Freezing oranges will change their texture, making them best suited for use in cooking or baking. But if you have a surplus of oranges, this is one way to save some for future recipes.
Slice clean oranges and pack them into your chosen freezer container, leaving a quarter to a half inch of head space to allow for expansion. You can also flash freeze slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, freeze for a few hours, and pack into freezer bags. Separate your layers with waxed paper so you can take out a few slices at a time. If you have a food sealer, seal small packets of frozen slices.
Another freezing method is to pack orange slices or sections in syrup first, then freeze. You can make a simple syrup using 2 parts sugar to 3 parts water.
Oranges that are seedless or that have very few seeds are good candidates for drying; navel and blood oranges work well.
- Slice your oranges thinly (1/4 inch) and lay them out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You can toss them in turbinado sugar or just leave them plain.
- Put them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees F for an hour. Turn the slices over and leave them in the oven for another hour. Continue flipping and baking at 30-minute intervals until the oranges are completely dry.
- Store in an airtight container.
Of course, if you have a food dehydrator, it will do most of the work for you. Just follow the instructions in your user manual.
You can eat dried orange slices as a snack, use them as a garnish on drinks or desserts, or add them to trail mix.
Dried orange slices work great in craft projects, too: toss them in a bowl as part of a potpourri, string slices together to make a fragrant garland, or use them as a colorful and fragrant addition to a wreath.
A little sugar goes a long way to preserving oranges. You can simmer orange slices in sugar-infused water until they turn translucent, or do the same with just the peel. See our recipe for Candied Orange Peel for details.
Oranges make delicious jam, and Seville oranges are famous for making fabulous marmalade. Check out our Orange Marmalade recipe for a quick and easy way to make your own.
Oranges are great candidates for sweet, savory, or spicy pickling. Pick the combination of flavors that suit you best.
How frequently do you harvest your oranges? Please tell us what you look for when getting ready to harvest and how you preserve your harvest.