Don’t throw away those orange peels! There are so many uses, try making citrus powder.
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Between my husband and my son, we go through a lot of fruit. One of our favorites is Clementine’s or Mandarin Oranges. My husband peels them in the car and leaves the peels in there to dry and provide a natural air freshener. There are so many uses for orange peels. Some edible, some as a beauty treatment and more as a cleaning agent.
Whether you buy a large bag of oranges for an event or save up peels one at a time as your family uses them you can make use of your peels. Save those orange peels and make citrus powder. Here is one way to preserve your peels for multiple purposes.
Save those orange peels, I’m going to show you how to make citrus powder.
After buying a bag of Clementine’s on sale I peeled the entire bag. You can do this one at a time or in bulk.
First, wash the oranges well in hot water. I use a natural cleaner to spray my fruit in order to clean off wax and pesticides. You can also buy organic in order to avoid this step.
Usually these smaller oranges have thin peels and very little pith (the white bitter part on the inside of the peel). This makes them perfect for drying. Clean off any of the strings or pith that may stick to the peel. Tear or chop the peels into uniform size and shape. Have consistency in shape and size, the drying process will be more even allowing all the peels to become dried at the same time.
If you are drying one peel at a time, you can just leave the peel in a corner of the kitchen counter or pantry and wait for it to dry. I’ve read about families that use their wood stove in the winter and just put the peel on a plate on the stove. Not only does it dry but it fills the house with a fresh citrus smell.
Lay the pieces in a single layer flat on your dehydrator sheets or a parchment lined baking sheet if drying in the oven.
Dry in a 200°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the peels snap when you bend them.
Or dry in a food dehydrator at 135°F or less for 8-12 hours. It’s critical to get all the moisture out so you don’t grow bacteria or mold. If you are wondering about a dehydrator I have the Excalibur Electric 9 Tray Food Dehydrator from Amazon.
The grinding part is fun. You can use whatever processor, blender or grinder that you have. Because I had so many peel’s I first ground the large pieces in my Ninja Blender/Food Processor 450 Watt. This was a great way to reduce the contents into a chunky powder. I refined the powder further in a coffee grinder.
Make sure you store with a food grade moisture absorber and keep it in a dry cool place.
Mostly I use it for cooking when a recipe calls for orange peel or orange zest and sometimes even when it calls for lemon zest. I figure the citrus will be good either way. I love to sprinkle it on chicken in the crock pot. It will rehydrate in wet recipes adding a light citrus flavor. You can mix it with salt and make a seafood seasoning. Try adding to a smoothie and blending it together.
There are many beauty benefits as well. It’s a natural cleanser, natural astringent, a toner and improves circulation. Add it to your body salts or mud mask mixture.
There are so many different uses, I’ll have to do a follow up article. I would love to hear if you try this out and see what you think. Feel free share on Pinterest or other Social Media.
Homemade Natural Air Freshener made from citrus peels and spices.