Thursday, December 05, 2013

Did You Pick Your Lemons And Limes Before The Freeze? Here's What To Do With Them!

An easy way to store lemons and limes.

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Pick those Lemons and Limes Before they Freeze!
We are not buried in snow like many places in the country but we are having our first hard freeze in Northern California. Last night I was frantically pulling up all my lettuce, bok choy, and kale while Doug was pulling lemons, limes, and oranges off the trees. It's not too hard to juice and use up all the oranges but lemons and limes are a different story.

Saving the Grated Zest
Before juicing, you may want to save the grated zest. To do that, thoroughly wash the fruit. I would only do this if the fruit is organic. My favorite tool for this is a microplane zester/grater. But you can use a simple grater too.

Grate the cleaned peel.
You can do this with lemon, lime, or oranges.

You can either freeze the zest or dry it. You can dry it by spreading it out on a plate for a day or so or place it in a dehydrator. Once completely dry, you can put it in a jar.

Saving the Juice
Here's a popular and easy way to save the lemon and lime juice.

Juice the lemons or limes.

Place the juice in an ice cube tray and freeze.

Place the lemon or lime frozen cubes in a ziplock bag.
Label and date them and place in the freezer.

Uses for Frozen Cubes
My favorite use for frozen lemon or lime cubes is to place one in a pot of soup at the very end of cooking. Many of my soup recipes call for the addition of an acid like lemon or lime juice to intensify the flavor. 

Lemon juice in hot water is a popular detox method as it helps cleanse the liver. Just add a lemon cube to a cup of boiling water and drink it first thing in the morning. You can do this more than once a day. It's a great substitute for coffee.

And of course, when life brings you lemon cubes, make lemonade!

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