Frugal File #2 Orange zest sugar
As I mentioned in my first Frugal File, I am looking for ways to stretch our food dollar. Some of the ideas that I classify as frugal, also become matters of convenience. I love citrus in every form, but I don't always have it on hand when I need it. Since I have organic citrus available right now (thanks to NGD, my co-op), I began to look for ways to have my citrus and save it too. That led to a recent experiment in making orange extract (look for an update in the near future regarding that extract). Since I already have extract steeping, I decided to try a different approach.
Many recipes call for zest, so I have always hated tossing the rind when I ate an orange or juiced a lemon. As a result, I am also making zest sugars using raw sugar and zest. Zest sugars can substituted for plain sugar to add flavor in desserts and tea, baking and even hot cereal. One word of caution, if you use the sugars in tea, the zest will settle out to the bottom of your cup.
•Zest of 3 oranges (I highly recommend organic)
•2 cups of sugar (I used raw coarse sugar)
Wash oranges, then remove the zest (being careful to avoid the white pith).
Alternate adding sugar and zest in to the jar of a blender or food processor. I found that using the pulse option was helpful, as well as stopping to loosen the sugar. When the sugar and zest are thoroughly blended, spread the sugar out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and allow to dry. Once the sugar is dry, you can pull the sides of the parchment together and pour the sugar into a jar. Don't forget to try lemon zest or lime.
*added note: If you only have one or two pieces of citrus on hand, you can just adjust the amount of sugar. Just use 2/3 of a cup of sugar per each piece of fruit.