These orange chips look like the sun... with beautiful details of fire going out from the center.
Whenever you open up the jar, a sweet & bright smell frolics through your senses... giving you a burst of energy and happiness.
We are nearing the end of our orange season here. This year I've started to appreciate my citrus trees more, especially the oranges... last year I hardly did anything with them because I didn't know what to do with it all! It was easy to grow tired of eating them and the juice was simply too sour to enjoy a glassful.
With some planning... I made candied orange spice peels and save the juice to make creamy popsicles & smoothies. I've used more orange zest in my baked goods then I ever have in my life!
With more oranges coming off the trees, I googled around and found this great site sharing all the different ways you can use the peels. One suggestion was to simply dehydrate the peels for later use, but I decided to use the whole orange instead...
Because I remember seeing a post somewhere with some chai tea and a whole dried orange slice added in for some fun flavor... I saved and filed that in the back of my mind.
So glad I did!
Now I have almost 3 gallons of dried orange chips. I've already enjoyed several slices in my Rooibos tea and the girls love nibbling on them... they are actually a yummy snack! Would be great to break these up and mix into some trail mix or oatmeal. Hmm!
You can use any kind of citrus fruit you have... I had some lemons (didn't get very much this year, sad!) and made a quart of dried lemon chips. Haven't tried using them yet. I am dehydrated some grapefruit right now and have plans to use them for a homemade cleaner.
It is super easy...
Simply wash 'em, slice 'em (about a quarter-inch thick), seed 'em and laid 'em on sheets.
Slide them in or sack them on your dehydrator of choice and turn on to 115 - 135 degrees (I prefer the lower temps to preserve the natural oils). Dry them for 5 - 12 hours... they need to be brittle. Store them in airtight jars and out of light.
What to Do With Them?
- Add some slices in a container of water or tea and leave in the fridge. The oranges will leave a nice flavor in the water. So refreshing!
- Add a slice to your favorite tea. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavor and it will not turn bitter.
- Chop it up and create your own tea mixes. I already have some ideas!
- Chop it up and use it to flavor dishes or simply garnish your salad. I'm thinking...
- Throw some in your blender or coffee grinder and make some powder.
- Use for decorating and get some color into your home! Check out what I posted on my board at Pinterest.