These five easy recipes will help you use up your excess citrus stash!
At this time of year many of us are in the middle of a citrus glut, with limes and lemons dropping from trees. If you’re not lucky enough to own your own abundant tree, walk the streets of your neighbourhood, there are often citrus trees dropping fruit over the fences.
Below are five recipes to help use up excess citrus and avoid plastic by creating products that you might normally buy in packaging.
Lime and Mint Cordial
- Zest of 6 large limes (you can substitute with lemon if need be)
- 500g sugar
- The juice of 10 limes (500ml of juice)
- 500ml water
- 40 large mint leaves, ripped
Place the sugar, water and zest into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for around 30 seconds and then leave to cool. Once cool add the lime juice and bring to the boil once again. Remove from heat, add the mint and leave to cool. Strain out solids and bottle.
Dilute with one part cordial to six or more parts water, to taste.
DIY Citrus Cleaner
Winter is a time where we can end up with an abundance of citrus peel and it can start overwhelming the compost and the worm farm. This is a great way to use up citrus peel and make a great plastic free cleaning product.
- 1-2 large jars
- A spray bottle
- Citrus peel (orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime will do)
- 1-2 litres of vinegar (not dark)
Fill your jars with citrus peel. Pack them down slightly so they are firm. Pour vinegar over the peels to fill the jars. Tap on the bench several times to dislodge air bubbles. Date the jars and leave to steep for two to three weeks.
Remove lid and strain vinegar removing any solids. Dilute one part citrus vinegar with one part water and place in a spray bottle.
Use as an all purpose spray for the kitchen and bathroom. Careful with marble bench tops as vinegar can eat away at it over time.
For extra scrubbing power sprinkle bicarb soda on the surface you are cleaning and spray over the top.
Spicy Indian Lime Pickle
Another great way to use up citrus is to create your own super tasty, spicy, Indian lime pickle.
- 4–5 medium lemons (thin skinned meyer variety work best)
- 4 fresh or dried chillies, finely chopped (add more if you’re adventurous!)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup Murray River salt flakes
- 1 tbsp. fine chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp asafoetida (optional)
- 4–5 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp rice bran oil
Click here for the full recipe.
Raw Mandarin Shrub
A shrub is an old-fashioned fermented fruit drink (used like a cordial). This recipe is by Holly Davis, taken from her book Ferment and was featured in our Pip 2019 Kitchen Garden Calendar.
- 660g (3 cups) of raw sugar
- 6 mandarins, peel only
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 750 ml (3 cups) mandarin juice
- 500 ml (2 cups) champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Click here for the full recipe.
Preserving lemons and limes
When the lemons are on, they are on. They start dropping on the ground and they start rotting if you don’t deal with them.
If you have the habit of a squeeze of lemon in hot water in the morning you can use some up but it’s not enough to keep up. Then when winter is over and the citrus have dried up, you are all out of juice.
Well, here is a super simple way of preserving lemon juice so you can enjoy it all year round.
You will need:
- As many lemons/ limes that you have
- A juicer
- Bottles and jars to store the juice in
- Ice cube trays (optional)
Squeeze the juice from all the citrus. Pour juice into bottles. Freeze. Make sure there is some space at the top so the jars don’t crack in the freezer.
Another option is to pour the juice into ice cube trays. Once frozen, place cubes into a container ready to add to drinks or meals as needed.