Don’t throw away those lemon peels! Dried Lemon Peel is the perfect way to save the zest – for lemons or any other citrus fruit.
So much of the flavor and aroma is contained in the peels. And it’s so easy to make. No dehydrator necessary!
Before you throw out those lemon peels after squeezing the juice, consider saving and drying the zest. Dried Lemon Zest sells for $7 for a little 1.5 ounce bottle at my local Walmart. If you zest your peels before throwing them away, you’re getting it essentially for free!
Easy to Make Dried Lemon Zest with no dehydrator
Dried Lemon Peel is easy to make at home without the need for a dehydrator or even an oven. While I sometimes stick mine in the oven if I want it in a hurry, it will also dry out at room temperature.
Organically grown lemon zest
I prefer to use the zest from organically grown citrus so I don’t get a concentrated dose of whatever pesticides might be on the skins. Also be sure to wash and dry the fruit before zesting.
DIY Dried Citrus Peel
Many different types of citrus zest can be dried in the same way:
How much Dried Lemon Zest equals fresh?
Dried Lemon Zest is about a third of the volume of fresh zest, so 1 teaspoon of dried zest would equal 1 tablespoon of fresh zest.
How much Dried Lemon Peel equals the zest of one Lemon?
1 medium lemon yields about 1 tablespoon of fresh zest and 1 teaspoon of dried zest.
How to Make Dried Lemon Peel
- Zest or peel the lemons
- Dry the peels in the oven or on the counter
How to Zest a Lemon or other Citrus
There are several ways to zest or peel the lemon:
- Fine grater or microplane – My favorite for lemon zest. It gets the zest very thin and small so there’s no need for chopping. Zest grated on a fine grater also dries the quickest and can be most easily pulverized into a powder.
- Cocktail zester – Peels the rind off in little strips. Super easy to use, but the zest will need some chopping to make it fine.
- Vegetable peeler– Takes the peel off in bigger strips. You can chop the peel fine with a knife if desired, or you can leave it in strips.
- Small, sharp knife – Trim the peel with the knife. Be careful not to get the white pith underneath the rind. Trim it off it you do.
How to dry the Lemon Peel
In the oven:
For the quickest Dried Lemon Zest, dry the lemon peel in the oven at its lowest setting. My oven’s lowest setting is 170° F. The hotter the oven, the darker the dried peel will get.
Spread the zest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it bake until the peel is dry, shriveled, and crispy. If the zest is very fine, it should be finished in 30 minutes to an hour. It will take longer if the peel is in strips, several hours should do it.
If I’m doing a big batch of lemon zest or want it quickly, I use the oven method.
On the counter:
You can also dry the lemon peel on the counter. Spread the peel on a dish or baking pan and let dry for several days, giving it a toss every day or so. Once again, the smaller the peel, the faster it will dry.
When I use a single lemon, I zest it first, then just let the zest dry on the counter.
Storing Dried Lemon Zest
When the peel is completely dry, store it in an airtight container. It can be left as is, or ground into a powder in a spice grinder or blender.
How long does Dried Lemon Peel last
Dried and stored in an airtight container, Dried Lemon Peel will last up to a year.
What to do with Dried Lemon Peel – How to use Dried Lemon Zest
Dried Lemon Zest has so many uses:
- In seasoning mixes
- In teas
- In baked goods
- Sprinkled on salads
- In marinades and salad dressings
- Sprinkle on chicken or fish
- Sprinkled over sautéed, roasted, or grilled vegetables
- Use as a replacement for fresh lemon zest. 1 teaspoon of dried lemon peel equals 1 teaspoon fresh zest.
- Use it anywhere you want a bright pop of flavor
- Use in homemade cleaners and body care products
- Mix them into potpourri
What is Dried Lemon Peel powder
Dried Lemon Peel Powder is Dried Lemon Zest that has been pulverized into a powder in a spice grinder or blender.
- To make Dried Lemon Peel Powder:
- Dry the peels as instructed, making sure they are very dry.
- Grind to a powder in a spice grinder or blender.
- Store in an airtight container.
Where to buy Dried Lemon Peel
Dried Lemon Peel can sometimes be hard to find. Walmart carries it and it can be found on Amazon.
How to Make Dried Lemon Peel
- Lemons washed and dried. Preferably organic
- Remove the peel from the lemons using a grater, microplane, zester, vegetable peeler, or knife. Be careful not to get any of the white pith. I zest them before cutting and juicing them.
To dry in the oven:
- Heat the oven to its lowest heat setting. (My oven’s lowest setting is 170° F.)
- Spread the zest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it bake until the peel is dry, shriveled, and crispy. If the zest is very fine, it should be finished in 30 minutes to an hour. It will take longer if the peel is in strips, several hours should do it.
To dry on the counter:
- Spread the peel on a dish or baking pan and let dry for several days, giving it a toss every day or so. The smaller the peel, the faster it will dry.
- When the peel is completely dry, store it in an airtight container.
- The dried peel can be left as is, or ground into a powder in a spice grinder or blender.
(This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on my link and buy something, I will earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.)
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