When using and juicing citrus fruit such as lemon, there is always a lot of waste. Learn how to reduce this waste by learning how to dehydrate lemon peels which can be powdered to add a lovely flavour to your dishes.
Dehydrating Lemon Peels
Lemon peels that have been dehydrated add a delicious, zingy, tangy flavour to your cakes, muffins and more. But before you dehydrate, you must clean the skins thoroughly.
Let them dry thoroughly after this to reduce the time needed for dehydrating. Another thing to remember is, the bigger the pieces, the longer they will take to dehydrate.
Once your peels are thoroughly dried, you can leave them whole or grind them in a grinder to form a versatile, fine powder.
It is best to use organic lemons as they should have no nasty chemicals on their skin.
If you don’t have a lot of lemons, you can dehydrate the lemon peels in small batches.
Save your lemon peels after using the juice in water, lemonade, jams and jellies. Place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week. If you leave them too much longer and they may ferment or mould.
Peeling the Lemons
When peeling the skin off the lemons with thick skins such as the Eureka lemon, use a sharp bladed paring knife or vegetable peeler to just trim off the coloured part of the skin. The pith will make your lemon peels and powder bitter, so leave as much as you can on the lemon. If you have a lot of pith on your peels, try scraping some of it off with a knife.
Meyer lemons don’t have as much pith as other lemons, making them a good choice to use for dehydrating their skins.
Conditioning Dried Lemon Peels
Once these peels have been full dehydrated, they will need to be conditioned to be kept without going off. Fill a jar about two-thirds full and seal the lid. Over the next week or so, shake the jar a couple of times a day. If you start to see mould, they will need to be thrown out. If you see moisture, they are not dried enough, and need to be placed back into the dehydrator. Once they have been conditioned, the jars can be fulled completely and stored in a cool, dark place. If they do start to have a strong smell or you can see moisture in the jars, it is time to dehydrate another batch of lemon peels.
Storing Dehydrated Lemon Peels
Store dried lemon peels in sealed jars, or ziploc bags (if eating soon), or in mylar sealable bags for long term storage. Dried lemon peels can also be vacuum sealed for longer storage.
How Long Do Dehydrated Lemon Peels Last?
Fully dehydrated citrus peels should stay fresh for up to six months in jars or ziplock bags. You can keep them in the freezer to store longer or mylar bags.
Powdered lemon peels will last up to 12 months when stored in an air-tight glass jar.
Powdered Lemon Peels
Once the lemon peels are completely dried, you can turn them into a delicious lemon powder. Using a blender, food processor grinder, churn the dried lemon peels into powder.
Push the ground lemon powder through a mesh strainer over a bowl to sift out the larger pieces. These pieces can then be run through the grinder again.
Homemade powders do not have anti caking agents added, so only powder what you need.
In baking, you may add ½ cup fruit powder per 1 cup flour. Blend in with your dry ingredients for an extra zip to your baking.
Using Dried Lemon Peels
Dried lemon peels can be used for:
- Adding to a salad dressing or marinade
- Use in dips like guacamole, salsa and hummus
- Make delicious Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Sprinkle on roast, or sautéed vegetables during cooking
- Use instead of lemon zest – 1 teaspoon of lemon powder in place for 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
- Add to baked goods such as breads, puddings, candies, muffins and cakes
- Mix into sugar scrubs
- Sprinkle over plain yoghurt, granola, cereals
- Use is as a seasoning on meat or fish
- Mix lemon powder through teas, or other drinks
- Use in smoothies and drinks for flavour and vitamins
- Make an infusion with olive oil
How to Dehydrate Lemon Peels
To dehydrate lemon peels, you will need:
- 10 Lemons
- Cutting Board
Slice lemon peels into uniform pieces so they dry evenly.
Dry at 135° F or 57˚C, until hard and crispy, approximately 6 hours. This may take longer depending on humidity in your area.
Allow to cool on racks.
Condition dry lemon peels.
Store in sealed jars, ziploc bags (if using soon), or in mylar sealable bags for long term storage.
Dehydrate Lemon Peels in Oven
To dehydrate lemon peels in the oven, preheat the oven to 200˚F or 93˚C.
Prepare as you would for the dehydrator.
Lay the prepared lemon peel slices on baking paper on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for around 25 to 30 minutes, checking halfway through and flipping the peels over. If the peels start to brown, turn the oven off for a few minutes and rotate the tray.
Continue to bake until the lemon peels are dried.
No Cook Drying
Lemon peels can be dried by laying the strips on a plate with the peel side facing up and the inside facing downwards.
Let them dry in a warm, well-circulated and sunny place at room temperature for 2 – 3 days.
The peels with shrivel up, loss their moisture and turn crispy.
More Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Lemon Syrup
- Orange and Lemon Marmalade
- Lemon Balm Jelly
- Lemon Curd
- Lemon Coconut Slice
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Cake
- DIY Lemon Extract
- Lemon Meringue Fudge
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Homemade Lemon Jelly Jam Recipe
- Lemon Rosemary Sugar Scrub
- Citrus Soap
- Lemon Lime Cupcakes
- Lemon Marmalade Jam
How to Dehydrate Lemon Peels & Make Lemon Powder
- Cutting Board
- 10 Lemons
Dehydrate Lemon Peels
- Slice lemon peels into uniform pieces so they dry evenly.
- Dry at 135° F or 57˚C, until hard and crispy, approximately 6 hours. This may take longer depending on humidity in your area.
- Allow to cool on racks.
- Condition dry lemon peels.
- Store in sealed jars, ziploc bags (if using soon), or in mylar sealable bags for long term storage.
Dehydrate in the Oven
- To dehydrate lemon peels in the oven, preheat the oven to 200˚F or 93˚C.
- Prepare as you would for the dehydrator.
- Lay the prepared lemon peel slices on baking paper on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for around 25 to 30 minutes, checking halfway through and flipping the peels over. If the peels start to brown, turn the oven off for a few minutes and rotate the tray.
- Continue to bake until the lemon peels are dried.
No-Cook Drying Method
- Lemon peels can be dried by laying the strips on a plate with the peel side facing up and the inside facing downwards.
- Let them dry in a warm, well-circulated and sunny place at room temperature for 2 - 3 days.
- The peels with shrivel up, loss their moisture and turn crispy.