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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Blueberry Cinnamon Shrub

Blueberry Cinnamon Shrub from Healthy Green Kitchen

Make Your Own Soda: Syrup Recipes for All-Natural Pop, Floats, Cocktails, and More is a lovely little book that was just released yesterday. I received a review copy from the publisher (Clarkson Potter) a few weeks back, and I’ve really been enjoying it.

I made the Rose Syrup (with dried rose petals I had left over from last year’s garden) and it was amazing. I also made a variation on the Blueberry and Star Anise Shrub Syrup, which I used in the drink you see here: it was delicious with frozen blueberries and I can’t wait to make it again when I have access to fresh ones this summer.

Blueberry Cinnamon Shrub from Healthy Green Kitchen

Getting off store-bought soda can be hard, but it’s really important: soda contain loads of high fructose corn syrup as well as undesirable chemicals…it’s really best not to put that stuff into your body. Make Your Own Soda is a small book, but it’s brimming with brilliant ideas for how to make all-natural syrups you can put in homemade sodas, creative cocktails, ice cream drinks, etc. Most of the recipes are made with fruit and do also contain sugar (I used organic, fair-trade sugar in the ones I tried); if you don’t eat any sugar, this is not the book for you.

I have an extra copy of Make Your Own Soda and I’d love to send it to one of my readers: scroll down below the recipe to find out how to enter the giveaway.

Blueberry Cinnamon Shrub from Healthy Green Kitchen

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Raspberry Vinegar + Raspberry Shrub

I am going to write up this post as quick as I can: getting it done is one of many things on my ever-growing to-do list for today. Why the rush? Well, my friends, Hurricane Irene is on her way. While I am certainly hoping for the best, if the dire predictions we’re seeing in … Read more

Preserving in Vinegar

It’s Week 3 of Preserve the Bounty and Jenny challenged us to use vinegar as a preservation medium. I love preserving in vinegar. Vinegar is an acid, and acids have the ability to draw out minerals. If you add some vinegar in the liquid when you make stocks with bones, this will help bring the … Read more

Preserving Herbs

As the summer begins to draw to a close, I still have a lot of beautiful herbs in my garden. I can’t possibly use them all in recipes before they become casualties of the first frost. Yes, I could freeze some, and yes, I could tie some in bunches and hang them to dry. I … Read more