Drying Your Own Citrus Peel

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I love citrus – the scent, the taste, the look…

It makes me think of summer days and fresh squeezed lemonade. A constant inspiration in the kitchen, no matter the season, citrus works wonders in sweet and sour dishes alike.

Did you know that lemon peel contains 5 -10 times more vitamins than the juice does? That’s not the only benefit to eating the peels of lemon! It also reduces oxidation stress levels and helps fight cancers. You can read more about that here on the Health Extremist.

I use zest of lemon, orange, and lime in many different recipes, but one thing that concerns me is the wax and pesticide residue on the outside of the fruits. I don’t mind using non-organic citrus for juice, but the peels make me wary.

Organic citrus is rather hard to find around here though, so whenever I can get it, I try to make the most of it by peeling and drying the zest. It’s cheap and easy and the resulting product is fragrant with a powerful citrus flavor. The real benefit is having a handy jar of it around whenever you want to throw some citrus zing into a last-minute recipe.

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I use a lemon zester like this one for long ribbon-like peel, but if you prefer your zest smaller, a Microplane grater works fabulously as well. I love the one I have!

Simply zest the citrus fruit over parchment paper, spread it out in one layer and let dry for about 2 days on the counter.

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Store it in an air tight glass jar, you know that spice jar of ginger you just finished off? Perfect!

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Sometimes the drying process does strange things to lemon peel…

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Orange, lime, and lemon zest, just waiting to be used…

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What is your favorite recipe calling for citrus peel?

I’ll be sharing one of mine in the next post or two along with a giveaway featuring Slickepott‘s new caramel sauce! You’re going to LOVE it, so be sure to follow my blog in order to not miss out on more citrus-y, caramel-y deliciousness!

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