Benefits of the Orange Peel

Fresh Picked Oranges

Orange zest is a way to bring orange flavor to a dish without the bitterness that whole orange peel can bring.

The zest is the outer part of the peel and can be shaved from the fruit with the use of a zester (very fine shavings) or cheese grater (shavings are a bite larger).

The use of zest not only adds the most aromatic part of the orange fruit to your dish, it does so unobtrusively.

But consuming the whole peel has benefits.

Health Benefits of the Orange Peel

Orange peels, including lemons, limes, grapefruit, clementines, or any of your other favorite citrus fruits can be used in their entirety.

Just 1 tablespoon of orange peel provides 14% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, which is nearly 3 times more than the inner fruit. The same serving also packs about 4 times more fiber.

Studies show that diets high in vitamin-C and fiber benefit heart and digestive health and may protect against certain types of cancer.

Orange peel also contains good amounts of vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, and calcium

Orange Almond Cake

Orange peel is rich in plant compounds called polyphenols, which may help prevent and manage many chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease (Frontiers In Nutrition).

One study showed the total antioxidant activity of a chemical called polyphenol was significantly higher in the peel than in the actual fruit (PNFS).

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Orange peels are a good source of the specific polyphenols called hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones (PMFs), both of which are being studied for their potential anticancer effects.

Hesperidin is found only in the pith of the peel. The chemical had shown in studies to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Grilled Chicken and Orange Skewers

Nearly 90% of the essential oils in orange peels are composed of limonene, a naturally occurring chemical that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, including against skin cancer (PubMed).

They can be candied, incorporated into beverages, zested over your favorite dishes, or even used to start a summer campfire. If you plan on eating the peel, however, be sure to use organic fruit.

Stocking the Kitchen with Useful Gadgets for Healthy Cooking

Stocking the Kitchen with Useful Gadgets for Healthy Cooking

Have you been through Williams-Sonoma, Target, Macy’s, or Sur La Table to see their featured kitchen gadgets? If you are a zealous cook, and have a love for being in the kitchen to cook for others or just to relieve stress, then you can’t help but search out and admire the latest tools of the trade, in this case the most necessary kitchen gadgets.

After you have eyed all of those gadgets, you ask which ones do I really need? Here is a look at four of the most useful kitchen aids that we think will help make your cooking and baking time in the kitchen more of a breeze.

Microplane Grater

The Right Kitchen Gadgets for Healthy Cooking -microplane and box grader

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Microplane graters are very useful for grating a verity of foods , like nutmeg, cheese, and zest from citrus fruit. The microplane is etched instead of stamped, like the box grater is.

The microplanes etched edges are razor sharp, grating the food items even finer, then the the smaller stamped grater side of the box grater.

Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot's

 

Citrus zest is a healthy way to add seasoned flavor to your favorite recipes. The microplane can easily zest any citrus rind without piercing the pith.

Try a side of steamed or roasted rainbow carrots, sliced and mixed with ginger syrup and the zest of an orange.

A microplane will also grate the perfect chocolate shavings for a cake, or some hard Asiago cheese to grate over your favorite pasta or even a pizza.

 

Immersion Blender

Immersion Blender

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The immersion blender allows you to puree nutritious soups and dips without straining your wrist.

Some of the hand held blenders have multi-speeds making it easier to work on thick or denser concoctions, taking only 90 seconds to puree thick soups like split pea and ham , or chunky spaghetti sauce into a pureed spaghetti  sauce.

A handheld immersion blender saves you time, as you don’t have to get your blender out to puree the soup or other food items, and less clean-up.

Angled Measuring Cup

angled measuring cup by OXO

Source: Chef’s Resource – chefsresource.com –

 

An angled measuring cup by OXO makes measuring foods that are easy to underestimate when cooking or baking, such as flour, cooking oils, pasta, cereal, and nuts.

The angled measuring cup has measurement markings visible from above, making it easier to add accurate amounts of ingredients to your cooking or baking and eliminating the need to examine amounts at eye level.

 

 

 

Colored Flexible Cutting Boards

Sanitation is important when using cutting boards. Bacteria can reside in grooves produced by cutting, or in liquids left on the board, either it be a wooden or plastic cutting board.

Colored Flexible Cutting Boards

Source: Chefs Catalog – chefscatalog.com –

Bacteria or allergens can easily be transmitted from one part of the kitchen to another or from one food to another by way of cutting knives, hands, or surfaces such as chopping boards.

To reduce the chance of cross contamination, why not use flexible cutting boards, which are of different colors for use with different types of food such as raw meat, cooked meat, dairy and vegetables.

Many professional kitchens follow this standard color-coding system.

Blue cutting boards: raw fish

Red cutting boards: raw meat

Green cutting boards: vegetable, salad and fruit

Yellow cutting boards: raw poultry

Brown cutting boards: cooked meat

White cutting boards: dairy (also for universal if no other board is available)

Remember that stocking your kitchen with the appropriate tools of the trade doesn’t have to be expensive. Shop around and investigate and read up on product reviews, such as those done by Good House Keeping , Eating Well, Consumer Search , with the reviews posted on their websites.

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Add a Little Zest

lemon zet

When a recipe calls for “zest” of a citrus fruit, it’s referring to the colorful outer part of the skin, not the inner white part, which is known as the pith. The zest contains all of the aromatic citrus oils and provides a hint of citrus tang to the recipe. A simple method of obtaining a fine zest is by rubbing the fruit against the smallest holes of a cheese grater.

Usually a recipe will call for 1 to 3 teaspoons of citrus zest. If you happen to not have an orange or lemon in the kitchen, then you have to run to the store to get yourself one. This can be time consuming and not to mention the gas you have to use.

grating lemon zestHere is our solution:  After squeezing or juicing lemons or oranges do not toss the peels. Freeze the peels or rinds in a freezer bag and whenever you need zest of a lemon or orange, you can grate it from the frozen peels.

The flavor is just the same as if the peel were fresh.

It will save a trip to the store just to buy a citrus fruit for a small amount of zest. This tip works well if you make cheesecake often in your kitchen.

What Others are Saying About Citrus zest:

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