Getting rid of the guilt… do not throw out orange and lemon rinds!
I always felt a bit guilty throwing out the rinds of oranges and lemons after juicing. So now when I know that I will be juicing lots of oranges and lemons, I make plans to recycle the citrus rinds instead of throwing them into the rubbish (at least the bin smelt nice), it just seemed such a waste of so much scent and flavour.
One of my favourite ways of recycling citrus rinds is to dry them. It’s a simple process and much more rewarding than having a rubbish bin that smells nice! Always choose citrus fruit that feels firm and free from any blemishes.
I always wash the citrus fruit in hot water and gently scrub with a vegetable brush, this helps to remove the wax coating. Organic citrus fruit usual does not have this wax coating.
Removing the rind
When removing the rind of citrus fruit I use my swivel vegetable peeler ( y-shaped ) for the task, resulting in thin parings of citrus rind with none of the bitter pith. Avoid using a knife as it is harder to get the same results.
Before juicing the citrus fruit, I pare the rind using the swivel vegetable peeler. I have a small dehydrator (not a necessity) which I use for drying my citrus rinds, but you can use the oven.
Take the prepared citrus rind and lay skin side down in a single layer on a baking tray. Place the tray into the oven and turn the temperature to its lowest setting possible. Drying the citrus rinds can take anywhere between one and two hours, depending on how low the temperature of your oven can go. Aim for about 50C/122F heat setting or lower by propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Once the citrus rinds feel dry and crisp to touch they are done.
Take the prepared citrus rind and lay skin side down, in a single layer on a baking tray. Leave the citrus rinds to air dry for a day or two until dry and crisp.
Store the dried citrus rind in a clean jar or airtight container until needed. A great store cupboard item to have.
Ways of using the dried lemon and orange rind:
- I like to add a few pieces of dried lemon or orange rind into some of my marinades and dressings, infusing them with citrus flavours.
- When making a fruit salad I like to add some dried pieces of lemon and orange to marinate with the fruit for a few hours, removing them before serving.
- Sometimes I like to add dried lemon to my green tea.
- I like to infuse a jug of water with some dried lemon, giving a slight citrus taste to the plain water.
- At Christmas when making mulled wine my dried citrus rinds come in handy.
- When I am roasting fish, meat, poultry or vegetables I will throw in a few pieces of the dried citrus rind into the roasting pan to add a citrus note to the food…e.g. I add lemon with white fish, orange with salmon, lemon with lamb and chicken, orange with duck and orange with carrots and pumpkin.
This list could go on but hopefully I have given you enough good reasons for “ not throwing out your orange and lemon rinds”.
Do you dry citrus rinds? What is your favourite way of using them?