There’s just something sweet and classic about dried oranges. Make them once and save them for next year or create a holiday tradition.
I love adding in as many natural elements into our holiday decor as possible and this DIY dried orange garland is a perfect addition to our list. Natural Christmas decor like this means four things:
1. I can source almost all of our decor from our yard or the grocery store.
2. When the season is finished I can toss everything into the compost and it will naturally turn into nutrients for the garden. Also things like dried oranges, pine bough, popcorn and pine cones won’t be taking up space in our storage room :)!
3. We are making memories that the kids will remember and perhaps want to pass down to their kids someday.
4. We adore our Scandinavian roots and love to honor them with these minimalistic pieces of decor that are simple and inexpensive to make!
This beautiful dried orange garland adds a freshness to your holiday season and is really simple to make! It’s a fun project that will leave you with dried orange slices and a wide range of possibilities! During Christmas season, we hang our dried orange slice garland all over the house and use them as Christmas ornaments but these dehydrated orange slices can be used many different ways any time of year: decorating around the house with just the slices, decorating desserts, garnishing drinks, homemade scents, adding into dried fruit garland with other dehydrated fruit, and more!
Chances are you may have a few leftover oranges or tangerines around. I always grab those old ones that no one is going to want to eat. It saves me from having to toss them to the chickens and the smell of baking citrus is amazing in your kitchen.
Let’s get baking, shall we?
How to Make Dried Orange Slices
Time needed: 3 hours
Preheat the oven to 225° F. I like to use my convection setting on my oven as it tends to move the air around more, making flipping the oranges optional.
I add a piece of parchment paper to 2 large baking pans.
Using a sharp knife or mandoline slicer, carefully slice fresh oranges evenly 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch and lay on parchment paper- not overlapping the slices.
Blotting the fruit slices with a paper towel helps remove moisture and speed up the drying process.
Bake your sliced fruit at 225° for about 2 hours, flipping them after about 1 hour. You will notice them start to brown and no longer shinny- that’s when you know they are done!
Each oven is a little different. So just do some checking around that 1.5 our time frame to make sure they don’t over bake.
Allow the fruit slices to cool good before stringing them.
Using a needle or just the end of a scissors, poke a hole and add your string!
Drying Orange Slices in the oven gives you a darker, more primitive look which is just fine (right side of the photograph below). You can also keep them bright and more translucent – closer to their original color – by using a dehydrator (left side of the photo).
Here are the Steps to making Dried Orange Slices in the dehydrator:
Yes! Last year we made them in the dehydrator after we were finished making venison jerky. The dehydrator was already out, so we took advantage. Just dry them down until they are no longer pliable.
Also yes! Load your sliced oranges onto the air fryer shelf and air fry for 3.5 hours at 55C./ 130F. Remove slices from the air fryer and allow to cool before stringing them or placing them into a storage container.
The ones we made in the dehydrator are the ones that we put up this year. We stored them in a paper bag so they had room to breathe. They weren’t molded at all. I imagine they will last a few years with the right storage. We just love the tradition of making them each year and not having to worry about storing them.
We kept ours in a paper bag with our Christmas decor in our cool, dark basement storage room. All came out well. To prevent any mold, be sure they are completely dried before storing.
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