What can you do with too many lemons? Plenty, but freezing both the lemon juice and lemon zest is a handy way to prevent any homegrown or organic lemons going to waste AND have a convenient stash in your freezer.
This week I realised I had far too many lemons to use up before they went bad and because they were all backyard grown (not my own) I really wanted to avoid wasting them.
By the way, this works for any citrus;
>Native Australian finger limes
Buddah's Hand (Image from Wikipedia)
I will admit, it isn't the quickest thing to do in the kitchen but it's simple to do.
And how many recipes call for small quantities of juice or zest?
I wouldn't specifically go to all this effort just to have this on hand in the freezer, I DO think it's totally worth it to avoid waste.
Freezing Lemon Zest
1. Rinse/wash the lemons and Zest them first before cutting.
Supermarket lemons usually have a coating of wax and residue of pesticides meaning the zest is not ideal plus not nearly as flavourful as homegrown.
I use the fine grater face rather than the zesting side because it comes out easier to handle (and no you don't need a zester if you have a grater).
Make sure not to grate into the pith (the white part) as it can be bitter.
2. Press the zest firmly into ice cube trays moulds
(I used a chocolate mould pictured above. These love hearts hold a good teaspoon of zest)
3. Freeze Overnight
Once frozen, they can stay in the tray or popped out and stored in a jar in the freezer.
Add to cakes & icing, risotto, roast chicken (add before cooking) , pasta dishes, vinagerettes, fish cakes etc.
Lemon zest is not just for flavour, it contains vitamin c and other goodies too.
Freezing Lemon Juice
Repeat - Make sure you have already zested them
1. Juice lemons and remove seeds
You can use a hand juicing thing (which is what I did), or simply squeeze the juice into a jug.
2. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze overnight
Again, once frozen they can stay in the ice trays or pop them out and store in a jar or container.
These ones below are shaped like a flower which I think is super cute. I re-purposed a disposable plastic mini muffin tray.
Add to tea, sauces, steamed veggies, baked fish or anything you want to add a beautiful lemony flavour to.
The beauty of having these frozen in small portions means you can just get out small quantities when cooking and not need to fluff around with lemons and extra dishes.
What about those lemon husks?
Yep, those lemon husks that have had the zest and juice removed can actually be used to:
> Wipe down your micowave, stovetop or greasy baking trays.
> Remove garlic or onion odours from chopping boards (and your hands)
>Make your fridge smell nice
>Simmer in a small pot to eliminate cooking smells
I adore lemons and the process of doing all this made the kitchen smell absolutely gorgeous.
If you have piles of lemons that you can't giveaway to friends and family, try looking for a Grow Free Cart near you
why not make some Lemon Infused Cleaning Vinegar!
>> more tips on fighting food waste