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  • Writer's pictureNicole Paulus

Citrus Celebration: 3 Ways to Use Oranges (Besides Juicing or Eating Them)

Updated: May 14



What do you do when you have an abundance of oranges harvested from Orange Eco Land? You host a “jam session” where residents and friends get together to try out new vegan-friendly orange jam recipes. Not only was it a fun bonding experience but while there we concluded more people should be able to try our creations! Eventually, we will sell the jams in the on-site shop, so guests can take home an edible souvenir from the land. YUM!


The jam session was indeed successful, and fun was certainly had (just check out the picture below)...



...but it also got me thinking, what ELSE could we do with the abundance of oranges? That’s when I decided to scour the internet for some inspiration. 


Below are some ideas you can try out at home, including an easy Orange Jam Recipe, an Orange Peel All-purpose Cleaner, and Orange Essential Oil. If you try any of them, make sure to tag us at @orangeecoland on Instagram so we can applaud your craftiness and DIY spirit! 


 



DIY Vegan Orange Jam 


Oranges are incredibly nutritious fruits, boasting a plethora of health benefits such as being rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A! Below is a quick and simple recipe, perfect for spreading on toast, stirring into oatmeal or sharing with friends and family, whenever you find yourself with an abundance of oranges (or any citrus fruits, for that matter.)


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Canning Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients:

- 4 Cups Peeled Orange Slices, De-seeded, DON’T THROW OUT THOSE PEELS!

- 1/2 tsp. Orange Zest

- 1/2 Cup Organic White Sugar (use more or less depending on the sweetness of your oranges and your preference)

- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch

- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

- 1/2 Cup Water


How to Make Vegan Orange Jam:

1. Place peeled orange slices in a blender or food processor and pulse until slightly chunky. 

2. Transfer the blended oranges into a large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Stir in orange zest, sugar, arrowroot powder, lemon juice, and water. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for approximately 25 minutes or until it reaches a jam-like consistency.

4. While the marmalade thickens, sanitize your jar(s) by boiling them in a large pot for 15 minutes.

5. Once the marmalade is ready, carefully pour it into the prepared jar(s) and seal it with lids.

6. Place the jars in a canning pot or a large pot filled with boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes to seal them securely.

7. Decorate the jars to your liking, then share the love by gifting them to friends and family!


 

All-purpose, All-natural Orange Cleaner


Remember when I said not to throw out your orange peels? The reason is that you can use them to make your very own all-natural, all-purpose cleaner. Creating your own homemade orange peel cleaner provides a natural and efficient substitute for commercial cleaners laden with harsh chemicals. Below is a straightforward recipe to craft your own orange peel cleaner:


Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Infusion Time: 14 days

Servings: 4 cups of cleaner

Equipment:

  • 1-quart mason jar with lid

  • Spray bottle

Ingredients:

  • Orange peels from about 2-3 oranges

  • White vinegar

  • Water

Instructions:

  • 1. Enjoy or juice the oranges, then save the peels.

  • 2. Place the orange peels into a mason jar and cover them with white vinegar.

  • 3. Seal the jar with the lid and allow the mixture to sit for at least two weeks in a cool, dark place. For enhanced infusion, you can leave it for up to a month.

  • 4. After two weeks, strain the orange peels from the vinegar and discard the peels.

  • 5. Dilute the orange-infused vinegar with an equal amount of water, then transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.

  • 6. Your homemade orange peel cleaner is now ready for use! Remember to shake the bottle well before using it to clean surfaces around your home.

Notes:

  • This natural cleaner is safe to use on most surfaces including glass, floors, and counters. 

  • Spritzing this homemade orange peel cleaner into the air or onto fabric surfaces such as curtains or upholstery instantly infuses your home with a delightful, citrusy fragrance.

  • Utilizing orange peels that would otherwise be discarded helps in reducing waste. Enjoy the cleaning process with your homemade orange peel cleaner!


 

Orange Essential Oil 


What can you do with orange essential oil, you ask? Well, you can put it in just about everything! You can use it as a natural perfume or insect repellent, squeeze a few drops into your homemade lotions, massage oils, or cosmetics, and put some into a diffuser or humidifier to infuse the air with a citrusy essence. 


In aromatherapy, Orange Essential Oil emits a delightful aroma that not only brings about a sense of cheerfulness and relaxation but also calms the mind from anxious thoughts and depression as well as soothes headaches or irritated skin. Additionally, it can foster a cozy atmosphere and bolster the immune system's defenses, effectively eliminating airborne bacteria. Learn how to make your own miracle oil below: 


Ingredients:

  • Large quantity of orange peels

  • Knife

  • Glass container with a tight-fitting lid

  • Cheesecloth

  • Vodka

First, ensure your orange peels are well-dried. Remove as much of the white pith as possible, especially from oranges with thicker rinds. Let the peels dry for about 10 days, although this timeframe can vary.


Once dried, break up the peels slightly and place them into your chosen jar(s). Pour enough vodka over the peels to cover them completely. Don’t use your high-quality vodka for this recipe, any cheap brand will do.


Close the jar tightly and shake vigorously for several minutes. Repeat this shaking process several times a day for 4 to 7 days.


As the alcohol extracts the oil from the peels, the liquid will start to take on an orange hue. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a large bowl.

Squeeze the cloth to extract all the liquid, then transfer it to a clean jar. Leave the jar open and cover it with a paper towel. Place it in a secure location where it won't tip over and allow it to sit for a couple of days, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and leaving behind pure orange oil.


Enjoy the satisfaction of making your own orange oil at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought alternatives. Once you start using it around the house, you'll be hooked on its versatility and delightful scent!


 

Conclusion


In conclusion, when faced with an abundance of oranges from Orange Eco Land, we embarked on a delightful "jam session" where residents and friends came together to experiment with vegan-friendly orange jam recipes. The event not only fostered bonding but also sparked the idea of sharing our creations with more people by selling the jams in our on-site shop.


While the jam session was a success, it prompted further exploration into utilizing the surplus oranges. From scouring the internet for inspiration, we discovered various ways to make the most of these citrus fruits. Whether it's crafting homemade orange jam, creating an all-purpose cleaner from orange peels, or extracting orange essential oil for aromatherapy purposes, there are endless possibilities to explore.


Through these endeavors, we not only minimize waste but also embrace the DIY spirit and reap the benefits of natural, homemade products. We encourage everyone to try out these recipes and ideas at home, and don't forget to share your creations with us on Instagram (@orangeecoland)! Let's continue to enjoy the fruits of our labor while contributing to a more sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle.

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