Lemon Rinds and Gluten-Free Failure

See these poor lemon rinds? They ended up in the trash. Now I know that is an incredible shame, but I just could not think of anything to do with them other than set them out to dry (and then toss them away).

The lemons had a good life. First I used one to make Josh some lemon-honey hot water for his sore throat. Then I decided to make some gluten-free lemon poppy seed muffins.

The muffins were an incredible failure. I think the thing I hate most about giving up wheat is not so much not having wheat as it is messing around with substitutes for wheat.

I know how to bake with classic gluten-filled ingredients. I know nothing about gluten-free baking, and reading a few blog posts just hasn’t cut it. Want proof? Look no further!

I tried to save the muffins by using yet more lemon to make a glaze. It didn’t work.

Josh claimed that the muffins were good. He isn’t much of a liar, so we’ll chalk this up to incredibly poor taste in baked goods. Or, more likely, such extreme deprivation that even corn syrup on a throw-rug would be a welcome diversion from yet another salad.

In any case, if you’re looking for gluten-free lemon poppy seed muffins I suggest that you try something like this. ¬†And maybe actually follow the recipe!

Anyway, most of the muffins ended up in the trash can along with the lemon rinds, and I don’t feel badly about that. But I just can’t get over wasting such perfectly good rinds. I know there must be a better way.

What would you have done with the lemon rinds?

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9 thoughts on “Lemon Rinds and Gluten-Free Failure

  1. Mark S.

    Josh is right, most people would just throw them away. You, however, have found 2 things to do with them. First, you wrote an entertaining story. Second, they are now heading toward giving back to the earth that which was given to them. That is saying something.

  2. rachel

    I used to send them down my garbage disposal to make it smell nice and fresh, but then determined that probably was doing more harm than good. I saw an idea on pinterest to fill the rind with soil and use it as a seed starter indoors, then when you transplant it outdoors or into a larger pot you can just plant the whole thing. I’m not much of a gardener, though…

  3. Rebecca

    Yea, I haven’t ventured into the substituting part of eating GF…I just try to go with sweet stuff that is GF…because I’m quite sure whatever I attempted would make your muffins look award-winning :).

  4. Patti

    I grate off the yellow part and use it in baking (like blueberry muffins yum!). If I can’t use it right away I freeze the grated rind. Works fine later.

    One thing I have found really helps me when I have to cook with lots of ingredient restrictions is to not try to substitute. Instead I think about what I CAN use then try to come up with something fabulous. It sounds the same but it is a brain shift. You’re not trying to replicate, you’re trying to create. Framing it that way helps prevent kitchen meltdowns in this Mama. ;-)

    1. Kathleen

      You can also just toss the whole lemon rind in the freezer, and then zest as needed – apparently frozen lemons are easier to zest than non-frozen, and lemon peels freeze better than lemon zest is.

      (disclaimer: Since I read this, I’ve been tossing all my lemon rinds in the freezer, but I haven’t had a need for lemon zest yet, so I can’t personally vouch for whether it works well or not.)

  5. Mandi

    I don’t know… a lot of natural beauty products, cleansers, etc. call for lemon rind? I haven’t actually gotten that adventurous yet though, and I haven’t had any need for real lemons and think that buying the lemons just for the rind is a waste. I have been wanting to make lemon poppy seed muffins though.

  6. Sarah

    I would put them in vinegar for a couple of weeks and then use the vinegar to clean things – bathtubs, mirrors, counter tops…

    If I had to go gluten-free, I would just eat lots of rice and learn to fix gluten-free grains in cereals and soups and pilafs. Gluten-free grains just don’t work as a substitute for wheat, in my opinion. It’s easier to just change the sorts of things you eat entirely. That’s just me.

    1. alison

      i second this. i made plenty of gross things, even while mostly following the recipes, that were “gluten free”. one batch of muffins nearly killed me and my brother, but i tend to do that when i enter the kitchen anyway…

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