How to make the best smelling Citrus Fire Lighters
While volunteering one summer on a country-side farm in Eastern Europe I was staying with – wait for it - a lovely Irish family and they told me about this amazing little trick.
Being a big fan of eating fresh fruit; I just can't get enough Oranges, Lemons and Mandarins in the winter season, which is really important as they are packed with victim C, and add a great zing to just about all meals - sweet and savoury.
I love that everything in nature is created to have more than just one use, and it is with citrus that not only can we use the flesh, but also the Citrus peels as well.
In your kitchen you probably have used the zest of Citrus, but did you know the orange juice industry creates about 5 million tons of citrus waste a year? This waste is usually dried into citrus pulp pellets and fed to cattle, but we hope in the future it may be used to make up to 60 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
So what can you do when you have finished eating your lemons, Oranges and Mandarin peels? Don't just throw them in the bin or compost - turn them in to the best all in one Fire Starters, Kindling and Air Fresher ever. I Promise you will never look at a Citrus skin the same again.
Due to the high amount of flammable oil in Citrus peel when dried they burn and fuel your fire very well. It will keep your chimneys cleaner and will give your small fire the kick it needs to keep going. All you have to do is dry out your peels, in the winter I put the peals on a cake cooling rack uncovered on top of the fire place or bench, we have a pot belly fire and it works well to dry them out and only takes about 4 hours, or until crunchy – then they're ready to start the morning fire with Citrus peels. The best part of doing this is the smell, mmmmm. It fills the whole house with this amazing aroma of roasting Citrus. The lemon gives off the best smell out of the 3 and Mandarin dries the fastest and burns the best.
If you don't have a fire place or it's not cold enough for your firer place leave the peals on the dash of your car and they will also make your car smell nice as they are drying out or on a sunny window sill in your house and it will give a subtle citrus aroma to the room.
Once the peels are dry just add to your fire as you would fire starters or kindling and watch the magic as it hisses and crackles, your fires will take off and smell great.
Store the peels in a brown paper bag to keep them fresh. If you don't have a fire you can give them to friend as a gift and help the environment.
What do you do with your citrus peels? Throw them in the compost or bin or do you have another great way to recycle them around the house? Share your story below!