Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Moment in M.O.M.'s Kitchen- Dehydrating Orange Peels

What do you do with all your orange peels? There are several things I like to do with my left over peels. I make a homemade potpourri, especially in the fall. I feed them to my chickens or goats from time to time and other times give them to the cows or sheep. However my favorite purpose for orange peels is drying them! I like to add them to some of our family favorite herbal tea mixtures. When we lived off the grid, I would dry my foods with the California sunshine. Living in KS, I am not sure how drying would work with all the humidity; I suppose I will have to try it sometime and find out. I believe I have used almost every method available. I don’t much care how I dry my foods just as long as it gets the job done. With oven drying it can be a challenge to make sure that you actually dry the food and don’t just cook it. Typical electric dehydrators just don’t dry enough food for our family efficiently. This last year, I was blessed with a commercial dehydrator from my mother. It has the capacity to do large amounts in reasonable amounts of time. I have only used it a dozen times so far but each time I smile and thank the Lord for such a sweet gift. I thought I would share the step by step process of drying our oranges this last week. You process different foods differently so I am sure I will be posting in the future about other adventures in preserving foods. Hopefully today’s post will encourage you to take something you might normally throw away and use it to benefit your family!

I purchased 50lbs of organic oranges when the children would enjoy an orange I would have them save the peels in a glass jar. I would normally dry them every other day to ensure that mold wouldn’t overtake my peels. I would then slice the orange peels in strips and then cut in dice size small pieces. I then lay them out on my dehydrator tray so that they don’t overcrowd each other.

Different foods have different temperatures and times of dehydration. Orange peels are pretty easy, just set your timer for eight hours at 140 degrees.

Once they are done store them in a glass jar in a dark place. They will keep for a year and still offer your family nutrition benefit. You can vacuum seal them if you prefer. I did do a few bags like that as well. Just don’t forget to label your jar or bag with the contents and date. Unlabeled food is dangerous. Make it a habit to always label anything you put away in your pantry. Good habits should be passed down to our children. Include them in your efforts to preserve food and teach them the many tips needed for success in providing healthy food at a later date.
I like to color code my labels for the herbs so that they are labeled for the 'type' of herb they are. For example aromatic herbs are blue, bitter herbs are red, and so forth.  

So, what are you going to be drying? Share as you can! I always love hearing from you all!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood

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