An abundance of lemons is one of my favorite things about living in Phoenix. I go through at least one whole lemon a day and I'm always a little distraught about tossing the peel away - even if it's going into the compost pile. Recently I read about a chef that does his best to produce zero waste from the vegetables he uses - similar to the "Nose to Tail Movement," which is a commitment many chefs are making to make use of the whole animal in their restaurants. I love the idea and I especially love the idea of applying this to vegetables - or in this case, fruits.
While this doesn't keep the peels from ever going into the compost heap, it does provide a second, extended use - and that's a great start!
The first step in getting the most from lemons is getting the juice out before it's too late. Maybe everyone already knows this trick, but I'm gonna share here just in case. Extract the juice and freeze it in ice trays for future use!
After the lemons have been juiced, the peels are quartered, placed into a quart sized jar, and covered with vinegar. Then it's left to sit for two weeks.
Two weeks later, it's ready to be strained and put into a spray bottle.
Does it work? In fact, it does! And it smells pretty good, too. The best part though, is knowing that you're not spraying a bunch of nasty chemicals all over the place.
This lemon vinegar recipe came from a website called One Good Thing by Jillee. Check it out for 24 other uses for lemon peels!