How To Peel an Orange, Quick and Easy
You want a grab and go healthy snack. While fruits like berries, grapes, apples, and bananas are easy to grab and go, you’re probably leaving the oranges and grapefruits in the fruit bowl. Their tricky peels make them an unsuitable choice for convenient snacking.
Most people are guilty of buying pre-peeled or pre-sliced fruit. When you want a quick snack, peeling and cutting fruit seems like too much work.
While convenient, the additional processing this fruit undergoes and the production of the packaging it’s in makes it a less environmentally friendly option than grabbing up a whole fruit
If you need a little help getting into your oranges, there are a few simple methods you can try to make your sweet and zesty snack a little easier to eat.
The Knife and Spoon Method - Version One
For this method, you’ll need a small paring knife and a spoon.
Hold your orange with the stem pointed towards the sky. Take a paring knife and find the center of your orange. Gently slice through the peel just enough that you can see the fruit underneath. Don’t cut into the fruit. Once you’ve cut a line through the entire diameter of the orange, you can slide the handle of the spoon underneath the peel.
Slowly rotate the orange, wiggling the spoon handle all the way around. The handle will break the fruit free from the peel. When you reach the end, half the peel will come off. Flip it over and do the same thing to the other side.
All you need to do is break the orange into segments and eat it.
The Knife and Spoon Method - Version Two
This method also requires a knife and a spoon. It works for both oranges and grapefruit.
Cut the orange in half vertically. Slide the round end of your spoon between the orange and the peel, and scoop the segments out of the peel. This is a great way to split an orange in half if you’re sharing it with someone.
How to Peel an Orange With Your Hands
Peeling an orange with your hands can be messy, but it’s much less messy when an orange is fully ripe. If you don’t have a very ripe orange, you’d be better off using a knife and spoon method.
When the rind is deeper in hue and slightly soft when you press on it, an orange will be easy to peel by hand.
Start by setting the orange on your kitchen counter. Use the palm of your hand to press the orange down and roll it around. This gently begins the process of loosening the orange from the peel without making a mess in your kitchen. Because the peel is still closed, juice and bits of pulp will stay contained.
Next, lay down a plate or a paper towel to protect your counter. With your thumb, press your nail into the top of the orange near the stem. There’s more likely to be a small gap between the peel and the fruit at the top or bottom of an orange. This gives you enough room to maneuver.
Start from the top where you’ve made the puncture with your thumb, and pull directly down. Aim to pull a large strip of the rind at first. The bigger your initial tear was, the easier it will be to peel the rest of the orange.
Hold the orange firmly in your hand and use your thumb to continue to puncture and peel downward until you’ve removed the entire orange from the peel.
Zest Your Orange Instead of Peeling It
Most people don’t think to zest their oranges. They peel them and toss the peels away. Orange zest is a bright, flavorful, and versatile ingredient that can elevate the flavor of many dishes. It works well in desserts, but it also works well in Asian-inspired cuisine and can balance spicy flavors in other dishes.
Get a citrus zester or a grater—zest around the center of the orange. You’ll see the pith or the white connective tissue of the orange. Stop zesting when it becomes visible. Because the remaining rind will be thinner, it should be easy to peel away the excess with your fingers.
You can place orange zest in a food dehydrator to preserve it for later use, or store it in the fridge if you plan to use it within a few days.
Keep in mind that orange zest has a very concentrated flavor. You likely wouldn’t use a whole tablespoon of it to add flavor to a dish. A teaspoon will usually suffice.
What Can You Do With Orange Peels?
You can also use orange peels to make drinks, home fragrances, and even natural cleaning products outside of using their zest for cooking. Orange peels are versatile kitchen helpers that are surprisingly useful for people who take a DIY approach around the house.
Orange Peel Ciders and Teas
You can add orange peels into lightly boiling water or juice when you’re making teas or ciders. Orange peel pairs exceptionally well with black tea, cinnamon, and cloves. This flavor combination will remind most people of autumn. If you’re in a summery mood, try making strawberry-orange, green iced tea with your orange peels.
Orange Peel and Vinegar Cleaner
Plain white vinegar is a popular natural household cleaning staple. Vinegar acts as a gentle disinfectant, and it’s safe to use on food surfaces. It also has a very distinctive smell that lingers for a while.
Try adding a handful of orange peels into your vinegar and allowing it to sit for a few days. The vinegar will absorb some of the aromatic compounds from the orange peels. It won’t overtake the aroma of the vinegar, but it will make the resulting fragrance a little more pleasant. The sweetness of the orange peels will balance out some of the tartness in the vinegar.
Spray your orange peel vinegar onto surfaces in your kitchen and wipe with a cleaning cloth to remove gunk and debris. You can also use it to cut through tough grime on your stovetop.
Orange Peel Air Freshener
If you like how orange peels smell, make your whole house smell like them. Fill a spray bottle halfway to the top with witch hazel. Add orange peels and any other essential oils you enjoy. Orange pairs well with floral fragrances and other citrus scents.
Set the bottle aside for a day or two. The witch hazel will act as a solvent, drawing the oils out of the orange peels and acting as a carrier. You can toss the orange peels once their aroma has permeated the witch hazel.
Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Shake it, and spray it throughout the room to leave a pleasant scent in the air.
Guess What We Do With Orange Peels?
Orange peels are full of aromatic compounds called terpenes that give them their distinctly bright and energizing fragrance. We have a proprietary process that assembles those terpenes into bioidentical CBD.
By making CBD from orange peels instead of hemp, we avoid the inclusion of THC in our CBD oil. Since our CBD is THC-free, everyone can use it.
Unfortunately, you can’t make CBD from your orange peels at home. We’re more than happy to do it for you. Add our fresh-squeezed CBD to your morning wellness ritual, along with that glass of homemade orange juice.