Dried orange peels can be used in many ways. It makes a delicious, tangy addition to a wide variety of both spicy and sweet dishes. Dried orange slices can make a tangy, or an excellent garnish for tea, cocktails or ice water. You can easily make it at home. It can be prepared in the oven or at room temperature, depending on how much time you have. Dried orange peel has much more flavor than the store-bought variety.
Method of dehydrating the Orange Peel at home
Dried orange peels boost the flavor and fragrance of a variety of dishes. If stored properly, these dehydrated peels can last for months or even years!
Household oven or dehydrating machine can be used to dry out orange slices. Orange peels can also be dehydrated naturally in the sun but the microwave drying method is the best method for drying. Following are the few steps showing how to make dried orange peel,
Wash the oranges. Remove any wax or pesticides by using a fruit wash and clean the peels. Put a small amount on the orange and rub it into the skin. Then rinse it away with running water. If you do not have a fruit wash, wash the orange in hot water to dissolve the wax.
Peel the oranges. Dry the oranges first. Then peel them by hand, with a vegetable peeler or with a sharp knife. Remove white pith from the skin as much as possible, because of its bitter flavor. Then simply scrape the pith off the peel with a spoon or knife.
Cut the peels into even pieces. Depending on your plan to use the peels, you may cut them into large chunks (for potpourri) or thin strips (for infusing oils). No matter what you want them for. The pieces should be of the same size so they can dry at the same rate. The peels can always cut into smaller pieces or ground up after drying.
Spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place a parchment paper on the baking sheet. Then, spread the peels without any overlap on the parchment. They should be placed in a single layer.
Bake the peels at 200 °F for 30 to 60 minutes. Set your oven at the lowest possible temperature, which is usually 200 °F (93 °C). Check on the peels regularly to be sure they do not burn. They are done when the peels curl and harden. Then remove the tray from the oven and let the peels cool completely.
Otherwise, you also can leave the peels on baking sheets out in the open at room temperature for several days to dry them out. Stir them once per day.
Grind the dried orange peels, if desired. If you need orange peel powder for sugar scrubs, marinades, or flavored salts, you can grind them. The dried peels can be ground in a coffee grinder or food processor. Otherwise, leave them in chunks or strips.
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. A jar or Tupperware container can be used for storing orange peel. They will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. This method can also be used to dry the peels of other citrus fruits, including lemons, tangerines, and limes.
How you can use dried orange peels?
- Add dried orange peels to tea; The orange flavor is especially delightful with green or black tea. Put a strip or two of dried orange peel into a cup of your freshly-steeped tea.
- Infuse oil with shreds of dried orange peel; Orange-infused oil can be used in homemade salad dressing, drizzle it over veggies and roast them. You can also use it in your favorite baking recipe.
- Put 1⁄4 cup of oil like olive or coconut oil in a jar and add a few strips of dried orange peel. The more you add, the more intense will be the orange flavor. Then cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Steep the oranges in the oil for about a week.
- Make an orange peel sugar scrub; Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1⁄2 cup of coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of ground dried orange peel in a bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine all the ingredients. Then transfer the mixture to a jar, cover it with a lid. You can use it to scrub your body in the shower for smooth, orange-scented skin.
- Flavor salt with herbs and ground orange peels; Add finely ground orange peels and dried thyme or rosemary to a jar of your favorite salt. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. You can use the flavored salt to add an extra dimension to your next meal. It is also a brilliant homemade gift idea.
- Use dried orange peels in potpourri; Fill an airtight container with dried orange peels, nutmeg, dried flowers, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and some drops of an essential oil like clove, or cinnamon. Let it sit for 3 days. Shake the container a few times each day, to allow the aroma to strengthen. Then, place that potpourri in a beautiful vase or bowl and set it in your home.
What are the health benefits of orange peels?
- Orange Peels Help Prevent Cancer
The flavonoids present in orange peels inhibit a protein named as RLIP76 that is linked to cancer. The peels also contain limonene, which can cut cancer risk. They also possess antibacterial properties.
- Improve Lung Health
Orange peels help break down congestion and cleanse the lungs due to their excellent vitamin C content. Vitamin C also increases immunity, and this helps to prevent lung infections. Enhanced immunity also prevents ailments like cold and flu.
- Aids Diabetes Treatment
The peels are rich in a fiber that is known as pectin. It is used to regulate blood sugar levels. This sure can help people deal with diabetes. Studies have shown how treatment with orange peel extract can prevent diabetic nephropathy.
- Strengthen Heart
Orange peels are rich in a flavonoid called as hesperidin. This flavonoid has shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The orange peel also has anti-inflammatory properties. Heart disease is caused by inflammation so they can help in this regard. Orange peels can suppress inflammation in a way very similar to indomethacin, which is an anti-inflammatory drug.
Orange peels also contain polymethoxylated flavones, which lower cholesterol levels better than certain prescription drugs.
- Help in weight loss
Oranges are low in calories, so they are a great addition to a weight loss diet. The dietary fiber present in orange peel controls your appetite and also discourages binging. Orange peels also contain vitamin C which is known to burn fat.