These last few weeks I've been eating an orange a day and I've been saving those peels for another use: Orange Vinegar.
When I make orange vinegar for eating, I always zest the orange because the pith will give the vinegar a bitter taste. Add the orange zest to a quart jar, fill with vinegar, and steep.
After it's steeped for a good amount of time (a month or more; taste it to make sure it's at the flavor you want), strain and bottle. This vinegar is yummy in a lot of things: adding it in marinades, adding to sauteed greens, using it in a salad dressing. The possibilities are endless.
Another tip: do not throw the pith out after you zest it. Throw the pith down your garbage disposal, turn it on, and it will help disinfect and clean it!
If I can't get around to using the peel right away, I save them in my citrus peel bag. My citrus peel bag has peels from an assortment of citrus that I keep in my freezer.
Limes, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit, you name it it's in here!
My citrus peel bag is specifically for making citrus cleaning vinegar. I do not remove the zest from the pith. I just fill up a quart jar with the reserved frozen peel, fill the quart jar up with white vinegar, give it a good shake, and let it steep on my window sill.
I let them steep for a long while; usually I forget about them. When I think the vinegar is ready I strain and bottle it.
See how pale the peels are? that's what we're shooting for!
I fill up a squeezie bottle with citrus cleaning vinegar to use as a rinse in my dishwasher and I also half it with water to use it as a cleaning solution in a spray bottle. I label it Cleaning Vinegar.
No, it doesn't look tasty...& it's not! This solution is simply for cleaning!