I may have finally harvested the last of the Tahitian lime tsunami and the inaugural Rangpur limes but the rest of the citrus is just getting underway. Parrots cheekily taste-testing the sweet-tart Navel oranges that hang on the tree herald their ripeness. The white grapefruit tree is the only citrus fruit we don’t especially like and, of course, it is far and away the biggest, healthiest and most abundant of all the trees. Late harvest Valencia oranges are still a way off, the lemon tree was a fizzer this year and the mandarins are losing the last of their green bottoms and should sweeten up to be ready any day now.
So I wanted to find another large-scale use for all this beautiful fruit. I had an idea for citrus chips. I wasn’t sure if they were a “thing” or not, but it turns out they are dead easy to make and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! My google searching revealed a smattering of recipes but after trying a time-consuming oven-baked version, I ended up doing my own thing and put my trusty dehydrator to good use again.
I recently purchased a deli slicer, primarily for slicing bulk meat, but it worked a treat on the citrus, slicing them into uniformly thin rings. I dusted the limes, lemons and grapefruit with icing sugar and left the sweet oranges unadulterated. About 10 hours later (overnight), we had crispy citrus chips that hit you with a sweet sour tang and have a wonderful crunch.
Beyond being a simple, healthy and delicious snack, they look sensational as a garnish floating on the surface of a Rangpur lime gimlet and as a cake topper. I took them to a recent Hills Permaculture pruning workshop where they were a hit with adults and kids alike.
I love discovering new ways to use my garden gluts because for me, my favourite type of cooking always starts in the garden.