Preserve Your Lemon Harvest- Dehydrated Lemon Peel Powder
Between our backyard lemon tree, my mom’s lemon tree, and neighbors with lemon trees we have A LOT of lemons. While there are so many amazing uses for lemons, I’m going to share a helpful way to quickly process a large harvest to save for later.
Important NOTE: make sure your lemons aren’t sprayed with chemicals/pesticides, especially for the lemon peel powder. You really don’t want to be consuming any peel that has had direct contact with pesticides.
Let’s breakdown these lemons:
Wash your lemons.
Use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the rind and leave behind the pith (The pith is the white layer under the skin. Ideally, you want less pith on the peels because it can be bitter and harder to dry).
If you have a thin skinned lemon (like a sweet meyer), you can peel your lemons like you would an orange, and there should not be much pith. Our homegrown lemons are sweet with very little pith on the peel, so our powder turns out just fine when hand peeled.
Set your lemon peels aside and juice the lemons into a measuring cup for saving.
Dehydrate the Lemon Peels
Arrange your lemon peels on your dehydrator racks.
As you are arranging, tear up the peels into pieces of similar size so they can dehydrate more evenly. Mine were about 1″ x 1.5″ but it doesn’t have to be scientific!
Space them out so they do not touch.
Dehydrate on the “fruit” setting, about 135 Degrees F.
Continue to dehydrate until completely dry—as crisp as a potato chip! The peels should snap when you try and bend them. This is very important so your powder does not develop mold or mildew.
Blend the dried peel
Place all the dried peels in your blender.
Blend and process, pulsing at first, until you are left with a fine powder.
Transfer the powder to an airtight container (I use a mason jar).
STORE your lemon peel powder in a dark, dry cabinet or pantry until ready to use.
Save the juice
Use the lemon juice for a variety of baking recipes. Make lemon curd, a lemon loaf, muffins, a salad dressing, or do a classic summer lemonade! The juice can stay in the fridge for a few days if you can’t process it right away.
I’ve heard of people freezing the juice in ice cube trays and then transferring their frozen cubes to a freezer bag for future use.
Check out my favorite ways to use this powder (a little goes a long way!):
DIY Lemon Herb Seasoning Mix. It makes the best roast chicken.
You can also add this powder to salad dressings.
Sprinkle over roasted asparagus, romanesco, or whatever vegetables need that bright, zesty flavor!
Use as a substitute for fresh lemon zest in recipes. 1 Tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest=1 teaspoon of dried lemon powder.
PS: Tag me in your #FreckledCA creations on Instagram!