4 zero waste recipes for cooking orange peel
The orange is the fruit most appreciated by the French. But don’t throw away his skin! Edible, it can be eaten in strips or peel. And white skin, rich in vitamin C, holds several secrets.
When you peel an orange, you unknowingly “raise the supremes”. This technical term designates the fact of largely removing the peel of the orange and recovering only the tender pulp.
In this way, pulps are obtained, very pleasant for fruit salads, without peel between the teeth. Also perfect for ice cream sundaes, tarts etc. But the rest is not to be thrown away!
Collect the zest to flavor a cream…
Many people stop at this stage and throw everything else away, but this is a mistake because there are some very good things to be recovered. Only the seeds need to be discarded. They have no taste and, in general, like pits (peach pits, apricots, apple seeds) they are not eaten.
They contain cyanide derivatives.
The colored parts of the skin, also called the “rind”, contain essential oils. They are very aromatic, but also very fragile with temperature. Limonene and citral are the main molecules responsible for the smell and taste of oranges, but these molecules volatilize starting from 50°C and are destroyed around 80°C.
Boiling the zest in milk to flavor custard, rice pudding or other preparations is a mistake. For a custard or Catalan cream, make the cream, then, when it’s still warm, pour in the freshly grated zest. You will have the freshness of fruit, without the bitterness or taste of cooked rind.
… and make perfume oils
To make an aromatic oil, for original vinaigrettes, a drizzle of lemon and orange oil on a fish, do not hesitate to take the zest. They are placed in neutral oil and passed four times for about 20 seconds in the microwave at maximum power.
The waves heat the water-rich cells, making them explode and releasing the aromatic molecules. But since the oil doesn’t have time to heat up, the sapid molecules are conserved.
Use the white peel for your jams…
The second part of the skin, or the white part, is also called the “albedo” or “ziste”. This part is very rich in pectins, long sugar molecules: poly (different), saccharides (sugar). Like agar-agar for example!
Just like agar-agar, these large chains will be able to bind together and form a gel. It is also thanks to the pectins, but also to the lignin and cellulose that the fruits “retain”. They can also be used to hold jams and jellies.
The peel of apples and quinces can be used to make jellies because it is rich in pectin, but the white parts of citrus fruits contain an average of five times more pectin than apples. If it’s well prepared, there’s no flavor, just texture.
Take these white parts, mix them ideally, and cook them over low heat in water, to disintegrate them and make these pectins functional. By extracting the pectins, a kind of syrup is obtained.
Bring this pectin syrup back to cooking with fruit, to make homemade jams. It will thicken naturally, without too much added sugar. It’s the pectin that holds the jam together, not the excess sugar.
… and your homemade sugar-free toppings!
Another possible use of this syrup: to polish a cake or pie by making a “topping”. Of course, if you want to add a little sugar or honey, you can do it for taste, but you control the amount.
It’s not the excess sugar that thickens the syrup, it’s the pectin. Add some tea, vanilla or zest at the last minute and make various homemade sugar-free toppings.
Also use this syrup for your homemade oranges and confits, which often contain a lot of sugar. If you cook your zest in a pectin syrup, this will replace the excess sugar. But be careful: you will have to consume your oranges immediately after production, because the sugar preserves them, but with this pectin you make the products much less caloric.
It’s good for the planet, there’s no waste, it’s good for your health and it tastes better.
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