Have you run out of new ideas for cooking and find yourself making the same meals over and over again? Do you find your kitchen is looking a little bland? Do you simply want to try something new? Sometimes life, even in the kitchen, needs something extra in order to keep things interesting. Citrus zest, both in literal form and as inspiration, is a great way to liven things up a little. The good news is that even if you have no idea how to incorporate zest into your kitchen—this article does! By the end, your mind will be rife with zesty ideas.
Bake up a Storm
Citrus zest is a perfect addition to many different baking recipes. This is how people can create cranberry lemon muffins, orange chocolate muffins, lemon-almond cookies, lime scones, and more. While you can search for new recipes that incorporate zest—the Internet is full of them—you may also be able to add some zest to recipes you already know. For instance, orange and chocolate is a classic combination, so why not add a little bit of orange zest to your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe?
Brighten with Colours
If you want to add zest into your kitchen, but not into your food (or in addition to incorporating it into your food), consider taking inspiration from the bright colours of citrus fruit. Choose green tea towels, bright yellow cereal bowls, orange coffee mugs, and more. You can also put bright magnets on your refrigerator. Before you know it, the zest will be there!
Get Creative with Chicken
Cooking citrus flavours into your recipes is a perfect way to add zest into your kitchen. Baking, as mentioned, is also great, but adding citrus to the main course opens up countless healthy opportunities. For instance, you can infuse the flavours of lemon, lime, or orange into your chicken breast. Lime chicken makes a great addition to a Mexican-inspired meal. You can also add citrus wedges to salads, sprinkle lemon on fish, and infuse these flavours into your favourite stir-fry. Get creative!
Flavour Your Cooking Oil
Did you know you can actually infuse your cooking oil? It does not matter which one—any good cooking oil will work—though a popular choice is olive oil, since most people will have that in their kitchen already. Note that there are some natural flavours in olive oil that can come out. If you want to avoid all of this, consider a neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed. You will need roughly two tablespoons of your chosen zest per cup of oil you are making. One method of infusion is to pour the zest and oil into a pot and heat it on the stove for five minutes until it is bubbling lightly. Once it bubbles, remove it from the heat and let it cool before straining into your chosen bottle. Store the oil in the fridge until you wish to use it (preferably within approximately six months).