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Quick and Easy Cherry Coconut Fluff Dessert Recipe

My husband and I were invited to a summer cookout and volleyball extravaganza. Like all good Midwesterners, we automatically knew that includes bringing food for the potluck portion of the party. Unfortunately, earlier in the week due to a raging thunderstorm that took down power line followed by temperatures that shot up into the 90’s (F ) our electric company gave a huge chunk of the state the gift of multiday rolling blackouts early in the week. Fortunately, we got our electricity back in one of the first waves. Even though we didn’t lose any of our food in the freezer (I had the freezer packed with big reusable ice packs similar to these to get them ready for the party) the power outages made grocery shopping for fresh party food ingredients difficult. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I poked around my pantry and got a little creative. I made a quick and easy three ingredient cherry coconut fluff salad recipe that just so happens to also b

How to Dehydrate Orange Peels the Easy Way!

I had a nice little pile of orange rinds on the counter after I squeezed a bunch of oranges for a recipe. It felt like a shame to stuff them into the garage disposal (our compost bin is closed for business once it is buried under snow.)

There are several bread recipes I usually can’t make because I never think about buying orange zest until the moment I get the itch to bake. I decided then and there to dehydrate the fresh orange peels and to keep in the pantry to grind into zest with a spice grinder similar to this one, or to steep in a cup of tea to give it an extra flavor kick, or to use to make mulling spices (which I also steep with a black tea bag to give it an extra flavor kick. Oh yeah and to make mulled fruit juice and wine.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Let’s do this! 


how to dehydrate and preserve fresh orange peels
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How to Dry Oranges and Make Orange Zest

You will need the following:

Fresh oranges

A vegetable peeler like this kind

Dehydrator – I have this exact Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator and I can’t recommend it enough! 


A metal mesh colander like this kind 


Easy Step by Step How to Make this Recipe

1. Wash the oranges if necessary.

2. Use the vegetable peeler to peel the thin orange layer of the rind from the orange while avoiding the white pith underneath. You want to avoid the white pith because it tastes bitter – yuck. 


How to peel an orange


3. Arrange the orange peels on a dehydrator tray or on the metal colander with plenty of room between the peels so air and circulate to dry them. 

 how to dry and preserve oranges

Tip:I like to put a Clean a Screen (you can learn more about dehydrator tray screens here)  on my dehydrator trays so the dry peels won’t fall through the tray when they are ready.

4.Dehydrator Method: Dehydrate the orange peels for 6 to 10 hours at 125 degrees (F ) or until the orange peels are fully dry and without moisture.

Colander Method:Put the colander in a cool and moisture free place to dry. You can cover the colander with an extra piece of cheesecloth if you are concerned about dust getting on your orange zest while they are drying over several days.

Once the herbs are completely dry, transfer the orange peels into an airtight containers and store them in a cool dark place, such as a cupboard or pantry for further use. 


how to make dried orange peel zest


Rather buy than DIY? Check out the following orange zest opeions - and more! - below


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