Do you ever have oranges start to shrivel and dry out? Turn them into marmalade, even if the peels are hard as leather. You can use marmalade as the sweetener in recipes; a cup of it has about ¾ c. sugar. I love it in muffins.
Easy Orange Marmalade
1 orange, washed well
Cut the orange into quarters, and put it, peel and all, in a blender or food processor. Turn on and let it chop as fine or coarse as you like your marmalade. Look at how much puree you have, and use that same amount of sugar. Put the puree and sugar in a saucepan and heat on high until it boils. Simmer for 5 minutes, until everything is translucent. You’re done. Makes 1- 1 ½ cups, depending on your orange. Or make a big batch. Pour into jars, seal if you like. I’ve kept it in unsealed jars in the refrigerator for 8-9 months before.
It’s also delicious to make lemon or lime marmalade, or a mixture. The lemon is my favorite, especially using just a bit of salt and vanilla – 1/8 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. vanilla per cup of puree.
Homemade Orange Flavoring
(preserving orange zest; this works for any citrus as well)
Wash and dry 3-4 oranges (or as many as you like). Use a vegetable peeler to peel all the orange off the outside. (eat the oranges!) Spread the peels on a plate, and let dry out for a couple days, until they’re thoroughly dry. Drop them in a blender or food processor, add 1 Tbsp sugar for each orange you had, and run on high until peel is very finely chopped. Store in an old spice jar, baby food jar, or a small jelly jar. Label it. 2 Tablespoons gives you the zest of one orange, enough to flavor a batch of about anything; muffins, cakes, cookies, pancakes, whatever. Use it in place of part of the recipe’s sugar.
You don’t really need to add sugar, but it seems to help the zest hold its flavor longer, and makes it easier to have enough in the blender for it to chop well. If you leave it out, 1 Tbsp is all you need for a whole oranges' zest.
Thank you Rhonda (Melissa's sister) for sharing this!