The mandarin orange goes by various names – 橙子, limau kupas, and tangerine, just to name a few. Traditionally associated with wealth and good fortune, these nutritious fruits are a common feature of Chinese New Year festivities. Besides being low in calories and chock full of vitamin C, mandarin oranges are also versatile fruits that can be used in many ways.
Here’s how you can put your leftover mandarin oranges to good use in the week after Chinese New Year:
1. Mandarin Orange Green Tea
Add a zesty spin to your usual cup of green tea!
- Prepare a cup of green tea.
- Juice one mandarin orange. Add juice to tea.
- Enjoy it hot or cold!
Did you know? For a caffeine-free option, try mandarin orange water instead, with chopped passion fruit, apple or pear for sweetness.
2. Mandarin Orange Potpourri
Love the smell of mandarin oranges? Save those mandarin peels for some home-made potpourri.
- Peel mandarin skin off in 1 – 1.5cm wide strips.
- Dry mandarin peels using microwave or oven.
- Put dried peels in an airtight container. Add spices and essential oils.
- Shake mix and leave for several days.
Did you know? The longer you leave the potpourri, the better it smells!
3. Mandarin Orange Jam
This simple recipe is for those with tons of mandarin oranges left!Use 1.5kg of oranges for three 225g jars of jam.
- Remove peel. Blend oranges to puree Add juice from 2 lemons and 200g sugar.
- Bring to full boil on stove then simmer. Cook till jam appears firm (~30 minutes).
- Leave to cool. Ladle into jars, and enjoy!
Did you know? Home-made jam is lower in sugar compared to commercial jam in the market. Using whole oranges helps to increase fibre content in the jam. Fibre helps relieve and prevent constipation, adds bulk to your diet and helps you feel full longer. Stir in chia seeds to boost omega-3, fibre and protein content in the jam! Chia seeds thicken the jam wonderfully too!
4. Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing
This flavour-packed dressing is both healthy and easy to make.
- Juice 3 – 4 mandarin oranges.
- Grate top layer of mandarins for zest.
- Combine juice, zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 60ml olive oil, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Stir until well-combined.
- Pour over salad just before serving. Top off your salad with mandarin slices!
Did you know? Not only is mandarin orange salad dressing lower in calories and fat, and higher in antioxidants such as vitamin C, making it a healthier alternative to traditional salad dressings. Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and protect body cells from harmful molecules called free radicals.
5. Orange-scented Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Looking for something that’s both inexpensive and natural? Try this DIY cleaning solution.
- Collect mandarin peels in a glass container. Pour white vinegar over until peels are submerged.
- Close container tightly, place in dark area for 2 – 4 weeks
- Remove peels from solution
- Put solution in spray bottle. Dilute with water
- Your cleaning solution is now ready for use
Note: Do not use cleansing solution on granite and marble surfaces.
Clearing out your stash of mandarin oranges can be a lot of fun. Try these 5 DIY projects, or create your own!
Infographic reviewed by
Lee Sze Mien, dietitian at Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Natalie Goh, chief dietitian at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
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