Homemade Blood Orange Shrub

As you know, it’s orange season! So we’re breakin’ out all the orange recipes including sweet treats, sparkly drinks and even biodegradable cleaners – watch out!

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I talked to the orange today and he said he is totalllllly cool with featuring his cousin, the blood orange, in today’s recipe.  I’m partial to the blood orange margarita, but since I’m getting over a bug I’ll settle for a blood orange shrub soda.  Have you ever had shrub? It’s described as drinking vinegar, but I like to think of it as flavoring syrup.  It’s the perfect concoction to have on hand while you’re mixing cocktails or looking to spice up your seltzer water.

I’ve been on a shrub kick! I was gifted a whole bunch of shrubs from Tait Farm and I’ve been sucking them down all January.  I love having a bubbly seltzer drink to break up the monotony of my normal coffee, tea and water rotation.  You may also remember that shrub is one of my bedside necessities so when Katie gave me Quench by Ashley English for Christmas, I headed right to the shrub recipes.  I spotted this blood orange recipe by guest contributor Marisa from the Food In Jars blog.  I actually modified the recipe by cutting the vinegar by a third.  I thought the apple cider vinegar was a tad overpowering in my first batch.  It could have been that my blood oranges were a different type than those used by Marisa or maybe our oranges were at different ripenesses, whatever it was I hated knowing the apple cider vinegar was trampling all over the tangy blood orange juice. So here it is shrub sippers, an easy way make your own blood orange shrub syrup.

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Blood Orange Shrub Ingredients:

  • 4-5 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Blood Orange Shrub Instructions:

  • Pour one cup of blood orange juice into a pint-sized ball jar or any glass container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Add one cup of sugar to the juice, put the lid on and give it a shake.
  • Allow the sugar to completely dissolve into the jar.  This may take a couple hours. Feel free to give the mixture a good shake every once in awhile.
  • Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the mixture and shake to combine.
  • Store this shrub in the fridge when you’re not mixing up tasty drinks and sauces.

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My favorite way to use this blood orange shrub (and all shrubs) is to mix up a little shrub soda. Simply combine a tablespoon or two of shrub with a glass of icy club soda.  You can also use this blood orange shrub to flavor other favorite drinks like iced tea or lemonade.  Shrubs are also delightful cocktail mixers, but I’m getting over a little cold so no suggestions at the moment.  I’ll get back to you on that one 😉

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Super Simple and Natural Orange Cleaner

Oranges our our ingredient of the season. We have big plans for a winter of zesty recipes and sweet crafts.

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Hey Spring Cleaners! Ok, I know it’s a little early for that. Hey, conscious cleaners! (How was that?) Do you buy green cleaning products for your home? Ones that aren’t so harsh and better for your kids, pet, waters and earth? I hope you do! I currently use Green Legacy garbage bags because they’re big, tough and biodegradable and for cleaning I use Legacy of Clean products. Personally, I cannot use Clorox or any other really smelly cleaners. I quickly develop a really big headache that just doesn’t go away. It’s probably because the chemicals are poisoning my brain or because I’m really sensitive to smells, who knows, I’m no doctor.

Anyway, if you don’t use natural cleansers, you can always start now with this easy natural orange cleaner.  You just need a couple of items and a little bit of time to brew a batch. It’s super simple and you might even enjoy the smell of your cleaning products! This concoction uses white vinegar which is high effective at killing mold, bacteria, mildew and other household germs. If you don’t have a big jug of vinegar, go grab one! Vinegar is cheap and you get to leave the harmful fumes and toxic counterparts of other cleaners at the store. Vinegar is also biodegradable so you can wash it down drains and toilets without adding more chemicals to our water system.

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 Natural Orange Cleaner Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce jar (or any glass container with a lid)
  • a heap of orange peals (I used about three oranges worth)
  • vinegar to cover

 Natural Orange Cleaner Instructions:

  • Eat a few oranges. Place the peels inside of your empty glass jar.
  • Cover with vinegar. Screw the lid on and place in a dark, cool spot for a couple of weeks.
  • After a few weeks (or a few months – if you forgot it like I did) strain the concoction so you’re left with only the vinegar.  I like to add one part orange vinegar + one part water to a spray bottle for general cleaning.

Katie here: if you want to make a cleaner that you can use immediately, a quick and dirty trick is to use orange essential oil rather than soaking the fresh peels. Make a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon orange essential oil, then you can further dilute it with water as Sarah does. 

I’ve used this mix on everything in my kitchen, bathroom and living room.  Counters, tables, floors, sinks, molding, walls, etc. and it has always worked like a charm. Like I said, I dilute my mixture by 50% with water to tone it down a bit.  I also always finish cleaning by wiping each surface with water so there’s no vinegar left sitting on my wood floors and other sensitive areas.  I have read that vinegar is capable of deteriorating exposed window seals, dishwasher gaskets, and unsealed grout over time, so these surfaces should be rinsed with water after they are cleaned.  Like any cleaning product warning, I suggest test cleaning on inconspicuous areas first to make sure this product is safe for your purposes.  You could also google the specific materials you’ll be cleaning to see if there’s any information on how vinegar will react to them.  So far I’ve only had positive results and lucky for me, this product keeps me headache free!

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