Orange Peel Sugar Scrub, and other uses

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What to do with these little beauties? I have 2 little girls at home all day, plus a kindergartener who is home half day. (Plus 2 full-time schoolers) “The babies”, as we call our 2 youngest girls, age 2, and 3, are always into something…I’m sure I’ll share more on this later. Lately it’s oranges. They devour them quickly leaving behind a pile of orange peels on the counter, on the couch, on the table or floor. While picking them up today, I decided I ought to use the peels up in a good way. I’ve been wanting to try to make my own sugar scrubs since this fall, so I began a search for a simple recipe with ingredients I already had on hand. I found one that looked good from this cute blog (http://gritsandgiggles.blogspot.com), and gave it a try, changing the ingredients just a bit. It was so fast and simple- just my kind of recipe! Not to mention it turned out beautiful and delicious-smelling!

I also discovered some fun info about the benefits they can give your skin (source: http://www.greenparenthood.com)

“Orange peel for glowing skin.  Orange peel works wonder on the skin, it helps to reduce pimple acne, wrinkles and patchy skin, when applied as face mask or when dropped in bathing water and used to scrub over the skin. The antioxidants and vitamin C in the peels helps to get a clean and glowing complexion after a few weeks of trying it.”

Before I show you how to make it, let me just say that I will post photos along with the recipe, but I don’t like blogs showing every single ingredient added one at a time. I think we all know what that looks like. I will try to just add them at places that I think it may help.

Now, let’s get started. You will need:

A pint-sized mason jar (could probably fit it into 2 half that sized however).

3/4 c. granulated sugar

5 T. olive oil

zest from 1-2 oranges (I used the leftover peels from 2 oranges)

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Zest your orange peels. If you have an actual zester, good for you. I do not however, so I just used the tiniest grater holes to do the job. Works out just fine. Watch your fingers while zesting! You don’t want to turn the pretty orange coloring into a red.  :/ Be sure to collect all the zest from the front and back of your zester/grater and whatever fell into your bowl.

Measure the sugar out and add it to the fresh orange zest. Rub them together, which will release some of the natural oils from the zest. Then gradually add in the oil to combine it into a good consistency. Once mixed, pour it into your cute jar.

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Makes for a perfect gift to pass along. Love how bright and cheery the colors are, and it smells like sunshine. With the dry winter heat- my skin is ready for some pampering!

I was new to these sugar scrubs last fall when my sweet sister made one for our hands. It was so delightful! So for those who are wondering what exactly to do with it: rinse your hands/feet in warm water to allow your pores to open up. Rub this scrub onto your hands/feet and scrub up. Rinse scrub away and enjoy your oh so soft skin! You can also place your jar by your shower, and rub it on your body after after getting wet. I would think you’d use it for an occasional shower/bath, not sure that you need to use it every day. Especially in the winter when the air is so dry, this is such a treat for your skin!

Now, before you throw out those (twice) leftover peels…stick them down your sink disposal to help clean and freshen up your drain! Pretty good if you ask me. These 2 oranges have been used today for 3 great causes: Snack, Skin, Sink! (Ignore my dirty sink, I’ve been busy painting and it needs a good scrub). Ah, the smell that comes after grinding them in the disposal is wonderful citrusy goodness!

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While trying to decide earlier today what to use my orange peels for, I came across a lot of other interesting ideas of ways to use them up, check out some of these other useful ideas: (google these ideas for more info on them).

ORANGE PEEL USES:

*Can be used as an insect repellent for ants, mosquitos…

*Can be used to rid cats away from yards/gardens, apparently they hate the scent?

*Makes a fabulous potpourri if simmered with cloves and cinnamon in a stove top pan.

*Adds nutrients to a garden compost

*Zest can be used for making Orange Rolls (Mmmmm, my favorite!)

*Kindling/Fire Starter. Apparently the oils in it are flammable, who knew?

*Brown Sugar softener. Placing it in your tub of brown sugar supposedly keeps the sugar from clumping up and turning into a brick.

*Effectively used as a sponge before it dries out, for cleaning.

*Can be made into a natural cleaner soaking it in vinegar for a couple weeks.

*Can lower your blood pressure if consumed. Can’t imagine eating the peels, but I guess if it saves your life?!

Some of these are new to me, and pretty amazing. Although I can’t personally vouch for all of them. Do you have any other orange peel tips/uses? I’d love to hear more!

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