While cleaning the kitchen today, I realized I had some oranges that were a little past their prime. I hate wasting food, but with everything that has been going on lately, our grocery shopping has been a little neglected, as well as our cupboards, our pantry, and our refrigerator. I'm so glad school has started back up. Even though my son is a Senior this year, we still have a family schedule that I like to keep to. We are starting to get back to a normal routine, and the start of school and the beginning of Autumn is always my favorite time of year.
Anyway, I didn't want to waste the oranges, so I did what I always do...sliced 'em up to dry out.
I used four oranges and only discarded the ends, which we composted. This is what they yielded:
They seem a little thick, but if they are cut too thin, they turn very brown too quickly. This seems to be the right thickness, I have found, for the best results while drying, as they thin out quite a bit as they lose their moisture.
You can let them dry naturally like I do, but it does take a while. You should pat them with paper towels first to remove excess juice. You also need to flip them every day and keep them on racks to let the air circulate all around them for even drying. You can also put them in a food dehydrator, if you have one. Just follow the manufacturers instructions for drying fruit. Or you can bake them in a low temp oven at 275* for the first hour, then 225* for the next two hours, turning them very often, or place them on racks on a cookie sheet. If you place them directly on a sheet, they may stick a little, so you must keep an eye on them (I've heard that some people use a little cooking spray for this. I do not, so I don't know first hand what the results of that would be on your fruit for decorating). I recommend the oven only if you are in a hurry to get them done but have the time to watch them. They will make your house smell wonderful in the oven, though!
I use mine for potpourri in bowls:
But my favorite use is tied with twine and hung from our Christmas tree.
I love how the light shines through them and makes them look like candy. Try glittering them, or baking them with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a more prim look, and a wonderful fragrance throughout your home.
There are so many things you can do with an old (but NOT moldy) orange besides throwing it out. And the same can be done with lemons and apples, too.For more great ideas for dried orange slices you can check out Pinterest by clicking here.
Thanks for reading, and have a fabulous day!