Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is healthy and delicious. If you tend to eat quite a few veggies and fruits, you may notice that you often have loads of peelings left over. While you could always simply throw those peels away, there are better uses for them, some of them which may surprise you.
Waste is never a good thing and if you want to be really frugal, you will learn different ways of cutting down on waste and making the most of everything you have. Learning ways of using fruit and vegetable peels not only helps you to cut down on waste but may free up some space in your cabinets and leave more money in your wallet.
We have collected 20 surprising ways that you can use those leftover peels that are ingenious and effective. Whether you are looking for a new way to clean, want the fresh scent of citrus throughout your home or you want a great way to make jelly with leftover apple peels, we have loads of ways that you can use those peelings and save yourself some time and money in the process.
1 Make Jelly
When you have leftover apple peels, you can use them to make jelly. This great recipe takes only about an hour from start to finish and leaves you with delicious homemade apple jelly. You just need the apple peels, lemon zest, water and sugar and you will be munching on your delicious jelly in no time. Note that the cores can also be used so don’t bother throwing them away either.
2 Seedling Pots
Grapefruits, oranges and avocados are perfect for getting your seed growing and they're organic. If you love making your own guacamole and you tend to wonder what you could possibly due with those leftover avocado shells, imagine making your own biodegradable seedling pots. You just have to scoop out the avocado and then hang the pots to start your seedlings in the spring. Once the seeds begin to grow, you can plant the entire pot in the ground and save yourself a little time.
3 Clean Your Coffee Pot
Lemon zest or rind is great for cleaning the stains off your glass coffee pots or carafes. You just have to add a bit of salt and ice and throw in your leftover lemon rind. Then just swirl the pot around for a few minutes and empty it out. Rinse with warm water and your coffee pot will sparkle like new.
4 Make Your Own Citrus Zest
If you don’t need the rind from your citrus fruits right away and you are planning to use the inside or the juice, take a few minutes to grate the outside before you begin using the inside. By making your own citrus zest, you will have it on hand for when you need it later. Just scrape off the outer later, avoiding the white inside. You can freeze zest or let it dry completely and then store it in the cabinet in an airtight jar.
5 Make Potpourri
Instead of throwing out those peels and spending money on store bought potpourri, you can simply make your own. Any citrus peels, pomegranate skins, apple peels or other fruit trimmings can be dried completely and then set about to help your home smell wonderful. Keep it in an airtight jar if you don’t need it right away and then display your homemade potpourri in a glass dish.
6 Keep Brown Sugar from Hardening
Lemon zest is great for keeping brown sugar from turning hard. You can just throw a piece of the peel in with your brown sugar, making sure that you completely remove the pith and pulp. It will help to keep your brown sugar moist and soft for months in the cabinet.
7 Revitalize Your Skin
Peaches are very high in Vitamin A and Potassium, which is great for your skin. The next time you enjoy fresh peaches, save those peels. You just have to add a little white sugar to the inside of the peach skin and then use this as a gentle scrub for your face. It will help to keep your skin hydrated and make you feel revitalized as well. here.
8 Citrus Astringent
Citrus fruits make wonderful astringents. Not only do they work well for removing dirt and oil, they will also give you a wonderfully refreshed feeling. You just have to rub the peels all over your face, avoiding the eye area of course, and then rinse the juices away with warm water.
9 Shine Metals
Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, limes and others are perfect for shining metal. The high citric acid will do wonders for your copper, brass and other metals so use those leftover peels to clean pots and pans or anything else metal that you have lying around. Just sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the object in question and then scrub with your citrus peels.
10 Relieve Tired Eyes
Potato peels are great for relieving puffiness and tiredness around the eyes. You just have to gently press the inside of the peel onto your eyes and leave there for about 10 to 15 minutes. The vitamins in potatoes are great for relieving slight inflammation and there is no need to rinse afterward.
11 Make Homemade Potato Crisps
Instead of throwing out those potato peels when you are finished with them, save them for making your own potato crisps. You just have to mix the peels with enough olive oil and lemon juice to coat them evenly and then spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Super easy delicious recipe here.
12 Make Homemade Fabric Dye
Pomegranate peels are great for dying fabric. Just add the fabric to a large stainless steel pot and then fill with hot water. Add your pomegranate peels and allow them to sit overnight. In the morning, you will need to simmer the water and peels and then remove the peels to add your fabric. Make sure that the fabric is wet when you add it to the pot. Simmer the fabric very lightly for about an hour and allow it to cool overnight.
13 Clean Away Grease
Citrus zest is great for a lot of things, not the least of which is cleaning up grease. Lemon peels can help you to do away with greasy messes. Just sprinkle your stovetop or anywhere else where there may be grease with baking soda or salt and then rub the lemon peel over it to remove the grease.
Make Melon Bowls
When you serve fresh watermelon, cantaloupe or other melons, hang on to those peels and you can make your own serving bowls. This is great for summer cookouts and such when you just don’t want to have to clean up a lot of dishes. Once the contents of your melon bowl are gone, you can just throw it away. Just scoop out the inside and voila, you have a serving bowl.
Make Melon Bowls
If you are suffering from diarrhea, you can boil pomegranate skin in water, add a cinnamon stick and then allow it to cool. Drink the mixture once it has cooled and it will help to cure your diarrhea. You can make this ahead if you want and stick it in the fridge. It keeps for up to a week. Reference Yahoo Natural Cures.
Shine Houseplants with Bananas
Banana peels are great for helping to keep your houseplants healthy looking. You just use the inside of the peel to shine the leaves on all of your houseplants. It will make them look clean and fresh and it helps them to grow because it works as a natural fertilizer and pesticide. Reference/Photo source Our House Plants
Clean Mineral Deposits with Lemon
If your tea kettle has a buildup of mineral deposits, you can clean it with lemon peels. Just fill the kettle with water and add a few lemon peels. Allow it to boil and then turn the heat off and let the kettle sit for about an hour. Drain and rinse with warm water and the deposits will float away.
Make Homemade Citrus Extract Powder
Remove the pith and allow lemon, lime or other citrus peels to dry for a few days. Once they are completely dried, just put them in a blender or food processor and make powder. You can store your citrus extract powder in a jar for months. Mix a bit of cracked black pepper with the powder to make your own lemon pepper or mix in some sugar to create your own citrus sugar.
Make Citrus Flavored Oils
Remove the pith and pound your citrus peels, adding some olive oil to create deliciously flavored lemon oil. You can also infuse vinegar or honey with your leftover citrus peels to create great tasting dishes. Store your oils and infusions in clean jars for months in the cabinet and use them in all of your favorite recipes.
Soothe Feet with Papaya Skins
Papaya skins can help to soothe the bottom of your feet because they have very high levels of Vitamin A and papain. These nutrients will help to remove dead skin cells and make your feet feel refreshed. Just rub the inside of the skins and the pulp on the bottoms of your feet to help remove dead skin and soften cracked heels.