6 Secret Uses for Oranges

Maybe it is the Mythbusters influence in our home, but I've been exploring unconventional or interesting ways to use household items. I found this list of creative and clever ways to use oranges around your home to save time and money. I am interested in trying 1 and 5!

6 Secret Uses for Oranges
  1. Use for kindling
    Dried orange and lemon peels are a far superior choice for use as kindling than newspaper. Not only do they smell better and produce less creosote than newspaper, but the flammable oils found inside the peels enable them to burn much longer than paper.

  2. Make a pomander
    Pomanders have been used for centuries to fill small spaces with a delightful fragrance as well as to combat moths. They are also incredibly easy to make: Take a bunch of cloves and stick them into an orange, covering the whole surface. That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? Now suspend your pomander using a piece of string, twine, or monofilament fishing line inside a closet or cupboard, and it will keep the space smelling fresh for years.

  3. Simmer for stove top potpourri
    Fill your abode with a refreshing citrus scent by simmering several orange and/or lemon peels in 1-2 cups of water in an aluminum pot for a few hours. Add water as needed during the simmering. This process freshens up the pot as well as the air in your home.

  4. Keep kitties off your lawn
    Are the neighbor’s cats still mistaking your lawn for their litter box? Gently point them elsewhere by making a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds and distributing it around the cats’ “old haunts.” If they don’t take the hint, lay down a second batch and try moistening it with a bit of water.

  5. Apply as mosquito repellent
    If you’re not crazy about the idea of rubbing onions all over yourself to keep away mosquitoes, you may be happy to know that you can often get similar results by rubbing fresh orange or lemon peels over your exposed skin. It’s said that mosquitoes and gnats are totally repulsed by either scent.

  6. Show ants the door
    Get rid of the ants in your garden, on your patio, and along the foundation of your home. In a blender, make a smooth puree of a few orange peels in 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into anthills to send the little pests packing.

Courtesy of Reader's Digest


Easy Pad Thai

In an effort to cook for from more cuisines at home, I found this simple and milld Pad Thai recipe. I didn't have scallions, but had fresh, first-of-the-season, asparagus that made this a perfect, light dish for a spring evening.

Easy Pad Thai

  • 8 oz dried, wide and flat rice noodles
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Habernero infused maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  • Try adding shrimp or chicken: While the noodles are soaking, cut up 1 small chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Marinate the chicken in a little bit of soy sauce and garlic. Cook chicken or shrimp before you add the noodles to the pan.
  1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and syrup.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute).
  6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.
  7. Leftovers: Toss in a hot skillet for a minute with a little water, lime juice and soy sauce to warm the noodles.
Serves 4