Citrus season is well and truly upon us. As an advocate for reducing food waste I have made it my personal mission to ensure that no fruit from our three trees goes to waste. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me posting about the copious amounts of manadrins I have been trying to use. We are fortunate to rent a property with 2 large mandarin trees and a grapefruit tree. Unfortunately no-one in our house seems to eat grapefruit, and the mandarins are very fiddly to peel. Additionally, as soon as the fruit hits the ground the slugs are all over it. As such we have a fair bit of excess fruit! Despite this I am making sure I am on top of the excess citrus situation.
Here's all the ways I have attempted to rescue our citrus so far:
A day well spent; jaffa cakes, mandarin cake, citrus enzyme and grapefruit marmalade (also spot my cat in the background)
Squeeze fruit and freeze the juice in ice cube trays
Home made cordial; the easiest way I do this is with carbonated water (using my Soda Stream), some fruit juice and a bit of sugar/honey/xylitol.
Citrus kombucha (above)
Smoothies, I chuck a whole mandarin in with my chocolate smoothies (non dairy milk, dates, cocoa powder).
Rediscover's Jaffa Cakes, which have quickly become a favourite, I boil the mandarins for about 20 minutes to soften them up first. I also make these using aquafaba (chickpea liquid) instead of eggs.
Whole Mandarin Cake I have made this cake twice; the first time I didn't ice it and the second time Imade an icing using homemade marmalade. I have also successfully baked this cake with aquafaba instead of eggs.
Peel the zest, dehydrate on a low heat in the oven, dehydrator or window sill. The zest can be used in baking, cooking, hot chocolate, tea blends and salads.
Chuck the peels in some vodka (and leave for a couple of weeks) for a citrus infused alcoholic beverage.
What do I do with all of the off cuts, bad & slug eaten fruit?
Don't throw out all of the citrus scraps, they have a use to! I save all of the yuck fruits and off cuts to ferment it in to a citrus cleaning enzyme. My flatmates did this last year in a 10L batch using bug eaten citrus off the ground and fermented for several months. The finished product is a natural cleaning agent. I currently have two 5L growlers fermenting away. This year we chose to blend up the fruit, mainly so we could use smaller containers but also to help increase the ferment time.
The BF with 1 of 2 citrus ferments in a 5 Litre growler
Don't chuck your citrus peels in the worm farm, worms are fussy and don't like citrus, it increases the acidity.
What do I do if I still have too much fruit?
Give it away! Give it to your friends, family, offer fruit on Neighbourly, arrange a trade or contact Community Fruit Harvesting; they will arrange someone to pick the fruit to donate or preserve.