How can I reuse or recycle lemon rind?

lemonsWe’ve had an email from Dani:

You’ve said to avoid composting a lot of lemon peel, what can I do with it instead? There isn’t any juice left, just the tough yellow skin.

You should avoid composting too much of any citrus fruits in one go because it can make the compost overly acidic and when the peel is fresh, can make worms pull little bitter pursed lips faces and you don’t want to annoy your friendly compost worms ;)

You can, perhaps obviously, grated the peel to use as zesty pieces in baking or make candied lemon peel for snacking/cake-decorating.

Around the home, lemon peel is handy for freshening up garbage disposals or dry the skin and use it to add a fragrance to homemade pot pourri.

Any other suggestions?

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11 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle lemon rind?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    Also, lemon peel is very good in savory dishes as a garnish. You can grate it onto rice, meat, vegetables etc. and it gives a pleasant burst of flavor. I would think that you could dry it and add to potpourri or sachets.

  2. Bridget says:

    I put lemon rind in ice cubes for summer-y drinks – it adds a slightly lemony flavor that isn’t too overpowering. You could probably also boil all of the peels in water and then let cool and freeze so you didn’t have the peel in the actual ice cube if you didn’t want to.

  3. Kara says:

    If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, citrus rinds are excellent for cleaning and deodorizing those.

  4. Linda Hague says:

    My husband and I dehydrate them and use them in spice packs we make for holidays. We buy grinders, then we harvest and dry our summer herbs and lemon/orange peels and then put all types of items in the grinders for gifts! People last year DIED over them!

  5. Linda Hague says:

    OH yea, I also use them for facial masks and scrubs. You can’t beat dried and ground lemon peel for a great mask or scrub- used with other ingredients too of coarse!

  6. Alice says:

    My dentist told me there’s no more acid in lemons than in oranges, and on Gardener’s Question Time they said that a “normal” number of orange peels in your home compost won’t make any noticeable difference to the acidity of the soil.

    If you’re making industrial quantities of lemonade then you might not be able to compost all the peel at once, but personally I’ve always just put unused lemon peel in my compost.

  7. Emily says:

    Also, if you have Hydrangea bushes, acidic things like lemons and oranges can help to change the color of the flowers.

    • Penny says:

      You can also dry them(and orange peel) then use them as fire starters. They work really well and smell much better than the chemical type.

  8. Nancy says:

    Throw them in your garbage disposal and grind them up. Helps eliminate a selly disposal! They can also be frozen before you grind them up.

  9. Anna says:

    We use lemon leftovers as a cleaner helper and deodorizer (put it in the water while washing up or in the dishwasher). In warm water are good for cleaning hands after gardening. About cooking, as they are usually varnised and the skin keeps the majority of pesticides, I only use the skin if they are organic.

  10. anna says:

    Before you use the lemons, scrape the skin off and make limoncello. Very easy to make, and tastes a lot better than the store bought version!

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