How to Dry and Use Lemon Peel

Last updated 03/9/2021 | |

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Make your own lemon peel powder by drying lemon peels in your dehydrator or oven. Use your homemade lemon peel powder for cooking, cleaning and skincare (yes, really!)

lemons and a bowl of lemon peel on a table

I was reading the King Arthur Baking catalog the other day (I can't be the only one who reads cookbooks, seed catalogs, and baking catalogs for fun, right?) and was surprised to see a tiny jar of dried, powdered lemon peel for $10.

Really? People are paying $10 for something that the rest of us throw away? I guess they are the same people who throw away their vegetable scraps and then buy compost at the garden store...but I digress.

A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to get a bunch of delicious lemons from my friend's urban orchard. I used the juice to make lots of delicious recipes.

I couldn't bear to waste the peel, so I decided to dry it and make my own lemon peel powder. It's so easy!

lemons and bowl of lemon zest

 

How to Dry Lemon Peel

First, wash your lemons. Please only use fruits that are organic or haven't been sprayed. Peel them with a vegetable peeler and try to get just the rind, not the bitter white pith.

Place the peels in a single layer in your dehydrator. My giant pile of peels filled three trays in my Nesco dehydrator.

lemon peels on dehydrator tray

Dry them for 10-12 hours at 95 degrees. You'll know they're completely dry when they snap and don't bend.

dried lemon peels on dehydrator tray

Aren't they beautiful? You could stop right here and add them to potpourri, or as a fragrant centerpiece with some fresh rosemary.

dried lemon peels in bowl

Crush the peels and buzz them in your coffee grinder until you get a fine powder.

lemon peel powder on spoon

Store the lemon peel powder in the fridge—it will keep for a year.

Cooking With Lemon Peel Powder

When substituting in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon dried peel for each tablespoon of fresh peel called for in your recipe.

Make your own lemon pepper! Combine 2 Tbsp lemon peel powder and 1 Tbsp pepper; add 1 tsp salt if desired (I like Real Salt).

Add a pinch to tea or your homemade salad dressing.

Mix with sugar and sprinkle over scones or other baked goods; add to sugar cookies for a pop of flavor.

Put a bit into the crumb topping for apple crisp.

Give your vanilla or lemon pudding extra zing with a dash of lemon peel powder.

Use to brighten the flavor of artichokes--add to the cooking water.

scoop of lemon peel powder in front of lemons

Cleaning with Dried Lemon Peel

Make soft scrub cleaner.

Mix together:

1 cup baking soda

2 Tbsp lemon peel powder

¼ cup unscented liquid castile soap

1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide

Water (if needed) to make the proper texture

Store in a plastic squeeze bottle. Use to scrub your shower, sinks, etc...anything that needs a gentle scrub.

Carpet deodorizer

This is a 5-second recipe! Mix baking soda and dried lemon peel in a shaker-top jar. (I got an empty powdered-cheese jar from a friend, or you could use one of these cool gizmos.) Sprinkle on the carpet, let sit for 15-20 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Skincare With Lemon Peel Powder (yes, really!)

Make all-natural Lemon Sugar Scrub.

glass jar with lemon sugar scrub with lemon in background

lemon peel powder on spoon

How to Dry and Use Lemon Peel

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Make your own lemon peel powder by drying lemon peels in your dehydrator or oven. Use your homemade lemon peel powder for cooking, cleaning and skincare (yes, really!)

Materials

  • Organic or unsprayed lemons

Instructions

  1. Wash your lemons. Peel them with a vegetable peeler and try to get just the rind, not the bitter white pith.
  2. Place the peels in a single layer in your dehydrator, or on a cooling rack in your oven.
  3. Dry them in the dehydrator for 8-10 hours at 95 degrees. In the oven, use the very lowest temperature you can. Watch the peels closely if drying them in the oven, to ensure they don't cook.
  4. The lemon peels are completely dry when they snap and don't bend.
  5. Crush the peels and buzz them in your coffee grinder until you get a fine powder.
  6. Store the lemon peel powder in the fridge—it will keep for a year.

Notes

Cooking With Dried Lemon Peel

  • When substituting in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon dried peel for each tablespoon of fresh peel called for in your recipe.
  • Make your own lemon pepper! Combine 2 Tbsp lemon peel powder and 1 Tbsp pepper; add 1 tsp salt if desired (I like Real Salt).
  • Add a pinch to tea or your homemade salad dressing.
  • Mix with sugar and sprinkle over scones or other baked goods; add to sugar cookies for a pop of flavor.
  • Put a bit into the crumb topping for apple crisp.
  • Give your vanilla or lemon pudding extra zing with a dash of lemon peel powder.
  • Use to brighten the flavor of artichokes--add to the cooking water.

How will you use your dried lemon peel?

lemon zest in dehydrator

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Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

Pam

Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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