I told you I would let you all know what I did with the peels left over after making lemonade, and I have not forgotten. I did, however, fail to mention that did not make just one pitcher of lemonade. I actually made 3 rather tart pitchers of lemonade, leaving me with a LOT of lemon peels.
There are tons of things you can do with lemon peels, but I dried most of mine.
First I separated the peel from the pulp of the lemon, by running a small sharp knife around the white pith of the lemon. The pulp can then be pulled from the peel.
The pulp was then composted.
Once the pulp was separated from all of the peels, the peels were set in the dehydrator. An oven set on low or warm would also have worked, as would a warm, low humidity day or two.
I let the peels dry over night. The next morning, they looked like this.
What can you do with a bunch of dried lemon peels?
- Make a potpourri with the peels, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Set in a pan of water over low heat.
- Throw into a burning fire for an infusion of fresh lemony scent.
- Add them to your recipe for apple cider or mulled wine.
- Grate into tiny pieces and to soap as an exfoliante.
- Include in an herbal sachet.
- Decorate a citrus/lemon scented candle.
I also picked a few of the most perfect peels to make zest.
You have to get ALL of the pith (white part) off the lemon peel if you are going to make zest with it.
First cut around the pith as close to the yellow zest as possible, and pull off all of the loosened pith.
Then CAREFULLY scrape off any remaining pith.
You should be left with nearly translucent zest. It is difficult to see in the picture, but my fingers are visible through the remaining zest.
The zest can be used to add an intense lemony flavor to your favorite foods. I will probably be using mine in some lemon cream scones! Yum!