Now more than ever, many of us are thinking outside of the box and using our cooking, craft and creative skills to come up with useful and thoughtful homemade gifts.
There are so many fun and inventive gifts that can be made at home with various citrus fruits. In just an afternoon, you can whip up a batch of marmalade or citrus curd or dry some orange slices for ornaments or gift tags. It's not only thoughtful, it's therapeutic.
Dried Citrus Slices:
Dried citrus slices are an easy way to preserve the beautiful scent and color of ripe citrus fruits. Simply slice them in 1/4 “ slices with a very sharp knife and lay them on a wire rack in a single layer. Dry them in a 225 F oven for 6 hours, or until dried out. You can hang them with twine or ribbon and use them as a gift tag or tree ornament.
Citrus Simple Syrup:
For this simple syrup, I used Calamansi juice. Calamansi is a small, sour mandarin like fruit from the Philippines that tastes delicious in beverages, soups and dressings. About twenty calamansi fruits yielded 1/2 cup of juice.
- Juice desired sour citrus fruits- lemons, limes, calamansi, or sour mandarins work well
- Make simple syrup using 1 part sugar and 1 part water. For a thicker syrup, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. When the sugar has completely dissolved and bubbles start to form, remove from the heat and add the citrus juice.
- When the syrup is cool, funnel it into a recycled or new bottle and seal.
Marmalade is a comforting alternative to jam or jelly. It is also very easy to make. We made some unusual marmalades recently and I have to say I am officially a marmalade fan! Read more about it HERE.
Lemon Sugar Scrub:
To pamper the one you love, try making a citrus sugar scrub for the shower. Not only is this easy to make, it is so fun that even the kids can help mix the scrub with their hands. They will also have fun with the clean up because it smells and feels amazing!
- Combine 1 cup coconut oil with 2 cups sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped or micro-planed lemon zest and 1-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice in a big mixing bowl.
- Once thoroughly mixed, put the sugar scrub in a jar and top with some zest for decoration. Seal tightly.
Lime Herb Salt:
For the foodies in your life, you can make a batch of your homemade lime-rosemary salt give it away in spice jars with your own labels. This recipe is super simple- only three ingredients.
- Combine 1 cup coarse salt, 2 tablespoon of lime zest and 2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary in a food processor. Pulse until combined.