So many of you have been asking me, “What to do with oranges?” that I knew I needed to help with some great tips, tricks, and helpful ideas.
Several of my neighbors have orange trees that produce a lot of oranges. So, around this time each year I’m often gifted with bags of oranges.
What do you do with that many oranges. I mean, other than the obvious of just eating them or juicing them?
And, yes, you can totally just eat them! They’re a healthy snack or breakfast option at around 65 calories in a medium orange, you can’t beat the freshness and taste of this great nibble.
I did a little research and some thinking into things to do with oranges, and here’s my list of some interesting things of what to do with leftover oranges as well as orange peels. I also have a really easy Orange Marmalade Recipe for you that uses a whole orange!
Almost all of these tips and tricks can also be used for lemons, limes, or grapefruits.
And, as readers have reminded me, gifting oranges is always appreciated! Give them to neighbors, friends, or donate excess oranges to a food bank or homeless shelter.
This post has been one that I’ve loved since I originally shared it in 2010. But it was time for an update. So, I’ve updated the pictures, information, and recipe for a better user experience.
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Want to simply save them for later? Freeze them!
Yes, you can freeze oranges for up to 4 months. They can be frozen whole, in slices, wedges, as juice, or as zest.
Be sure to check out how to freeze and save lemons for more tips (just use oranges instead of lemons).
If you freeze them whole, they can be grated from frozen on a cheese grater for use in many recipes or household ways.
Recipes with fresh oranges (food uses)
Here are a bunch of easy recipes to use those oranges.
Turn those orange peels into a great spice that can be sprinkled on top of just about anything. Use my Roasted Lemon Peels recipe and just use orange peels for roasted orange peels spice.
Turn those oranges into dinner with some pasta or chicken covered with Orange Basil Cream Sauce or Orange Peel Tofu.
Try my Orange Shallot Tofu for another healthy dinner!
Cut into slices and use a garnish for meat or relish dishes.
Put a bunch of orange slices in a pitcher, top off with white wine, and you’ve got a pitcher full of citrus sangria.
An Orange Cinnamon Moscow Mule is another great drink!
Limoncello but with oranges to make orangcello.
Make a lemon or orange infused herbal tea. Boil lemon or orange rinds and throw in a tea bag. Let the bag steep as long as you like. Traditionally, orange peels are used in tea to help alleviate stomach cramps and as an appetite stimulant.
Make orange zest and freeze it with water in ice cube trays. Use it for flavorful drinks on a hot day or to add some zing to your daily water routine.
Sides & salads
Substitute orange juice for a portion of the vinegar in a salad dressing. It a great way to add a sweet flavor and to balance the taste of the vinegar.
Put some orange slices in a vinegar bottle to make citrus vinegar for salads.
Honey orange broccoli is a healthy side dish for any meal.
Breakfasts & desserts
Orange muffins or Orange Bread
Prepare oatmeal with orange juice instead of water. Then top the cooked oatmeal with orange juice rather than butter or cream to get great flavor and no added fat.
Try my Orange blueberry compote on your oatmeal.
Lemon curd but with oranges to make orange curd
Stuff a date with a piece of orange peel and almond, then dip the whole thing into melted dark chocolate.
When making your favorite pancake or waffle batter, substitute orange juice for the water, milk or buttermilk in the recipe. This will give the pancakes a great flavor and pack more vitamin C.
Make juice out of the oranges and then use the peels for Candied Orange Peels. Use my candied lemon peel recipe & just use oranges instead of lemons
Use the leftover syrup from Candied Orange Peels on pancakes or French Toast. The syrup can also be used to make popsicles.
Make baked oranges in honey: Slice oranges in half, and put the halves in a baking dish. Drizzle a generous amount of honey over them and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon. Bake in a 350° F oven just long enough to heat them (5-10 mins). Take out of the oven, place in a bowl, and eat with a spoon. Soothing and healing if you have a cold or a sore throat.
Add orange peels to sugar in a jar. Let the oil from the peel infuse the sugar, and after a few weeks remove the peel. This orange sugar can be used to finish off cookies or add to drinks for a nice citrus flavor.
Make orange marmalade. You’ll find a super quick and easy Orange Marmalade recipe below. It makes a delicious thick marmalade using a whole orange, and you don’t even need to peel the oranges!
Use the marmalade to spread on your morning toast, top cottage cheese or yogurt with it. Fill cookies like Linzer cookies or thumbprint cookies with it.
Or, make the easy marmalade recipe below or an old-fashioned marmalade.
Looking for More Jam Recipes?
Be sure to check out my Lemon Verbena Marmalade, Honey Lemon Marmalade, Dried Apricot Jam, and Cherry Lime Jam.
Oranges can be used in a variety of ways around the house. These are also great for what to do with old oranges that may look a little past their prime.
Check out my lemon vinegar cleaner post for lots of great ideas! Orange peels can be used in place of lemon peels.
Oranges can be used to safely clean many surfaces and dishes. Cut an orange in half and dip the cut edge into some salt. Scrub the inside of your sink or a pot with the salted orange. Rinse thoroughly.
Clean your garbage disposal: Put a few orange wedges or orange peels down the disposal every time you use it. This helps clean blades, takes away some of the hard water deposits, and smells lovely. You can even use the salted orange from above after cleaning the sink.
Clean your microwave: Place the peels in a bowl of water and microwave for about five minutes. Then wipe the microwave clean with a towel.
Clean your cutting board and sink: Rub the peel across your cutting board to deodorize. Do the same with the peel in your sink. This will also help to loosen hard water deposits.
Clean your pans and tea kettle: You may want to do this before making tea. Boil the orange rinds in your kettle or a pan that has burnt on stuff stuck to it. Let is sit for up to an hour to really soak in, and watch all the stuck-on stuff scrub right off!
Keep cats out of your gardens with oranges. Cats don’t like oranges. Place dried orange peels around your garden. I like that this natural cat repellent is non-toxic too.
Orange Peel Kindling: Orange peel is high in flammable oil making dried peel a great fire starter or kindling.
Cut up oranges or peels. In a saucepan add orange peels, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and fill to the top with water. Simmer on the stovetop for a nice potpourri.
Or dry the peels and use in dry potpourri on the counter.
Bath & body
Make some Lemon body scrub but use oranges instead of lemon zest.
Orange peel face mask. Orange peel face masks can help tighten and tone skin. Grind some dried orange peels to a powder. Mix the powder with an equal part water until you have a paste. Apply to the face and leave on for about 10 minutes. The citric acid in the orange peel will help exfoliate and brightens up your skin.
Soak orange peels in apple cider vinegar and use as a hair rinse for shiny hair.
Easy Orange Marmalade Recipe
This super easy recipe for orange marmalade uses the whole orange. You don’t even have to peel it. It’s delicious, if not a little different in its texture.
You could thin it with a little OJ if you like.
I wouldn’t use really old thick-skinned oranges from the tree that have lots of white pith. That would make a bitter marmalade.
But this recipe is a great way to use up an orange and helps with what to do with lots of oranges when its orange season!
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Quick Orange Marmalade
- 1 orange if a non-organic orange is used, wash peels thoroughly before using
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ cup sugar
- Cut the unpeeled orange into wedges. Place into a blender or food processor with the water and process to a chunky paste or desired consistency.
- Pour mixture into a saucepan with the sugar and boil for 15 minutes.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
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How about donating the excess oranges to a food bank?
I have oranges outside too! Are you a California girl? Maybe Florida-I noticed the Florida Dept. of Citrus listed above? I have thought about making candied orange peels, but it sounds like a lot of work. Have you made any lately?
My name is actually Debi. Mary had written something and I was thanking her. Thanks for reading my posts. I like your recipe for citrus scented brownies- sounds delish!
I think the candied orange peels are time consuming, but not difficult. Give them a try! 🙂 I’m going to be making a couple things to use us the leftover eggnog in my fridge this week. Hopefully I’ll get to post them soon. Thanks again, Debi!