Have some extra orange peels and don’t want to make them go to waste? Make your own dried orange peel for recipes, cleaning, and teas!
Dried Orange Peel
I recently bought a large bulk amount of oranges as I promised my youngest son that we would make orange juice if I found a good sale. Not long after I told him that, I found a great deal on some no-spray oranges! I’ve really gotten into herbal teas lately and I’ve been needing some dried orange peel for the blend that I enjoy. But did you know it’s $18 a pound?? A little out of my budget. Luckily, it’s super easy to make your own!
Be sure and wash your oranges well. You will want to use no-spray, no wax oranges to make dried orange peels.
When you decide you want to make dried orange peel, don’t forget about the best part of the orange, the inside! I used my simple little Juiceman Citrus Juicer to juice all of my oranges first. I use this simple method for Preserving Orange Juice or I place in jars and freeze.
Once you’ve juiced your oranges, you should have plenty of peels left! If you’ve decided not to juice your oranges and are just using those that you are eating, just be sure and save the peels.
Once you’ve juiced your oranges, dig your finger under the leftover pulp and begin to peel the leftovers out of the inside. If you get your finger in just the right place, the insides will come right out.
Dice up your orange peel. I plan on using mine for tea so I just need it to fit in my tea infuser ball. You will want to cut your peel in the size that you need. I use my Rada Cutlery for everything in my kitchen! 🙂
Spread the orange peels out on the dehydrator and dry for at least 5-8 hours or until completely dry.
Store the dried orange peels in an air-tight container. I like to use half gallon size glass jars for storing teas and things like this.
Uses for Dried Orange Peel
Since this orange peel contains the pith it will have a hint of bitterness and might not be the best for use in certain recipes where you are looking for the sweet orange taste. To get that flavor, you will want to peel your oranges with a veggie peeler so that you don’t have as much “white stuff”.
You can dry this orange peel in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. Just place in the oven at the lowest temp it will go (preferably around 150 degrees) and keep a close eye on it until dried.
If you don’t want to dry orange peel, you can use it as a wonderful cleaner. Just place the cleaned peels into a jar of vinegar and let it sit in the cupboard for a few weeks. After that, remove the peels and mix with water to create your cleaner.
You can use your dried orange peel to make an easy body scrub. Just pulse it a few times in the blender (some pieces are ok) and mix with a bit of coconut oil (or your favorite oil) and some scrub until a nice scrub comes together.
You can also make some tasty infusions if you love cooking with orange flavor. Drop some dried orange peels into vinegar or oil and let the mixture sit for several weeks until flavorful.
Making a refreshing bath salt is easy with the dried orange peel. Just pulse in the blender to finer pieces and mix with epsom salts in a 4:1 ratio (ie: 1 cup of epsom salt to 1/4 cup orange peel).
And of course, who can forget about potpourri? Blend your oranges with other dried items and sprinkle with a few drops of sweet orange essential oil to boost the scent. Beautiful and practical!
Tea Made with Orange Peel
I love herbal teas! I especially love when I can make my own blends. You can try adding dried orange peel to a variety of blends but this simple one is my favorite.
Fruity Tea Blend
- 1/2 cup Hibiscus Petals
- 1/2 cup Rose Hips
- 3 tablespoons dried Orange Peel
- 2 tablespoons Green Tea (optional)
- 3-4 Tablespoons dried fruit (such as apples)
Blend the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and store in a glass pint jar. Place about a teaspoon of the mixture into a tea infuser and steep in hot water for about 4 minutes.
This tea is high in vitamin C and has a deliciously tangy, fruity flavor. Perfect for mid-morning or a mid-afternoon pick me up!
Have you ever dried orange peels? What do you use them for?