Dehydrator Hack: Keep Lemons from Darkening

I have had a hard time keeping my lemons a pretty yellow color when I dehydrate them. I have looked for answers and tried several things, but nothing has worked. Then my friend Jennifer Osuch from Self-Reliant School shared her article with me where she experimented with the same problem.

So I did a little experimenting this week with lemons per her wonderful article, How To Dehydrate Citrus Slices (Oranges, Lemons And Limes). I had to see the difference for myself of lowering the temperature to stop the browning effect we have experienced. I took pictures at different phases to show what my results were.

Lemons(1) 16 hours

1) 16 hours @ 115F/46C: As you can see, my lemons are still a beautiful sunny color. However, they are not completely dried yet, so back into the dehydrator they went.

Lemons(2) 24 hours

2) 24 hours @ 115F/46C: This was Jennifer’s recommended time frame. My lemon slices did experience just a slight darkening, but overall still look great. Unfortunately, I have been working this week with humidity in the 80 and above percentile, so my lemon slices still were not crispy dry.

Lemons(3) 30 hours

3) 30 hours @ 115F/46C: My lemon slices were finally dry. You will notice a darkening of the slices I pulled randomly for an example picture.

Lemons(4) Previous Batch

HOWEVER, when compared with the lemons I previously dried at 125F/52C (picture 4) there is a VAST difference !!!

I made my tea last night and today with slices from picture #3 and #4 and there really is no discernible taste difference. When you add the lemons to liquid, of course, they do lighten up again. However, the lemon slices processed via Jennifer’s directions are MUCH prettier. Way to go Jennifer!

Lemon Collage

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