Monday, February 6, 2023

How to Make Dried Lemon Peel (Dehydrator, Oven, Air Fryer)

Learn how to make dried lemon peel powder to use for baking or enjoy in herbal teas.  This homemade lemon zest is easy to make using a dehydrator, oven, or air fryer.





Dried Lemon Peel Recipe


Last summer, as I was making strawberry lemonade concentrate for canning, I looked at a big bowl of spent lemon peels and thought I should probably reuse them rather than just compost them.


I use a lot of dried lemon zest for teas and cooking, so I decided to them into lemon powder.


Grating the peel after juicing the lemons was a bit of a pain.  Next time, I'll try taking off the zest first and then juicing them.


For more made from scratch recipes, check out these posts:






Is Lemon Zest The Same As Dried Lemon Peel?


There is a difference between dried lemon peel vs lemon zest. The zest is only the thinner outer layer of the skin. Then there is the rind, which is the zest plus a small bit of the white underlayer. 


The peel, then, is the whole thing, all of the outer layer and none of the actual fruit. Each part has its own purpose and different flavors. 


You can use just the zest or use the entire peel like I did.  Just know that the white part of the lemon peel can taste bitter.  If you are using it as a substitute for baking, then you will just want the yellow part and not the white part.

  

Is Dried Lemon Zest As Good As Fresh?


The flavor of dried lemon zest is comparable to that of fresh lemon zest, and it lasts a lot longer. This means that you do not have to worry about having lemons or lemon peels on hand for recipes. 


This means that there are now many dried lemon peel uses that you can take advantage of without needing to keep fresh lemons on hand.


How Do You Dry Lemon Peels Without A Dehydrator?


There are a few ways that you can dry lemon peels without using a dehydrator. For instance, you can use an oven or microwave. Further, you can even make use of an air fryer to dry lemon peels.


Learn more about how to dehydrate in air fryer.


Following are a few ways to dry citrus peels using different machines so that you can start prepping for all of your dried lemon peel uses.


How Do You Dry Citrus Peels In The Air Fryer?


After washing your lemons, slice them into quarter-inch slices. Then, layer them onto the basket of your air fryer without letting them overlap. 


If your air fryer doesn't have a dehydrate setting, then use the lowest setting.  For best results, do not use heat over 125 degrees Fahrenheit.


Set your air fryer to fruit or dehydrate and let it run for about an hour. Once they are to your liking, transfer them into a sealed container and store so they are ready for any and all dried lemon peel uses you may want to make.





How Do You Dry Citrus Peels In The Oven?


To start, use a sharp vegetable peeler to cut strips from right under the surface of the lemon peel, cutting top to bottom. Then, stack the strips and cut them into thin pieces crosswise.


Spread the peels in a single layer onto a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 200 degrees F until the peels harden and curl up. This should take about twenty five to thirty minutes. 


Be sure to keep a careful eye on the pieces so they do not burn or become so crispy that they are unusable. When they are done, remove the peels from your oven and let them completely cool. Transfer the peels to a sealable container, where they will keep for around three months. 


Can I Dry Lemon Peels In The Microwave?


Yes, you can dry lemon peels in the microwave. This will work in a pinch, but it's best to use a dehydrator, oven, or air fryer to dry your lemon peels.


To do this, lay lemon peel slices in a single layer onto a paper towel, and then cover with a paper towel. Microwave the peels for thirty seconds on high.


Then, check to see how dry they are and repeat until they are to your liking. Once they are dry, transfer them to a sealed container, and keep for all of your dried lemon peel uses.


How Long Does It Take To Dry Lemon Peels?


The amount of time it will take to dry lemon peels depends on the method of drying that you choose. For instance, microwaving the lemon peels does not take much time, but is not as effective as using an oven or other such appliance.


How Do You Make Dried Lemon Peel Powder?


There are many things that you can use dried lemon peel powder for. It goes great in all sorts of recipes or can be used on its own to dust certain foods.


To start, use your preferred method to dry the lemon peels until they are totally dry. You will know they are dry enough as they will be easy to crack and snap apart.


Then, use a blender, coffee grinder, or food processor to grind the lemon peels. Grind until the peels are left with a fine dried lemon peel powder, and then transfer them into a sealed container. 





What Is Dried Lemon Peel Used For?


You can use dried lemon peels in all sorts of recipes, including teas, alcoholic beverages, and baked goods. Many people also use it to make potpourri.


Here are some ways to use your dried lemon peel:



How Long Do Dried Citrus Peels Last?


If stored properly in a sealed container, your citrus peels should last around three months. This means that you can have simple access to dried citrus peels for quite a while, and won’t need to keep fresh fruit on hand for recipes. 


Tips for Making Dried Lemon Peel Powder


As a tip, save your lemon peels after you get done using them to juice for water, lemonade,, or other such recipes. You can leave them in the fridge in a covered container for about a week before they begin to ferment or mold.


Further, make sure you wash your lemons so as to remove wax and sprays. I recommend using vinegar water or a biodegradable cleaner, and always be sure to rinse well. 


You can grate your peels or blend them into a powder for use in baking, candies, puddings, or even smoothies and other such drinks. This adds a bit of flavor as well as some great vitamins. 


Homemade powders do not have any type of anti-caking agent, however, so be sure to only use the powder when needed. For an extra zip, add a half cup of fruit powder for every cup of flour when baking. 


Dried Lemon Peel Recipe Ingredients






How to Make Dried Lemon Zest


Step One


To start, slice your lemon peels into uniform little pieces so as to ensure that they dry evenly. 





Step Two


Dry them in a dehydrator set 135 degrees F until the pieces are crisp and hard. This should take around six hours or longer, depending on humidity.


You can also use an air fryer on the lowest setting for about an hour or use the oven at 200 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.





Step Three


Allow the pieces to cool on a rack before transferring them into sealed containers. You can then use a coffee grinder or blender to turn it into a powder.





I recommend using sealable jars or vacuum sealed mason jars if you plan on storing the lemon zest long term. 


Now you know how to make dried lemon peel and dried lemon peel uses!


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