Dried oranges during the holidays have become a tradition for me. I love the warmth they bring to decor. They smell good while drying, are a more sustainable way to decorate, and even my grown kids love helping to string them up.
Another thing that makes me so happy is having a variety of ways to use them.
I love using the dried oranges as garland alone, adding to greenery, or hanging a string in the tree. They look so beautiful and glow with warmth in the Christmas lights.
Adding dried citrus to place settings is so pretty. I like to have a pop of green in there as well, whether that’s adding a bay leaf, a sprig of rosemary, a splash of pine, or a bit of eucalyptus.
This is such a beautiful way to elevate a gift. You can wrap in black, white or brown craft paper and add a dried orange when you place your ribbon. Add pine or eucalyptus and a gift tag. It feels like you put a lot more thought and effort into your gifts!
Dried citrus is so pretty when you use it to top a cocktail! You can skewer it with rosemary and sugared cranberries.
I love simmer pots, and if you keep a big bowl of potpourri on hand, it makes it easy to scoop some into a pot anytime you want a cozy and warm holiday smell to permeate your home.
You can use fresh fruit, but you can also use your leftover dried oranges from your decor! You don’t want to keep them until next year, as they can attract pests or begin to mold if you didn’t dry them well enough.
Place your dried oranges into a pretty decorative bowl. Add bay leaves, cloves, dried unsweetened cranberries and cinnamon sticks. Keep them out on the kitchen counter so whenever you are ready, you can pour some into a pot. Add water and simmer on low all day for a holiday scent that can’t be beat. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water and refill often.
My neighbor gave me the cutest gift two years ago and it was genius! She took one whole fresh orange, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, cloves and fresh cranberries and put them in a little cellophane bag. Tied with a string and tagged with instructions, it was a little diy simmer pot!
Another way to do this is with dried citrus! Sub all of the fresh ingredients for dehydrated ones, and put them in a pretty jar. Top with a ribbon and instructions, and you have a simmer pot gift that will last until the receiver uses it!
Here’s the video I made about all of the ways you can use dried oranges (or any dried citrus or fruit like pears, apples, and lemons!)
I’ve tried making these using several methods over the last three holidays and the one that I’ve found works best is 185F on racks (I tried parchment in the video, and it works, but it’s slower). Any higher, and you will have crispy oranges that you can’t string, or risk burning them.
For stringing, I recommend waxed thread and an embroidery needle.
For storing, again, I highly recommend not. They can attract pests if any moisture was remaining. They can also sometimes mold. Instead, repurpose them in a simmer pot or use them for gift tags or table settings over the rest of the winter season!
Happy Holidays, and have fun making and using your dried oranges in all of the ways!
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