Happy MLK Day!
I hope your either having a fab day off of work! Or if you’re working, I sincerely hope that you’re enjoying a nice day at work, nonetheless (suckaaaa). Sorry, that was uncalled for.
Anyway, the title of this post sounds sort of… dried up and boring, right?
As my regular readers know, and as I alluded to last week, I have been up to my neck in lemons this winter. Not that I’m complaining! But it’s inspired a little more creativity in what I do with all those lemons than just juicing them like I did last year. I did juice a lot of them though! I’ve found that freezing zest and juice is my favorite thing to do with them, because it provides you with endless options for the rest of the year. However, I was banned from putting any more jars of lemon juice in our deep freezer, which perfectly coincided with my discovery of @anhaica’s Instagram account. She introduced me to a new form of lemon preservation: dehydration. And I cannot get enough.
Dehydrated lemon slices have won a special piece of my heart for being so gosh-darn pretty. I mean, just look!
I can’t get over it.
And to make the situation even more serious, they are the easiest way to preserve lemons that I have ever come across.
Nearly two years ago, Wheat brought a food dehydrator into my life. Or rather, into our new house. And he hasn’t used it since. It sat, relegated to a shelf in the shed, and I pretty much forgot about it. Not once did I ever contemplate using it. I guess I associated it with beef and deer jerky, and jerky alone. When I saw @anhaica‘s dehydrated lemons on Instagram, I knew that it was a weekend project that had to happen. So thanks for sharing, @anhaica!
– lemons (of any variety)
you’ll also need a food dehydrator
Scrub and wash the lemons to get them as clean as you can. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the lemons into the thinnest slices you can manage. Spread them across the racks of a food dehydrator, and dry for 10 to 12 hours at 135 degrees. Halfway through, rotate the top racks to the bottom, and the bottom racks to the top, to get a more even drying time for all of them. You’ll know they’re done drying when the flesh is a caramel-ish brown color and there is no moisture left. Be sure not to pull them from the dehydrator too soon. If there is any moisture left in them, they’ll rot.
Store in an air-tight container… until they’re gone? They should keep for a very long time.
And in case you’re not super lucky like me and don’t have a food dehydrator hanging out in your shed, here is a guide to dehydrating lemons in your oven. I can’t vouch for it, since I didn’t try it, but if you do, let me know in the comments!
I highly doubt mine will last very long. I’ve been using one slice a day in my water. You can keep refilling your water all day long, and the lemon just keeps on trucking!
My coworker, Anne, said that while living in Japan, without any of their Christmas decorations, she used her oven to dehydrate lemons, limes, oranges, etc. to decorate their tree. I can completely understand why. I want to show everyone. I want to tell the world.
“LOOK HOW PRETTY THESE DEHYDRATED FRUITS ARE!?!?!” said the crazy lady.
Which is why I’m going to make you look at a gajillion pictures of them. I mean, really, you’re lucky I stopped when I did.
I also put some in a small jar and took them to work. They’re the perfect work-water-pick-me-up. Because we all know, some days at work, your sanity hinges upon the little things. Like clip art in emails. And lunch. And lemon water.
Okay, I suppose I’ll stop now. But if you’re drowning in lemon juice like I was, I highly recommend dehydrating some of them. Apparently they’re excellent in hot or cold tea, perfect for baking, and a whole host of other uses that I’ve yet to discover. Any suggestions?
And I’m quite confident the age old favorite, “Put it in your booze,” is the obvious answer. But guidance on the best way to do that will not only be accepted, but whole-heartedly welcomed.
I LOVE DEHYDRATED LEMONS.