6 Great Uses Of Lemon Peels And Rinds For Summer

Lemons are one of the handful ingredients which can be used whole; lemon waste, which includes its rinds and peels can be used in several recipes and can also be utilised for other home care aspects. The outermost layer of the lemon rind contains essential oils that are highly concentrated with the fruit's characteristic citrus flavour. 

This layer, known as the zest, has a bright, tangy taste that is more intense and aromatic than the juice. A small amount of zest can infuse a dish with a potent lemon flavour, enhancing both sweet and savoury recipes without adding liquid, which might alter the dish’s consistency.

In case you didn’t know, the essential oils in lemon rind are responsible for their strong fragrance, which can transform the aroma of a dish. The zest releases these oils when it is grated or finely chopped, providing a fresh and invigorating scent that complements a wide range of ingredients. This aromatic quality makes lemon zest particularly valuable in baking, where it can elevate certain recipes. Here are some ways you can use from rinds and waste this season.

Use it for cooking

Lemon peels can add a refreshing twist to your summer recipes. One of the most popular uses is incorporating lemon zest into recipes. The zest, which is the outermost layer of the peel, contains essential oils that provide a bright, tangy flavour. You can add lemon zest to salads, marinades, baked goods, and desserts. For instance, lemon zest can elevate the freshness of lemon bars, sorbets, and citrus salads, making them ideal for hot summer days.

Another fantastic culinary use is creating lemon-infused olive oil. This infused oil is easy to make: simply combine lemon peels with olive oil and let the mixture steep for about a week. The result is a delicately flavoured oil that enhances the taste of salads, grilled vegetables, and seafood. Drizzling lemon-infused olive oil over your dishes adds a burst of citrus flavour that perfectly complements the light and fresh flavours of summer.

Natural Cleaning Agent

Lemon peels are excellent for making natural cleaning solutions. Their acidity and antibacterial properties make them effective for sanitizing surfaces and removing stains. To create a simple all-purpose cleaner, place lemon peels in a jar and cover them with white vinegar. Let this mixture sit for a couple of weeks, then strain out the peels. The resulting lemon-infused vinegar can be used to clean countertops, sinks, and other surfaces around the house. It’s a great way to keep your home smelling fresh and clean during the summer.

Homemade DIY skincare and hair care

The natural oils and acids in lemon peels can benefit your skin and hair. For a refreshing facial scrub, mix finely chopped lemon peels with sugar and a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil. This scrub helps exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and revitalized. Lemon peels can also be used in hair care. Rinsing your hair with a mixture of lemon peel-infused water can help reduce dandruff and add shine to your locks. These homemade beauty treatments are especially refreshing and effective during the summer months.

Natural Insect Repellent

During summer, insects can be a nuisance. Lemon peels can serve as a natural insect repellent due to their strong citrus scent, which is unappealing to many bugs. Place lemon peels near windowsills, doorways, or outdoor seating areas to help keep insects at bay. You can also rub lemon peels directly on your skin to deter mosquitoes. This natural method is a safe and pleasant-smelling alternative to chemical repellents.

Use it for gardening 

Lemon peels can benefit your garden in several ways. They can be added to compost piles, where their nutrients help enrich the soil. Additionally, lemon peels can deter pests in your garden. Placing pieces of peel around plants can discourage cats and other animals from digging in your garden beds. The acidity in lemon peels can also help balance the pH levels of the soil, promoting healthier plant growth. These uses make lemon peels a valuable addition to your gardening toolkit during the summer.

Homemade Air Fresheners

Keeping your home smelling fresh in the summer can be a challenge, especially with high temperatures and increased humidity. Lemon peels can be used to create natural air fresheners that impart a clean, citrusy scent to your living spaces. Simmering lemon peels in water on the stove releases their fragrant oils into the air. You can also dry lemon peels and place them in sachets or bowls around your home. These natural air fresheners are a chemical-free way to maintain a pleasant atmosphere indoors.