Have you ever worked on a recipe that called for lemon or orange zest and you just kind of skipped it because you didn’t have a zester? It might seem like “fluff” ingredient, but a citrus peel is very potent. Incorporating the zest can make the dish taste entirely different. Plus, citrus peels contain a heavy load of antioxidants and flavonoids, which boost the antioxidants and act as anti-inflammatories. A little zest packs a big punch. You can add it to nearly any dish, smoothie or cocktail. Try a few of the recipes below!
Stir Fry: Chop up some fresh veggies like broccoli, red bell pepper, snap green beans, carrots, some red onion and sweet corn. Add to chicken, pork or steak strips in a large skillet and let it all steam and cook together. Add your favorite sauce and some orange or lemon zest on top to balance the salty flavor with a refreshing citrus finish. Click here for Skinny Mom's Quick Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry, only 353 calories in 15 minutes.
Lemon Cavatelli: If you’re feeling fancy, take some time to make your own pasta by using flour, salt, water and lemon zest. You’ll need about half a dozen lemons for this one to reap the benefits from the oil inside the peels. It makes a delicious handcrafted pasta that would be totally satisfying with your favorite cheese sauce. Click here for the recipe!
Citrus Ginger Dressing: This oil-based dressing is perfect for summer salads and marinades. Using a grapefruit zest as the feature, you’ll need to balance the citrus with a little sour. Balsamic vinegar and fresh ginger root compliment it perfectly for a fresh and flavorful addition. Click here for the light and delish recipe.
>> Feeling inspired? Click here for 14 more easy homemade dressings.
Candied Lemon Zest: For those with a sweet tooth, you can make your own lemon candy. Instead of small flakes of lemon peel, create long, thin slices. You’ll boil them for a half hour and then add sugar to water until it dissolves. Throw the boiled slices into the sugar water for a few minutes and refrigerate the results. Add this to a cake or pastry for a sweet crunch. Click here for more details!
>> Read more: Desserts Under 150 Calories
No-Bake Key Lime Pie: An American classic, the key lime pie is a sweet, tart dessert perfect for any occasion. To make it easier on yourself, try using a no-bake recipe. Make or buy your own crust, then use cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest. Top it with fluffy dollops of a whipping cream and powdered sugar mix. Pop into the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve! Click here for the details.