Recipe: Sugar-Free Citrus & Fruit Sprinkles

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

On a new-year-new-you kick and all about that clean-eating life? God knows I’m not, but I’m all about experimenting in the kitchen and looking into ways to cut out any unecessary added sugar and preservatives. Enter these technicolor “sprinkles,” made from at-home dehydrated citrus zest and unsweetened, freeze-dried fruit.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

These “sprinkles” are slightly bitter and sour, which is really no surprise considering they’re made from bitter peels and no-sugar-added fruit. If you’re already in the habit of dehydrating your citrus peels, sure, why not set a few aside to make this vibrant treat topper? (It is seriously pretty.)

How to Use Them

  • As you would use sprinkles in general — on cakes and cookies, ice cream, and frosted donuts.
  • Give the rim of your cocktails a pop of color with citrus and fruit fringe.
  • Take this savory and use as a flavor-packed garnish for popcorn, yogurt, and dips.
  • Stir into salad dressings for a citrusy pop of fruit flavor.
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Sugar-Free Citrus & Fruit Sprinkles


  • Zest of 2 lemons, limes, or oranges, or zest of 1 grapefruit

  • 1/2 cup

    freeze-dried fruit (raspberries, pineapple, banana slices, mango, etc.) or dried coconut flakes



  1. Preheat oven to 170°F. Use a Microplane to zest the fruit, avoiding the bitter white pith. Alternately, use a peeler or paring knife to zest long strips of peel.

  2. Dehydrate for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until zest is dried and crispy, but retains its color. For long strips, dehydrate 3 to 4 hours or until peels are dry and start to curl.

  3. Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind freeze-dried fruit into a fine powder and add dehydrated zest. (Pulse long strips of zest in a spice grinder before adding to fruit powder.)

  4. Store in a resealable bag or airtight container in the freezer.

Recipe Notes

Check the ingredient list on your freeze-dried fruit; fruit should be the only ingredient.