Refreshing, zesty and alkalizing. Lemons are one of those fruits I always like to stock in my kitchen. One way to assure you are never short of these yellow vitamin bombs is to freeze them. Yes, it’s perfectly alright to do that. In fact, every part of the fruit can be frozen, including the juice, and consumed at your convenience. Moreover, freezing lemons can bring some other benefits and make the preparation of food and beverages a lot smoother.
Before Freezing Your Lemons
Choose fruits that have no dark or soft spots. Wash them well with water and fruit and vegetable soap like this one. Or you can remove pesticides from your produce by washing them in a mixture of water and white vinegar, which is especially applicable if you buy non-organic lemons (see how to do it in my previous article How to Easily Remove Pesticides From Your Fruits and Vegetables).
How to Freeze Your Lemons
Place the lemons in freezer bags, remove air and seal well.
When you need the lemons, thaw them or place them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Use them for juicing and enjoy the lemon water or as an ingredient in your recipes.
Unfortunately, once totally defrosted, the lemons become very squashy and are not good for slicing and decorating. For such uses I either take fresh lemons or use frozen wedges as described below.
Whole lemons without the zest
Lemons you grated the zest from don’t need to be left to rot or thrown away. Instead, wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put the wrapped fruits in freezer bags. The nicely tucked fruit will not dry out and can be used later for juicing.
You can also freeze just the zest by simply putting it in a freezer bag for later use.
If you use a whole frozen lemon and then grind the zest, you will not lose any lemon rind oils, which defrost straight into the recipe mix and do not spray all over the kitchen counter.
Lemon wedges and slices
Slice the lemons and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the sheet into the freezer. When the items are frozen, pop them into bags or containers.
Prepared in this way, your lemons are perfect for flavoring drinks, an addition to your ice tea or a handy way to cool down your morning cup of tea.
Frozen juice is very convenient for recipes. Juice fresh lemons and pour the juice into ice cube trays. You can leave it there or if you need the trays, when the juice freezes, remove the cubes and place them into zipper-style freezing bags after removing as much air as possible.
To make it easier and more accurate, measure the volume of one cube. It should be between one and two tablespoons. Record the amount on the freezing bag, so you know exactly how many cubes to thaw for your recipe.
For something a little special, try adding a slice of strawberry, a mint leaf or a raspberry into the cube and freezing it together with the lemon juice. These special cubes can make for a novelty decoration at your parties and gatherings.
If you are looking for more ideas on what to do with your lemons, read my other posts: