Monday, October 20, 2014

DEHYDRATED LEMONS - Why I preserve lemons



One of the first things I became interested in dehydrating when I rediscovered my dehydrator (you can read about my book review here ---> The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook)
was to preserve lemons!

Lemons are one of the main foods I think about when my family is sick. Not only is it high in vitamin C, but it gives us a much needed immune system boost. Here's a link to the ----> Health Benefits of Lemons and why it's important in our diet.

Why I preserve lemons  

Face it. lemons are not always going to be available. For those of us who don't grow lemons trees, we're dependent on stores.

But what happens when there are no trucks delivering lemons, or there was a bad year for the farmers?

I had those thoughts a few years ago, and wasn't quite sure how to store lemons long term, so I thought about canning. I went on the web and couldn't find a single article on how to can lemons.

Since I had experience canning peaches and pears, I went ahead and canned the lemons the same way. After canning a batch, I put them away on a shelf.

Upon reading the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook, I learned that the canning process had destroyed quite a bit of the vitamins that I was trying to preserve. Unlike canning, or freezing, dehydration was the best option for maintaining the vitamins.

Here's a jar of canned lemons next to my dehydrated lemons. More than likely I'll be turning the canned lemons into household cleaner!

There is nothing more refreshing than lemon water. Ever get a glass of water or unsweetened iced tea at a restaurant and it doesn't taste good? I always ask for lemons! Now we can pack our own dehydrated lemons.

What I think about is the importance of rejuvenating the water we have in food storage.

IMAGINE being faced with a crisis and having to drink water that was filtered through your rain barrels --- or trying to purify water with a drop of bleach --- or using a purification pill...

Personally, I would want to add lemons. Not just for adding taste, but to help with the sanitation process. There have been many studies that adding lemon/lime juice to food and water have helped prevent Cholera.

Nothing soothes a sore throat more than a cup of hot tea with lemon and honey.

But guess what my number one reason is for storing lemons?

The fact that I CAN. And so can you!

I'm all about learning ways to store foods that my family enjoys and depends on.

When facing a crisis, or illness, sometimes the best medicine is having the things you enjoy the most available.

Nothing better than comfort food and self sufficiency!  


Lemons are easy to dry, and as an added benefit, your house smells fresh and wonderful during the process.

For this batch, I had purchased a bag of organic lemons and before slicing, I washed them in a solution of vinegar and water -- since I'm keeping the peelings for both food and other projects.

Not all dehydrators are the same, so I won't go over temperatures here.

I've discovered some great uses for these peelings and will be blogging on them later.

I dried the lemons overnight, and the following morning, I turned them over to dry some more.

Mine took over 24 hours to dry - this depends on the thickness of the slices, but I also wanted to ensure they were good and dried for storage.

The dry peelings.
All packed in the mason jars. The goal is to eliminate as much oxygen as possible and to store in a dark, cool dry place. This should last me for several months, but for long term, I will be storing away using a Food Saver.

What are some of your ideas on preserving lemons? Have you actually tried any in any recipes? I would love to hear your ideas! You can comment here, or come join our Facebook family at ASliceOfTexas.

1 comment:

ckiddings said...

I have some lemons and a dehydrator so I am going to be doing this for sure! Thank you for the information and encouragement!