7 Simple, Delicious Ways To Use Lemon Peel

Lemon Peel DIY9859

I am such a sucker for citrus. If I didn’t hate temperatures over 73 degrees I’d move someplace where I could have my own huge lemon tree in the backyard and spend all day figuring out ways to use bushels of lemons.

As it is, I have to buy my citrus, so I try to get as much use as possible from every part of it. Recently I impulse-bought about 5 pounds of Meyer lemons and I couldn’t let the peels go to waste.

Here’s some of the ways I used my lemon peels. Similar techniques work well for orange and lime peels as well.

Lemon Peel Management 101

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Unless you’re a fan of waxy fungicide residue in your food, I recommend going organic with citrus where you’ll be specifically eating the peel. Give your fruit a good wash before proceeding.

You only want the outer, brightly colored zest of the lemons, not the thicker white pith underneath. I think everyone pretty much knows this, but the zest is where all the concentrated lemon oil is. The pith is pretty much just bitter.

Get the zest off your citrus before you slice or juice your fruit. It is a terrible kind of torture to attempt to zest half an already-juiced lemon. Trust me, I know.

A microplane grater is fine if you are zesting one or two lemons, but when you’ve got a bunch of citrus the easiest way to zest them is to peel strips off the fruit with a standard vegetable peeler.

A good peeler should leave most of the pith behind. If a teeny bit of pith comes along for the ride, as shown in the photo above, it’s not a big deal. Don’t do anything silly like scrape every microscopic fleck of pith of the zest with a grapefruit spoon. You don’t have time for that crap. It’ll be fine.

Once you’ve got your strips of zest, you’re ready to go.
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{Giveaway!} $25 in High Mowing Organic Seeds and Complete Seed Starting Kit

high mowing give away

The season of seed starting is upon us!

High Mowing Organic Seeds, a seasonal sponsor of this blog and purveyor of the best damned seeds you can buy, wants to help you get your seed starting off on the right foot.

They are giving one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate good for any of their 100% organic, non-GMO verified seeds and one of their complete seed starting kit. The kit includes a standard solid propagation tray, 50-cell planting insert, propagation dome, and 6 quarts of high quality organic seed starting mix from the Vermont Compost Company.

Seed Starting Kit 2010 1

The total retail value of this giveaway is over $40, and it includes everything you need to grow your own high quality seedlings. (Well, except a good strong source of light. You have to provide that yourself.)
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To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: March 2015


Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring has sprung. With apologies to those of you still battling the Polar Vortex, my rhubarb is coming up, my plum trees are in full blossom, arugula is germinating and I’ve already transplanted out the first round of cool-season crops.

This is, I hasten to say, unusual. As I type this list up on March 1st, we are still several weeks to a month out from the average last frost around these parts. But, nothing says gardening like crazy optimism and adapting to the weather you have. I say we cross our fingers, move forward and go on faith that the weather will continue to warm and the days will continue to be mild. (But just in case Mother Nature is a big ol’ tease, stand ready to cloche as needed.)

The greatest activity always happens at the edges – at the transitions – and this winter-to-spring transition is no different. This is a busy month for gardeners. Here’s what Maritime Northwest gardeners should be doing in the garden right now.
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