Oranges should be part of your diet every day. They have tremendous health benefits and are usually avaliable all year round. They are rich in vitamin C and disease fighting antioxidants. When powdered they can be added to various beauty products.
They are easy to dehydrate and can be safely stored for many months once dried.
|Fresh Weight||100 Grams||Flavour summer drinks|
|Dried Weight||17 Grams||Make orange sauce|
|Daily Portion (Dried)||13 Grams||Make orange powder|
|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Drying Time||12 to 18 hours|
|Drying Temperature||125 Fahrenheit/ 52 Celsius or less|
Reduces stroke risk, supports heart health, fights skin damage, prevents kidney stones
How to Dehydrate Oranges
- Sharp knife
- Mandolin or Food Slicer (optional)
- Plastic bowls
- Cutting Board
- Food Wash
Choose organic oranges if possible. You can decide to dry them with the peel on, or remove the peel and dry this seperately to make orange skin powder.
Wash the skins well, then cut the oranges into uniform sized slices, I usually cut them around half a centimetre thick. Keep the tops and the ends as you can dry these for orange peel powder too. Remove all the pips.
I choose to soak my orange slices in a vitamin C solution for about 15 minutes before dehydrating them (one teaspoon of vitamin C powder to 1 litre of water). This is for two reasons, firstly because it compensates for any loss of Vitamin C during the drying process, and secondly because I think it helps to maintain the orange colour (see the comparison further on in this post).
Drain the orange slices and lay them out on your dehydrator trays.
Although most fruits are dehydrated at 135 Fahrenheit/ 57 Celsius, for lemons I lower the temperature to 125 Fahrenheit/ 52 Celsius or less for citrus fruits. It takes longer to dry them – sometimes up to 18 hours – but they have less chance of turning brown.
You can see the diffrence in colour in this image. The slices on the right have been soaked in vitamin C solution and dried at 125 Fahrenheit/ 52 Celsius.
I also turn the slices over at some stage to make sure both sides get the same dose of warm air.
Conditioning is a process of making sure that whatever you have dried has as little moisture as possible in it. It’s a simple process and involves mixing or shaking to redistribute the orange slices to make sure they are completely dry. Do this once a day over a few days after dehydrating. If you notice any mould this means they either were not dried sufficiently, or the container was already contaminated.
Store in sealed containers in a dark area and add oxygen absorbers to help keep the contents dry.
Tip: If I am making orange skin powder I usually do this immediately after the skins come out of the dehydrator as I find that is when they are driest.