Make Homemade Gifts From Extra Fruits


If you have a extra fruits at home, either because you bought too much from the farmer’s market, or got from someone who has garden, what to do? It happened to us, a neighbor gave us so many oranges, more than we could eat. We ate fruits, made fresh juice, even shared some with other friends, we still had leftover oranges on our kitchen counter.

I turned to internet and food blogs to find a ways to make something edible form oranges, as I could not think of anything at top of my head. I found a few ways to not only use leftover extra oranges but also found a ways to use other fruits and make some home made gifts to share with others. Here are a few ways to save money, eat healthy and be creative at the same time.

Make Citrus Salt:


Leftover fruits such as Oranges, Lemon, Lime

1 Cup Coarse salt

How to Make it: Recipe

Zest Oranges or other citrus fruits Until you get about 4 table spoons worth of Citrus zest. I use small inexpensive gadget that works well. Make sure not to zest white part of the citrus fruit as it tends to be bitter.

Mix zest and coarse salt in small bowl. You can use small whisk, but I prefer to use my hand to mix the content to release the flavor.

Spread it on baking try and leave it overnight to air dry it. I suppose it can be done in oven but I did not try it so not sure how the outcome would come out and taste. Air drying worked well for me. Fill it in air tight glass herb bottle. You can use in in Salad, soup and use it in herb infused olive oil with pasta dishes. Over the time, zest colors may fade but taste remains.

It should have about 2 months of shelf life.

Candied Orange Peels



3 Oragnges

2 Lemons

4 Cups of Sugar

1 Grapefruit


Peel Orange, lemons and grapefruit and score them in to sections in to 6-8 pieces by hand. Make sure peels are washed and does not have white parts or citrus membrane.

Cut Peels in to strips about half inch thick approximate measure.

Put washed and cut peel strip in sauce pan with water. Cover the sauce pan and bring to boil until soft. Drain.

Use same sauce pan and add 3 cups of water with 3 cups of sugar and bring to boil. Make sure sugar dissolves in to water.

Add boiled Citrus peel and bring to boil again.

Reduce heat and simmer peels slowly and gently. Stir once in a while until Citrus Peels are translucent and syrup becomes bubbly. It took about 94 minutes or so for me , approx. 1.5 hours. It is not a fast cooking so have patience while making this.

Once you think peels are translucent, drain it. Save syrup for other things (topping on crepes etc.)

Spread Peels in to cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Let it sit and dry it overnight, 8-12 hours.

Put remaining 1 cup sugar with food color of your choice, I used red. Toss red sugar powder in a bowls with air dried peels. Shake off excess sugar. Again let it air dry for 1 more day 8-12 hours, before eating.

For variety, you can dip these peels in to melted chocolates half way and dry it or freeze it. It will make beautiful candied peels that will taste great too.

Fruit Jelly:


Approx. 2 Cups fruit juice such as Orange Juice or Lemon Juice. (It can be freshly squeezed of store bought)

3 cups sugar

6 oz liquid pectin

2 table spoon fresh lemon Juice

Coarse sugar

Cooking oil (spray)


Take large sauce pot and pour Citrus Juice and sugar in it. stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.

Line a baking pan with microwave safe plastic wrap, covering whole pan and spray with cooking oil spray lightly. Leave it on side.

Cook juice on sauce pot on high heat for about 20 minutes or so, until mixture becomes soft ball stage. add liquid pectin inside and stir in for 2 minutes or so. You can use candy thermometer also but I did not, I just eye balled and guessed the temperature. I am bit lazy like that. If you use candy thermometer, make sure temp is about 220 degree or so.

Remove pot from the heat. Stir in lemon juice.

The pour the mixture in to prepared baking pan lined with plastic wrap.

Let it sit and cool for 1.5 to 2 hours, until it becomes firm.

Lift plastic wrap on pan and cut in 1 inch squares, or any shapes you like by knife or cookie cutters.

Dip each pieces in to sugar gently.

Store it in air tight container. You can wrap each little pieces to make sure they stay unbroken if you like.


Image source: Wikipedia


  1. Alien Ghost says:

    Hi Preeti,

    This is a nice way to save money by simply not wasting fruit that otherwise had to be thrown away. We all find ourselves from time to time with too much fruit and not knowing what to do with it, but feeling “guilty” if we don’t give it a good use. My friend next door have apple trees and every year brings us lots of apples to share with us.


  2. ZenGirl says:


    Yes, staying home with kids means we have to find ways to save money, so I am learning and getting better each day. Many things we can do are simple enough and does not make feel deprived..

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