Orange Zest

Have you ever bought fruit that you just weren’t happy with? It’s so hard to buy produce before its peak time, but my husband doesn’t like a large variety, so I’m stuck buying oranges and grapes year round. The last batch of oranges I bought just weren’t that sweet. He has to have them sweet or he just won’t eat them. So there in my refrigerator sat 5 or 6 oranges just waiting to be used. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing them away or tossing them out for the raccoons, so I decided to:

  • zest the rinds first
  • juice the fruit next
  • quarter them and send the remains down the garbage disposal

Always zest the skins of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes before cutting or peeling, even when just eating the fruit! Place the zest into zipper sandwich bags and store in the freezer until needed.

Even though the oranges weren’t the sweetest, the juice was a perfect addition to splash into my iced tea! You can freeze the juice in ice cube trays and use them in recipes or drop them into cold drinks. I chose to strain mine and just put it into a jar to use bit by bit.
I quartered the remains of the juiced oranges. I recently saw a documentary on television and someone from a water treatment plant was encouraging people to send their food waste down the garbage disposal. They said that the water treatment plant turns that waste into usable energy!
I did use some of the zest and the juice in a recipe for my birthday cake. I turned 42 on Monday, so I baked myself a delicious cake from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook. I can’t blog about it just yet as it hasn’t been chosen through the Tuesdays with Dorie group, but I can tell you it was delicious! The recipe called for lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract and seedless raspberry jam. Instead I used orange zest, orange juice, orange extract, and instead of the jam I used lemon curd and sweet orange marmalade! It was yummy!

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  How to Reuse Pickle Juice
What did you do that was thrifty this week?

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  1. Haley says

    I made lemon sorbet for Easter and did pretty much all of this! The recipe called for the juice of 12 lemons! Well, I didn’t want all that zest to go to waste, so all that flavor went straight into my freezer!
    One note from the local plumber though…make sure you break down your peels pretty well, or they will ruin your GD motor. Judging from your photos, you did a pretty good job of this though. I didn’t know about the water treatment plant, but my mom always did this to keep the sink from smelling mildewy.

  2. Cheri Sicard says

    Great ideas. My nephew has a lemon tree, I just juiced a bunch, freeze the juice in ice cube trays, then put in a plastic bag — fresh lemon juice all year long.

    This week for Thrifty Thrsday I posted about making your own tinted sugars and coconut for cake decorating and also entertaining with picnics (one of the most frugal ways to throw a party).

  3. Carrie says

    What a great idea with keeping the zest in the freezer. A lot of times I leave zest out of recipes just because I don’t happen to have an orange around. Thanks!

  4. Debbie says

    Happy birthday Amanda! Thanks for the tip about freezing the zest. I had no clue that you could do that. So glad I know that now!!!

  5. Jacque says

    Great tips! I’m cringing at the thought of how many lemons I’ve used in my life without zesting first.

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