Sunday, August 15, 2010

Let Nothing Go To Waste ~Oranges~

My Great-grandmother educated me on the idea of never letting anything go to waste. She showed me that every part of an animal, fruit, vegetable, or plant had a use. Until a few years ago I thought she was just holding to the way she had been raised. Why would anyone keep orange peels or coffee grounds. Well, I have to say that I have learned exactly why and now practice the things she taught me. Several years ago I stumbled upon a way to use an orange completely with no waste at all. Here's how.

What you will need:

A bag of medium sized oranges.
Cutting knife and cutting board
Food processor
One 4 gallon jug or Two 2 gallon jugs
Spray bottles or squirt bottles
Borax 20 mule team
Baking Soda
Popsicle molds (4 to 6 slot)
Plastic re-cycled fruit cups (4 to 6)

Step 1 – Separate the oranges.

Use your cutting knife and cutting board to cut the oranges into quarters. Do this for the entire bag of oranges. Separate the orange meat from the peels. Put the orange meat into the food processor and set the peels off to the side on a plate, rack, or dish towel.

Step 2 – Puree and pour.

Set the food processor to puree and blend the oranges well. Pulp is fine but you do not want big chunks of orange in the puree. Pour the oranges into a four to six slot Popsicle mold. You can get these molds at dollar stores throughout the year. Pour the remaining amount into plastic fruit cups and cover with plastic wrap. Place both into the freezer. You can add milk and the frozen orange puree from the fruit cups into a blender to create a sherbert. Now when the kids or you want something sweet you can take out the orange pops or take out a fruit cup and let it thaw for a slush style orange snack. If the oranges taste a little bitter just add a pinch of sugar before pouring them into the molds.

Step 3 – Cutting and mixing.

Use the cutting knife and cutting board to slice the orange peels you set aside earlier. Cut the peels into strips and place them into the jar(s). If you are using a two jar method then split the peels so that half will go in one jar and half in the other. Measure 1 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of baking soda into a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the jar(s). Again if you are using the two jar method just split the mixture in half so that half goes to one jar and half into the other. Fill both jars with water and shake. Leave for 24 hours then fill spray bottles or squirt bottles for ease of cleaning.

There are a few things to note about the cleaner. It will be a orange brown color. Do not be alarmed by this. That is what it is supposed to do. Remember to test carpeting before using the spray on large stains. The cleanser removes pet stains and odors amazingly well and can be sprayed directly onto the stain or used in a steam cleaner or spot bot style cleaner. There is no sticky feeling with the cleanser but if you use it on windows or glass it does leave a film from the borax and soda so you will need to rinse it with clear water. Replenish the water no more than four times. When the orange cleaner turns brown or develops a slight odor (around 3 weeks later or longer) then dump out the remainder if there is any and put the used peels into a compost bin or garden. Remake using a fresh bag of oranges.

1 bag of oranges = a total of 6 gallons of cleanser (counting the replenishment), 4-6 orange pops, 4 cups of sherbet, and helps to fertilize your plants... all for $5 or less!

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