DIY Orange Vinegar Cleaner + One Simple Change Giveaway

Happy Earth Day! It was gorgeous here in my neck of the woods today…I hope the same was true for you.

I have been interested in environmental issues for many, many years and the reason I called my site Healthy Green Kitchen is because I wanted there to be an focus on green living here. The same is true for my book my book One Simple Change: a good many of the chapters focus on green living because the book is about improving not just personal health, but planetary health, as well.

To celebrate the day, I want to share an easy recipe for an inexpensive DIY green cleaner; I also want to give a signed copy of One Simple Change to one of you!

It could not be simpler to make this citrus vinegar cleaner, and it’s a great natural alternative to store-bought household cleaning products. Use peels you save from eating oranges, or from using oranges in any recipe (such as this one for Orange Cardamom Curd). You can store the peels in a bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to fill whatever size glass jar you want to use. I used the peels from making fresh orange juice, which I do a few times a week: juicing oranges yield a lot of peels all at once (you can compost the extra ones). You could also make a vinegar cleaner with lemon, lime, or grapefruit peels instead (or use a combination).

orange peels_

Once you place your peels in your glass jar, cover them with white vinegar. Yes: cheap white vinegar. Vinegar is an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that works well on many surfaces, including glass and wood, and the oils in the citrus peels boost the cleaning power further! (You can mix this cleaner with a bit of liquid soap for cleaning tiles, if you like.)

citrus cleaner_

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Orange Cardamom Curd

Homemade fruit curds always surprise me. Each creamy spoonful contains so much bright, sweet flavor. Even though I have been making my own fruit curds for some years now, I still think it’s pretty amazing that such simple ingredients can turn into something so special.

When I found Marisa McClellan’s brand new book Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I immediately checked the index to see if there was a citrus curd recipe inside. The answer was, happily, yes! And the recipe- Orange Cardamom Curd– was so intriguing that I had to make it right away.

curd3_text

Do you follow Marisa’s blog Food in Jars? If you are interested in food preservation, then you must, must, must check it out. Having met her in the flesh, I can attest to the fact that she is a lovely person; Marisa is also a truly fabulous resource when it comes to canning (Preserving by the Pint is her second book; she is also the author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round). I really like her small-batch approach. I think it’s wonderful for those new to preserving, but I have to stress that Preserving by the Pint is not just for novices. I, for one, really enjoy making small amounts of preserved foods…I don’t always want to make 6, 9, or 12 jars of something…I don’t always feel like “swimming in preserves”, as Marisa puts it.

book

Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces contains recipes for so many things you’ll love: from jams to chutneys to pestos and pickles. I plan to use this book a lot and I highly recommend it.

oranges and eggsorange cardamom curd | healthy green kitchen

I love this curd swirled into plain yogurt (with some nuts sprinkled on top); I also think it would be great on these orange date oatmeal scones. Marisa mentions using it on whole wheat biscuits…use your imagination!

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Candied Orange Peel

Candied Cara Cara Orange Peels from Healthy Green Kitchen

Have you ever tasted homemade candied citrus peel? It’s a far cry from any store bought version you may have tried in the past, I assure you.

Candied Cara Cara Orange Peels from Healthy Green Kitchen

This recipe for candied orange peel makes for a somewhat lengthy project (it takes 2 weeks total), but there’s very little actual work involved, and the results are SO worth it. I urge you to give it a try before winter’s really over, while you can still find beautiful citrus.

Candied Orange Peels from Healthy Green Kitchen

This method for candied peel comes from A Country Cook’s Kitchen, a charming book I picked up a few months ago. The author states that candied peel made this way will last for several months in an airtight container, but I am pretty sure my family will eat through ours long before then.

Though I haven’t tried it, I am pretty sure this method will work for grapefruit peel and lemon peel, as well (I’d use Meyer lemons). You’ll need fewer grapefruits but more lemons if you decide to go either of those routes.

Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peel from Healthy Green Kitchen

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Savory Pink Grapefruit Salad

savory grapefruit salad

I don’t want to tell you how many cookies I ate at the cookie swap and in the days that followed. Just know that it was way too many. Truth be told I did share my loot from the swap with my kids, and I did try to take only tiny bites of everything. But … Read more

Orange and Fennel Salad

This Orange and Fennel Salad is my take on a seasonal classic hailing from Sicily. A late winter salad that is generally made with blood oranges, it’s not just healthy and super simple to make: it’s truly stunning. When you are using orange zest in a recipe like this cake, it’s very important to use … Read more