other ideas or experiences you could share with me?
 
Ken Peavey
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Higher pressure should get you lemon oil. It would need to be distilled. Makes a fine degreaser, flavor oil, aromatic oil.
Spent rinds to the compost.
 
tel jetson
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sort of along the same lines as Ken's suggestion: aromatic bitters. that would require silly amounts of alcohol instead of sugar, but it's an option. gentian root would also be a good addition.

you could also preserve the rinds in salt and lemon juice. whole lemons are more often preserved this way, but the rind is just as good as he rest of the fruit afterward.
 
Alex Ojeda
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Ken Peavey wrote:Higher pressure should get you lemon oil. It would need to be distilled. Makes a fine degreaser, flavor oil, aromatic oil.
Spent rinds to the compost.


Higher pressure as in a pressure cooker? These have already been under 2 tons of pressure. It brings some of the oils out in the juice making it phenomenally great tasting lemonade! This is the Norwalk juicer that is used in the Gerson Therapy, BTW.
 
Alex Ojeda
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tel jetson wrote:sort of along the same lines as Ken's suggestion: aromatic bitters. that would require silly amounts of alcohol instead of sugar, but it's an option. gentian root would also be a good addition.

you could also preserve the rinds in salt and lemon juice. whole lemons are more often preserved this way, but the rind is just as good as he rest of the fruit afterward.


Holy Shiitake! Now, you've got me going down a different path. Bitters sound interesting. I've never heard of Gentian root before, but now I know there's a variety that's native to North America, traditionally used just like the European variety G. Lutea and grows in my area of North Florida. Very medicinal plant! Do you have a recipe for the salt and lemon juice preservation method that you use? I actually press all of the juice out of these, but I could put some back if it doesn't take too much of it.

Thanks for the info!
 
John Polk
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Ashes from citrus rinds is second only to banana as far as potash content.

Citrus rind ashes contain about 27% potash (K).

 
tel jetson
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Alex Ojeda wrote:Do you have a recipe for the salt and lemon juice preservation method that you use? I actually press all of the juice out of these, but I could put some back if it doesn't take too much of it.

Thanks for the info!


I don't have a recipe. my method is to cut four thin slices from each lemon and pack the resulting spaces with salt. then I pack the lemons tightly into a jar, add enough lemon juice to cover them, and then some more salt. seal the jar up and wait for a month, though two is better in my experience. I like to use salt that has the full complement of seawater minerals in it, but that's just a personal preference.

recipes should be easy to find, though. search for "preserved lemons." you'll just have to fudge it a little bit to account for having to add the juice back. shouldn't be difficult. maybe mix the salt and juice up separately, then pack as many rinds into a jar or crock as you can and add enough salty juice to cover. if the rinds are packed tight, it shouldn't take too much juice to cover them.

preserved lemons are very tasty and pretty versatile. easy, too.
 
Alex Ojeda
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John Polk wrote:Ashes from citrus rinds is second only to banana as far as potash content.

Citrus rind ashes contain about 27% potash (K).



Now THAT'S good to know. Thanks!
 
Alex Ojeda
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tel jetson wrote:
Alex Ojeda wrote:Do you have a recipe for the salt and lemon juice preservation method that you use? I actually press all of the juice out of these, but I could put some back if it doesn't take too much of it.

Thanks for the info!


I don't have a recipe. my method is to cut four thin slices from each lemon and pack the resulting spaces with salt. then I pack the lemons tightly into a jar, add enough lemon juice to cover them, and then some more salt. seal the jar up and wait for a month, though two is better in my experience. I like to use salt that has the full complement of seawater minerals in it, but that's just a personal preference.

recipes should be easy to find, though. search for "preserved lemons." you'll just have to fudge it a little bit to account for having to add the juice back. shouldn't be difficult. maybe mix the salt and juice up separately, then pack as many rinds into a jar or crock as you can and add enough salty juice to cover. if the rinds are packed tight, it shouldn't take too much juice to cover them.

preserved lemons are very tasty and pretty versatile. easy, too.


Hey Tel,

Is that four slices of the lemon before it's pressed? As in a juicy fruit? Yeah, I'd use sea salt too. I like the idea that the salt is actually contributing to my health
 
Robert Ray
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Lemoncello
 
tel jetson
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Alex Ojeda wrote:
Hey Tel,

Is that four slices of the lemon before it's pressed? As in a juicy fruit? Yeah, I'd use sea salt too. I like the idea that the salt is actually contributing to my health


yes. if you're just looking to use up your rinds, you would probably skip that step.

when I preserve lemons, the lemons don't really get juiced, just packed into a jar. I end up juicing one or two extra lemons to cover the lemons in the jar with liquid. that's for a pint or quart jar.
 
tel jetson
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if you're making lemonade, and it sounds like you are, a few drops of bitters really takes that sweet edge off. it's nice.
 
Shawn Harper
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Dried lemon peels is an ingredient in many herbal teas...
 
Alex Ojeda
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Shawn Harper wrote:Dried lemon peels is an ingredient in many herbal teas...


I like the idea of drying them for use in cooking. This works. Maybe by drying them I'll also be able to reduce their volume. There's an aweful lot of them.
 
John Saltveit
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In many instances, worms have avoided citrus in compost, so you might not want to put it in your compost pile.

I would make marmalade, or chutney, or something like that.

John S
PDX OR
 
Lee Einer
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Alex Ojeda wrote:I have access to a load of lemon peel for when I make my organic lemon juices and cleanses. Is there anything that can be done with these that could fit under the heading of Permaculture? Realize that these have been put through a 2 ton press and are not pretty anymore. I made candied peels one time, but that's just silly amounts of sugar. Currently I have a 55 gallon barrel that is composting. If they can compost just sitting in a barrel (it's an experiment). I sometimes dig a hole and bury a bucket full. Any other ideas or experiences you could share with me?


Marinate the peels in vodka for at least four days. Discard peels and sweeten resulting infusion with simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, boiled) to taste. Voila, limoncello!

If you are a teatotaller you can forgo the vodka, and marinate the lemon peels in vinegar for a month before discarding the peels. The vinegar, infused with the lemon peel oil, is a good general purpose household cleaner.

It may be urban legend but I have heard that citrus peels don't compost well.
 
Geoff Lawton
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Hi Alex
there are special EM (effective micro-organisms) type additions that are needed to get them to decompose.

BUT the great thing to do is dry them right out and burn them and the ash is VERY VERY high in potassium, this should by stored dry and not left in the rain because it leaches very easily.

The ash makes an excellent organic fertilizer, additive to compost and worm farms.

There are often interesting uses of this ash in traditional cultures usually involved in pregnancy and child birth.

Cheers geoff lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies
 
deb cobern
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I make a citrus cleaner with any kind of citrus peels so this might be an option for you:

Fill Quart mason jar with orange, lemon, or lime peels.

Fill to with-in 1/2 inch of top with white vinegar.

Put lid on and shake then place in a dark place for two weeks, shaking from time to time.

Strain into a spray bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner. Works great and your house will smell awesome!

 
Alex Ojeda
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Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Alex
there are special EM (effective micro-organisms) type additions that are needed to get them to decompose.

BUT the great thing to do is dry them right out and burn them and the ash is VERY VERY high in potassium, this should by stored dry and not left in the rain because it leaches very easily.

The ash makes an excellent organic fertilizer, additive to compost and worm farms.

There are often interesting uses of this ash in traditional cultures usually involved in pregnancy and child birth.

Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies


Whoah! Geoff! What an awesome thing to have you out here on the boards! Love your work man, and thanks for the info!
 
Alex Ojeda
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deb cobern wrote:I make a citrus cleaner with any kind of citrus peels so this might be an option for you:

Fill Quart mason jar with orange, lemon, or lime peels.

Fill to with-in 1/2 inch of top with white vinegar.

Put lid on and shake then place in a dark place for two weeks, shaking from time to time.

Strain into a spray bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner. Works great and your house will smell awesome!



This is awesome! Thanks for the recipe. We already clean with vinegar, but I can't stand the smell of vinegar. I've been trying to get used to it and it's not sooo bad, but it's still yucky!
 
Alex Ojeda
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Alex Ojeda wrote:
deb cobern wrote:I make a citrus cleaner with any kind of citrus peels so this might be an option for you:

Fill Quart mason jar with orange, lemon, or lime peels.

Fill to with-in 1/2 inch of top with white vinegar.

Put lid on and shake then place in a dark place for two weeks, shaking from time to time.

Strain into a spray bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner. Works great and your house will smell awesome!



This is awesome! Thanks for the recipe. We already clean with vinegar, but I can't stand the smell of vinegar. I've been trying to get used to it and it's not sooo bad, but it's still yucky!


What I meant to say is that I'd like to see if the citrus makes this better!
 
Rose Pinder
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tel jetson wrote:sort of along the same lines as Ken's suggestion: aromatic bitters. that would require silly amounts of alcohol instead of sugar, but it's an option. gentian root would also be a good addition.

you could also preserve the rinds in salt and lemon juice. whole lemons are more often preserved this way, but the rind is just as good as he rest of the fruit afterward.


Another option is to put them up in honey. Works well with sliced peel, would be worth a go with the pressed peel. Citrus peels are high in flavanoids and honey is a good way to take them.
 
darius Van d'Rhys
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They make pectin from citrus peels from the Florida juice companies.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I use some whole lemons for salad seasoning, instead of only juice.
I have noticed a special good taste,
and a special consistency if there is a lot of the white stuff! (pectine?)
I do it in electric blender, and then add olive oil, avocado...
and raw nettles for a green sauce!

Really, lemon peel has improved my recipe, that was with only juice at the beginning.
this green sauce with wild edibles is also a great dip...
 
deb cobern
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The white part of citrus is called "pith".
 
Alex Ojeda
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:I use some whole lemons for salad seasoning, instead of only juice.
I have noticed a special good taste,
and a special consistency if there is a lot of the white stuff! (pectine?)
I do it in electric blender, and then add olive oil, avocado...
and raw nettles for a green sauce!

Really, lemon peel has improved my recipe, that was with only juice at the beginning.
this green sauce with wild edibles is also a great dip...


VERY INTERESTING. Do you have a specific recipe or is it a "to taste" kind of thing?
 
Alex Ojeda
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deb cobern wrote:The white part of citrus is called "pith".


Thanks Deb. I always wondered about that.
 
Alex Ojeda
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John Polk wrote:Ashes from citrus rinds is second only to banana as far as potash content.

Citrus rind ashes contain about 27% potash (K).



Thanks John, I just saw this. I got the same answer from Geoff below. You got it first!
 
Alex Ojeda
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:I use some whole lemons for salad seasoning, instead of only juice.
I have noticed a special good taste,
and a special consistency if there is a lot of the white stuff! (pectine?)
I do it in electric blender, and then add olive oil, avocado...
and raw nettles for a green sauce!

Really, lemon peel has improved my recipe, that was with only juice at the beginning.
this green sauce with wild edibles is also a great dip...


Xisca,

I agree about lemon oils. When I started pressing lemonade, the oils have made the lemonade an amazing drink. People drink it their eyes get wide and they melt all over the place. It really takes a nice drink and makes it spectacular!
 
Alex Ojeda
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OK, as a recap. Here's what we have so far:

Extract the lemon oil using high pressure and distillation to make a degreaser, flavor oil/aromatic oil.

Aromatic Bitters with Gentian Root

Preserve the peels in salt and lemon juice. When done the peel is as edible as the rest of the fruit. Cut four thin slices from each lemon and pack with sea salt. Add enough lemon juice to cover and then some more salt. Seal the jar and wait a month (two is better).

Dried and then burnt peel makes great potash (27% K). Store dry to avoid leaching. Add to the compost or worm bin.

Traditional cultures use this potash to help with pregnancy and child birth.

Dried peel is an ingredient in herbal teas and cooking recipes.

Make Marmalade or chutney

Marinate the peels in vodka for at least four days. Discard peels and sweeten resulting infusion with simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, boiled) to taste.

or

Fill Quart mason jar with orange, lemon, or lime peels. Fill to with-in 1/2 inch of top with white vinegar. Put lid on and shake then place in a dark place for two weeks, shaking from time to time. Strain into a spray bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner. Works great and your house will smell awesome!

Put the peels in honey to extract the flavanoids.

Make pectin from the peels

Make salad dressing out of whole lemons. Use an electric blender and put lemon, olive oil, avocado and other ingredients and blend. Add raw nettles for a green sauce.

The white part is called the "pith"
 
Alex Ojeda
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OK, I've found one on a hunch. It seems if you dry the peel, it becomes a great fire starter. I'm guessing for aromatic properties and it doesn't hurt that the oils are flammable. Has anyone tried this?

Also, I like drying things in a paper bag rather than a dehydrator. Is there anything I should know that makes this a bad idea?
 
Jeremy Smith
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You can dry these lemon peels and then crumble for use in a sachet or potpourri. It will surely help freshen up the air.
 
Vern Faulkner
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You could dice the heck out of 'em and then sit them in a sealed jar, steeping in vinegar. When you're done in a few weeks, you'll have lemony all-purpose cleaner.
 
Angela Baker
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Make limoncello. Peel of ten lemons to One bottle of vodka, let steep for 2-4 weeks. Strain out peel. Add 3 cups simple syrup. Serve ice cold.

Also, half lemons after the juice is squeezed out - sprinkle salt on the cut side and use it as a scrubby for the bathtub or kitchen sink.
 
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