Do you love oranges? Once they come into season we enjoy their delicious, juicy flavor almost daily.
What do you do with your orange peels?
Eat your orange and then break the peel up into quarter sized pieces. Fresh orange peels are rich in herb waters so add them to soups and stew or slow cook them with chicken or duck. Grate fresh orange peel into cookies and breads or add the zesty flavor to sweets and desserts.
After you have gotten your fill of fresh orange peel, let them sit out at room temperature on a screen until they are crispy. Once dried, store them in a jar in your spice cabinet. You now have a satisfying and revitalizing ingredient to use in meal preparations throughout the year.
Orange peel not only adds a nice flavor to your food but also works great with tea. Orange, tangerine and mandarin peel teas are traditionally used to sooth coughs that are due to excessive phlegm in the lungs. It is a good remedy if you have a lot of mucus, chronic chest congestion or a wet cough. Citrus peels are considered a valuable medicinal herb and are a popular ingredient in many Chinese Medicine tonics.
Orange Peel Tea
To make orange peel tea simply put fresh or dried orange peels and water into a pot with a lid on, bring everything to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let the orange peels steep for one hour or more, then strain them from the water and discard the used peels.
– 1 tablespoon chopped dried orange peel per one cup of water
– 2 tablespoons fresh chopped orange peel per cup of water
– If you are using fresh orange peels, chop them into ¼ inch sized pieces
– If you are using dried orange peels, crush them a little with a mortar and pestle
– Place chopped or crushed orange peels and water into a pot with a lid on it. I use stainless steel Revere pots; glass and enamel pots also work well
– Bring water and herbs to a boil and then immediately turn off the fire
– Let orange peels steep for one hour
– Using a metal strainer, remove the herbs from the tea and pour the tea into a teacup or pitcher
– Drink warm or room temperature
Note: The shelf life of this tea is about two days if kept covered in the refrigerator
Citrus peels are loaded with vitamin C and pectin. Pectin, which is also abundant in apples, is a carbohydrate that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. You are a walking colony of bacteria, an apartment complex for hundreds of different types of living organisms that can only be seen with a microscope.
This beneficial micro flora, compliments the immune system, helps us digest nutrients and keeps pathogenic bacteria in check. Our daily wellness and vitality is intricately connected to the health of our gut bugs. Feed your bugs. When you eat sugar ridden foods, you feed the bacteria that make you sick, when you eat orange peels; you feed the beneficial bacteria that keeps you healthy. Don’t throw away that orange peel.
A delicious addition to winter meals, orange peels wash away mucus, ward off colds and flu with its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. Orange peels also help with sluggish digestion and are effective for treating gas, bloating and nausea.
Most people throw away this part of their orange eating experience because they just aren’t aware of how beneficial the orange peel is.
It is natures give away; you get a free packet of delicious tea every time you eat an orange.