Many people don’t buy fresh lemons because they only consider them for drinks, and many use reconstituted bottled lemon juice. Lemons have many uses that go well beyond iced tea and lemonade. I buy lemons on a regular basis, and I keep them on hand for a variety of purposes. I’ve discovered some of the best ways to store and use fresh lemons so they’ll last a long time in the refrigerator and freezer. Lemons are too expensive to simply slice and forget in the vegetable bin. The following information will help you learn how to store and use fresh lemons, and once you find out how easy it is, you’ll never again buy a plastic lemon or those bottles of reconstituted lemon juice that have very little nutritional value. Fresh is always best!
Need a Few Drops?
There’s no need to cup open a lemon if you need just a few drops of juice. Once lemons are cut and the protective peel is removed, they deteriorate much faster. When you need a few drops of juice, simply poke the peel with a pin or a toothpick. You don’t need a special plastic attachment to get juice out of a lemon. Gently squeeze out the juice you want, and place it back in the refrigerator. The fruit will still be fresh when you need a slice or a few more drops of juice.
Need a Slice?
If you need a slice or two of lemon, don’t slice the entire piece of fruit. Using a sharp knife, cut off the end, but don’t throw it away. Instead, after cutting off a slice or two from the end of the lemon, put the cap back in place before placing in back in the refrigerator. The sliced off end will help keep the rest of the lemon fresh until you need more.
How to Store Lemons in the Refrigerator and Freezer
The lemons you store in the refrigerator will last longer than those you store on the kitchen counter, but it can still be very difficult to use an entire bag of lemons before some of them go bad. If you know you can’t use all of the lemons you purchased before they’ll go to waste, store some of the juice and lemon zest in the freezer. Begin by cleaning and grating lemon peel from the oldest looking lemons on hand. Store the freshly grated lemon zest in a plastic bag or container in the freezer. You’ll have aromatic and flavorful lemon zest anytime you need it – long after the lemons you purchased would have gone bad.
After obtaining all of the lemon zest you want from the lemons you know you won’t be able to otherwise store and use, you’ll need to remove the juice as well. Prepare the lemons for juicing by rolling them firmly on a flat surface, or heat them in a microwave for approximately one minute. Juice the lemons, and fill ice cube trays with the juice. One section in an ice cube tray holds approximately 1 Ã?Â½ tablespoons of liquid, but for greater accuracy, measure how much juice you want to store in each individual section. In the future when you need lemon juice or zest you’ll be able to pull it out of the freezer at a moments notice, and nothing will go to waste.