Freeze Dried Oranges - Beautiful and Easy

When November and December come around, our family can't wait to buy citrus.  Our growing season is too short for us to grow our own citrus, but we look forward to purchasing it through our local FFA each winter.

It can last us for several months, but eventually we run out.  But this year we tried something different.  We used our freeze dryer to make freeze dried oranges.  They turned out beautifully.  

Can you freeze dry oranges?  Yes.  Learn how to freeze dry oranges.

    We also wanted to see if we could make orange powder with our freeze dried oranges.  It was a bit of an experiment, but overall it was fairly successful.  So let's talk freeze drying oranges.

    freeze dried oranges

    Can you freeze-dry oranges?

    After experimenting with our own freeze dryer, I can safely say that, yes, you can freeze dry oranges.  It takes quite a long time because there is a LOT of liquid to remove.  However, the end result are gorgeous oranges.

    But what is freeze drying?  Learn all about freeze drying and how it can benefit your family.

    How long do freeze dried oranges last?

    Just like other fruits and vegetables, oranges will last for 10-15 years after being freeze dried.  As long as they were properly freeze dried and stored without oxygen and moisture.  

    freeze dried oranges

    How do you store freeze dried oranges?

    The best method is to store freeze dried oranges in Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber.  Seal using heat or with a vacuum sealer.

    can you freeze dry oranges

    Freeze Drying Equipment

    Just like anytime you preserve food, you'll need special equipment to freeze dry and store your food.  Some things you will need are:

    Freeze Dryer Machine:  We use the large Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.  We decided to go with the large because it can hold more, which means filling less often versus running the machine more often.  But they come in small, medium and large.  And they released an Ex-Large version in 2023.

    Canning Jars:  You can store many foods in canning jars for short term use.  For long term shortage, jars need to either have an oxygen absorber or be sealed using a vacuum sealer.  They need to be stored in a cool and dark area to keep colors fresh.

    Vacuum Sealer: A vacuum sealer is a good investment if you plan to store your freeze dried goods in jars.  This eliminates the cost and need for oxygen absorbers.

    Mylar Bags:  A Mylar bag is a great choice for storing freeze dried foods.  They come in many sizes and keep light from getting to foods.  They can be stored in tubs or 5 gallon buckets for easy access.  Make sure to purchase thick bags to avoid foods puncturing through and ruining your food supply.

    Impulse Sealer: An Impulse Sealer is used to seal Mylar bags.  Heat is applied to the bag layers to seal them together and avoid moisture, air and light from penetrating the bags.

    Oxygen Absorbers: Whether you plan to use Mylar bags or canning jars, you'll want to invest in oxygen absorbers.  These will be added to each Mylar bag and short term shortage jars.  This ensures that any oxygen in the packaging is absorbed and keeps the food from spoiling.  

    You can purchase these in many places including from Harvest Right and even on Amazon.  We've had success with both, but you may need to try a few brands until you find one that works best for you.

    VIDEO - Freeze Drying Oranges

    Making Freeze Dried Orange Juice

    can you freeze dry oranges
    We started our orange juice by adding freeze dried oranges to a food processor.  Grinding them down until they were powder.

    For this experiment, we left the rinds on.  For two reasons, first, to see if we really had to peel them to get the best flavor.  It would be great if we could ignore peeling them.

    Second, we wanted to see how the oranges would freeze dry with the peel on.

    freeze dried oranges

    Once the powder was made, we added it to some water.  We let it still for several minutes and reconstitute.

    freeze dried oranges

    Next, we ran it through a strainer to remove the large pieces of rind or pulp.  And we have a glass of juice!!

    How did it turn out?  Not bad.  It was definitely a little more bitter because of the peel, but it wasn't bad.  With a bit of honey or sugar it would be perfect.

    Peeling the oranges would probably be a better option and that is what we will do next time.

    freeze dry oranges

    Making freeze dried oranges is easy and can a lot to your pantry and your table.  Plus, it is a great way to get some Vitamin C in your pantry.

    So the next time you have extra oranges from your FFA or your own citrus tree, try freeze drying it.

    Can you freeze dry oranges?  Yes.  Learn how to freeze dry oranges.

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