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Dehydrated Lemons & Other Citrus

Lemons (and any citrus) are easy to preserve and useful in many ways.  You can leave the skin on, or choose to zest or peel it.  If you zest it you will have plenty of zest on hand for recipes that call for it.  A special tool, called a zester, will remove the top layer of the peel in thin ribbons.  Recipes often call for lemon or orange zest and this is helpful to have on hand.  You can add dehydrated slices to water for flavor, grind up slices for powder, add to recipes to give them additional flavor, or suck on them for a snack.  I like to grind up whole lemon slices for lemon pepper seasoning, and add a few slices of lime to certain mexican dishes.  Lemon slices can be made into lemonaid. Dehydrated oranges can be used in potpourri and crafts, while dehydrated lemon peels (or the whole slice) can be added to homemade cleaners for a lemony scent.   Citrus of choice can be added to hot tea, or powdered to be added to smoothies, soups, or dry rubs for meat.  If you want a snack, make sure you remove the peel and the pith – the white layer under the skin.  That will give a bitter taste when eaten directly.

Method:

Wash your citrus and peel or zest if desired.  Slice into 1/4 inch or thereabouts, and lay in a single layer on your dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate at 125-135F until the slices are brittle.  Depending on what you are drying, this may take between 2-12 hours.

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