Monday, March 11, 2013

Dried Citrus Zest Strips

I was in the grocery store today as there was meat on sale and because I can never go to the grocery store for only one thing, I ran into this in the spice aisle:


SIX DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS?!  SIX DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS for 1.5oz of "California Lemon Peel"?!  Are you kidding me?!  Is this stuff powdered gold?!  And, knowing how corporations like to cut corners, you know that this is not made from Meyer Lemons. 

But wait, it gets better!


FIVE DOLLAR AND 50 CENTS!  FIVE DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS for 1.5oz of "Valencia Orange Peel"  If Lemon Peel is powdered gold then Orange Peel must be powdered copper!

Being from Arizona, my first reaction was to laugh out loud hysterically in the aisle of the grocery store, then I started taking pictures.  I think the Marylanders in the grocery store must of thought I was insane for making such a big deal about dried citrus peel.  I wanted to walk up to random people in the grocery store and yell at them about how they are being ripped off!  haha.

Lets look at the ingredients lists:


To be fair, this is a pretty good ingredients list with only two ingredients but the second ingredient is Sodium Sulfate.  Sodium sulfate is a salt that is mainly used in the manufacture of detergents and paper pulp.

Folks, I've got a real easy method for you and you don't have to break the bank to do it either.  Grab your vegetable peeler, grab the citrus of your choice, and peel the zest right off those citrus (much like the way we did for the limoncello ).  Make sure you limit the amount of pith on the zest as the pith is bitter.  The zest hold all the apparent powdered gold - or powdered copper for that matter.

Lay those peels in a single layer in your dehydrator and check them every 4 hours or so.  Most of my peels dried overnight.  Once they are done drying put them on a plate to cool off.  Once they are completely cooled, place them in a pint jar.  OR, you can lay them on a single layer on a plate or cookie sheet and let them dry at their own pace.

BAM!  Ingredients:  Citrus Peel

You can pulverize them into a powder, place a couple of peels in a grinder with peppercorn and sea salt to use as a spice on chicken or fish, or grab a strip and drop it in your water!

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