Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crispy Orange Chips (a.k.a - Dehydrated Orange Slices)

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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! 

Thinking these sunshines would be great to break 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.

Want some?

linked up at Friday Food Flicks, Simple Lives Thursday, Make-Ahead Mondays, Superfood Sunday.

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  1. these look delicious! thanks for posting and btw, I love the photography

  2. I seriously need a dehydrator. I'll have to keep checking Craigslist. I have a technical blogspot question - how did you add the "Pin It" option?

  3. Many people may not have known all of the ways you can use dehydrated citrus fruit. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  4. emtea6 - thank you and my pleasure!

    Jamie - yes, a dehydrator is essential in my kitchen! With the "Pin It" button... you go to the pinterest site and hover over 'About' and click on 'Pin It Button'. It will explain. I just simply copy and paste the HTML at the top of my post.

    England Furniture - My pleasure! I didn't know either and I am thrilled with my discovery. I will be posting more ideas soon!

  5. These look so BEAUTIFUL! I love the way the dehydrated oranges are so shiny and sweet. Gorgeous, really attractive - fantastic idea.

  6. I love this idea and the photos are simply inspiring. Great job!

    I'd be honored if you'd share this post on our new weekly link up -- Friday Food Flicks -- Amanda

  7. Rebekah - thank you! yes, the oranges look simply gorgeous! Great decorations too ;o)

    Amanda- Thank you! I will head over and check out your weekly link up. Thank you for stopping by and inviting me.

  8. just gorgeous photos. your kids are adorable!! these look so easy and delicious and healthy. will have to try them!

  9. Thank you Lannie! I love the those slices of sunshine! Hope you will do it... so easy and yummy.

  10. I would love for you to come share this post on my link-up, Make-ahead Mondays, at Raising Isabella!

    Hope to see you there!

  11. Oranges are one of my favorite fruits!! I loved this post and am going to try to dehydrate some and see how they turn out. Thanks for the ideas!!

  12. Sarah - thanks! Will check it out :o)

    Diana - Sweet... well, all the more reason you should come and visit me! I can send you all the oranges you want ;o) Let me know what you think. They turned out fantastic for me. I am addicted to it... LOVE LOVE it with my Rooibos tea. Yummm!

  13. So, this may be a silly question, you eat the peels of the chips? or just the "meat" out of the middles?

  14. Maggie - this is a great question! Yes, you do eat the peels if you want. My oldest likes to eat all of it, while my middle prefers just the meat part. I like the whole thing :o) It has a wonderful complex mix of bitter, sweet & sour. Try it and see if you like it!

  15. Thanks for sharing this post at Make-ahead Monday! I hope to see you again next week!

    I've been following your blog for a long time, and I love hearing about your real food journeys in a foreign country!

    Sarah @ Raising Isabella

  16. Marillyn, Is there a brand of dehydrator that you would recommend? And about how much should I spend? It's just my husband and I and our 5 dogs.
    What features should I look for in a good dehydrator?
    Love your blogs and PinIts.
    Sandy Keefe

  17. Leighway - I use a excalibur and LOVE it. It has been very consistent for me while others often gave me uneven results when drying. Here's a couple links you can check out:

    Or here's a smaller one:

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  19. can i use the oven for these? thank you

    1. You can try, if you keep it at the lowest setting! You should also keep your oven door cracked if you can keep the temp inside below 150 degrees. Also, check on it often and rotate the trays to prevent one side from getting browned.

      You should remove the orange slices as they dry. Some will dry faster than others, so be ready to have a jar or bag nearby to put them in when they are dried.

      Let me know how it works!

  20. Can you eat the whole slice?? Peel included?? My kids want me to dehydrate oranges but I don't know how. All the pics seem to have the peel....

    1. Hello Jenn,
      It very easy! As explained above... Just slice them up (leaving peels intact and yes you can eat them if you want!), lay them out on the dehydrator to dry for 5-12 hours. They will need to be brittle when done. I like to keep the temps on my dehydrator below 135 to preserve the oils as much as possible. Enjoy!


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