Orange You Going to Eat That?

November 26, 2012

I get a lot of my stuff from the “last day of sale” bin at the grocery store. This weekend I picked up a 5 pound box of mandarin oranges for $2 – SCORE!!!!

The last time I hit the motherlode of mandarins, I canned them in a light syrup (very yummy!)  This time, I was rather short on small jars so I am dehydrating them instead.

The cool thing about oranges (and citrus fruit in general) is how darned useful it is.  Not only can I use the fruit itself in a number of different ways, I can use the peel to make a wonderful fresh natural cleaner.

So, first things first, get your stuff together.

These oranges are not organic so I won’t use the peel for anything edible.  Last week I got some organic lemons and dried those in rings with the peel intact.
Peel  your oranges and break them into segments.  If the segments are really big, cut them in half so that they will dry faster.  Spread the segments out on the trays of your food dehydrator.  Place the peels inside a clean Mason jar.
Dry your oranges in the dehydrator for 18-24 hours or until rubbery and dry.
Fill the jars of peels up with white vinegar.  Set them in a warm sunny window for at least a week. You will end up with a fresh citrus-y smelling cleaning concentrate that you can mix 50/50 with water.  This cleaner is great for kitchens because then you aren’t spraying toxic chemicals all over your counters before you prepare food on them.  When you use the cleaner, don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate quickly and leave only the fresh orange smell behind.
A lovely jar of dried lemons.
You may be wondering, what can you do with all this dried citrus?
  • Place a few slices into the water pitcher in the fridge for a splash of citrus flavor
  • Put a slice into a cup of hot tea (really yummy with cinnamon warming tea)
  • Stuff under the skin of poultry for a citrus chicken
  • Grind to a powder in the food processor for an addition to the spice cabinet
  • Toss a handful into the crockpot to make orange chicken
  • Boil some slices with a cinnamon stick for a natural air freshener
  • Put a couple of segments into your cocoa for a decadent chocolate orange beverage
  • Add smaller pieces to any baked good that needs a hit of citrus – they will reconstitute slightly during the baking process

Lots of people like to eat the dried oranges as a snack.  During a long northern winter, if the food supply were ever interrupted because of bad weather or transportation issues, these little bites would be a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin C.

Daisy Luther

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats.   She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.  Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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