Drying Orange Peels has many benefits, so the next time you eat an orange, don't toss out the peel, dry it instead! Orange Peels are loaded with orange flavor, vitamins, and fiber. The peels can be dried and used in the same way you would use orange zest. So why not simmer them in hot tea, mulled wine, or a hot toddy? Or add them to sauces, your Carne Asada Marinade, or your favorite stew!
What else can you do with Dried orange peel? Here are just some possibilities:
- Add dried orange peels to your soups for a nuance of citrus flavor.
- When making jams, jellies, and preserves, the peels can be simmered with the fruit to enhance the flavor.
- Mix dried and ground orange peels into cake batter, your morning smoothy, or protein shake.
- Brew some strips of dried peels in hot water to make a delicious orange tea.
The health benefits of orange peel are numerous! For example, according to this Healthline article, one tablespoon of orange peel has almost 3x the amount of vitamin C as the fruit itself and 4x the fiber! And these days, we're all trying to increase our vitamin C intake, aren't we?
This same article suggests consuming orange peel in small quantities because it may be difficult to digest and could lead to stomach discomfort.
What You Need for this recipe
The only ingredient you need for this recipe is oranges! You can also use tangelos, tangerines, or your favorite citrus.
How to Dry Orange Peels
Tip: Before you begin, make sure to thoroughly wash the oranges, especially if they're store-bought. You'll want to remove any pesticides that may be on the peel. If you can use organic oranges, or homegrown oranges, even better!
1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel oranges, tangelos, or tangerines into very thin strips. Avoid cutting into the white, bitter pith.
2. If you have a dehydrator, arrange the orange peels on the trays. Make sure to keep them in a single layer so that the air can circulate around them. Choose the 135 degrees F setting and dehydrate for approximately one hour or until the peels are dry and crispy.
3. An even easier and faster option is to use the oven. Spread the orange peels on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes in a 200-degree F oven. If after 30 minutes the peels are not crispy, turn the oven off and place the tray back in the oven for 15 minutes or so.
4. Make sure the peels are completely cooled before storing them in a spice jar.
Another option is to grind the peels into a powder which can be used in various recipes.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
Add the dried strips to brown sugar to keep it from hardening, or use them to flavor white sugar or salt. Another idea would be to infuse olive oil which can be used to make Citrus Salad Dressings.
You can also use them in sangria, or flavor simple syrup when making various pastries, including Baklava.
If stored properly, dried orange peels can last for years. If you make a larger quantity, I recommend freezing them in air-tight freezer bags for longer storage.
Although the dried peels won't go bad, they will lose their potency and flavor over time. Luckily, they're very easy to prepare, so the best option is to dry them in small quantities as needed.
To dry the peels naturally, spread the orange peels on a plate or tray and place them somewhere where they won't be disturbed.
It will take approximately 2 days for the orange peels to completely dry and become crisp. At that point, you can store them in a spice jar or ziplock bag or grind them into powder.
Place the peels in a saucepan and cover with water. You can also add cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and cardamom pods.
Simmer the ingredients over low heat. In no time, your house will smell absolutely delicious and very inviting!
- If the orange peels retain any of their moisture, they will eventually mold.
- When ready, the dried orange peels should not be pliable. Instead, they should be crispy, brittle, and easily snap when bent.
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