Monday, May 21, 2012

Zesting Citrus Fruit

Many people are curious about dehydrating citrus fruit.  Yes, you can dehydrate your citrus, any kind. Be it lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, whatever. 

This is a handy little tool called a zester.  It has a set of tiny holes with scraping edges. This is drawn across the skin of the fruit and peels up just a tiny layer of peeling, called the zest.

Lemon zest may cost as much as $5.99 for two ounces. This price may vary depending on where you live.  Most people throw away their lemon rinds, but if you zest it first and dehydrate the zest, you can save a small fortune. It was too expensive for me.  Before I learned to zest and dehydrate, I usually had to simply leave it out of a recipe. 

Use lemon zest to infuse lemon flavor into whatever you are cooking.

You may use a microplaner, which works wonderfully, but they are very expensive and I don’t have one.  Most of the ones I’ve seen were in excess of $10 each, whereas the little zester demonstrated here cost me 25¢ at the thrift store. 

Note: Didn't realize the video was so dark. Nest time I have a lemon to zest, we'll redo the video. 

As an alternative, you might try a potato peeler, but it is difficult to get just that top layer for the zest. 

lemon zest

When your zest is dried, simply bag or jar it. When you need to use some for a recipe, grind or powder as needed.

What to do with zest:

  • Used in baked goods such as cookies, muffins, breads, etc.
  • Sprinkled on top of icings
  • Infused into beverages such as tea, etc.

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