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Even More Secrets From The Power of Nature - Oranges

April 28, 2016

Even More Secrets From The Power of Nature - Oranges

Hi, Rebecca here.

Image of Rebecca from the Solid Bar Company
The topic for this week’s blog is oranges!

Don’t you just love that that lovely refreshing, powerful aroma when you first peel into a fresh oranges? This is just the same scent you experience when you put your nose to a bottle of sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis), as added as a wonderful ingredient to our Exotic Jasmine Body Butter.

Image of a fresh orange

So now for a few orange facts.  The orange fruit has immune boosting effects, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is often found in beauty and cosmetic products such as lotions, shampoo and even mouthwash as well as household cleaning products to improve their scent and cleansing abilities.

Orange juice contains a high amount of d-Limonene - great for cleaning and removing grease - which is why I add a small amount of wonderfully scented orange butter to our shampoos for oily hair and orange essential oil to our dog shampoo bars and a few drops to my ‘multi-purpose cleaner’ (see recipe below).  Finally, I also use it in my ‘Baby Wipe Formula’, especially as my baby boy is now a toddler with forever messy hands (more on that in my next blog post).

Like orange oil, orange wax is inexpensive and a nice addition to soy candles and can also be mixed with essential oil or in a wax polish for the wooden kitchen table to give a warm, refreshing scent.

Orange wax candle
It’s a great de-stressor and mood booster with a high amount of Vitamin C, so it is a good and healthy oil to use for this benefit to all the family through an oil diffuser.

Many websites will tell you that Sweet Orange oil will make your skin photo-toxic however, the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy lists it on their safety page as a ‘Non-photo toxic Citrus Oil’ unlike Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium) which is listed as a photosensitizer.

It’s a really lovely essential oil to mix with Cinnamon and Clove for a powerful room mist spray (not just at Christmas time); for an 8oz bottle, you only need 40 drops Orange, 30 Clove, 20 Cinnamon mixed with 6.4 oz distilled water and 1.6oz perfumers alcohol.  I am not a huge fan of cloves but this is a really lovely and effective air freshener!

Multi Purpose Cleaner Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 empty 8oz pump bottle
  • 1 teaspoon Borax 
  • 1 teaspoon Castile soap 
  • ½ teaspoon Washing Soda 
  • 1.5 cups water (pre-boiled)
  • 15 drops sweet orange essential oil (or lemon/lime if you prefer as they also work well)

Method:  Heat water in a saucepan to boiling point then turn off and let cool slightly.
Pour into Pyrex jug and add the castile soap, borax and washing soda.  Stir.  Let cool to room temperature then add orange oil.  Pour into pump bottles.  Use.

Orange baklava

Baklava Recipe

Before I go, I have to add a delicious food recipe (from an old Middle Eastern cooking book which has been everywhere with me and for at least 10,000 miles on our boat).  

I love orange in food, especially sweets  This is a lovely recipe with orange syrup that I used to often make as a treat when we were in Grenada in a galley space that seemed the size of a postage stamp, a location which didn't instill a great deal of confidence.  So if I could do it there, then you can too - it’s very easy and impressive - I think now I have found most of the ingredients in various places here in the Virgin Islands so I can make it again very soon, yay!

You will need: 

  • 1.5 cups ground hazelnuts (or you can mix other nuts, such as pecans)
  • 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/3 cup caster/granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 180g ghee
  • 12 sheets filo pastry (frozen is fine)

and for the o range syrup:

  • 1 cup caster/ granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:  

  • Combine all the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Grease a 20cmx30cm tray with a little ghee. Layer 3 pastry sheets together, brushing each one with a little more ghee. Fold layered sheets in half and press into pan.
  • Sprinkle with one third nut mixture and continue layering with remaining pastry, more ghee and nut mixture ending with pastry. Trim pastry edge to fit pan.
  • Make the orange syrup by combining those ingredients in a small saucepan and stirring over a low heat without boiling, until sugar has dissolved. Simmer, uncovered without stirring for about 5 minutes or until syrupy.
  • Cut pastry into 5 strips lengthways, and then cut each of those strips into 5 diamonds, pouring over any remaining ghee. Bake in moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and pour the hot orange syrup over the hot pastry and cool in pan.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Enjoy; best wishes from,

Rebecca and The Solid Bar Company Team.


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