Sour power. Preserving fresh lemons year round

By now I made it no secret that smoothies (be they green, red, purple, orange or white) are part of my diet as a way of feeding my body a lot of nutrition in one small delicious glass. What I failed to share with you so far though is that I also regularly enjoy simple, basic lemon water (which is literally water with lemon juice or infused with lemon peel). Yep, cold or warm (even hot) lemon water is part of my (almost) daily diet and I love it. Despite the title of the article, I don’t even find it sour, just zesty enough to tickle my taste buds.

preserving lemon zest and juiceCold(ish) water with lemon juice is my go to hydration drink when I finish a run or come back from the markets. Warm or hot water infused with lemon peel, served in my favorite Parisian mug, is my go to after dinner citrusy concoction. Can you imagine how happy I am now that I have lemons to last me all year long? All chemical and pesticide free, organic, fed only with rain water and sunshine.

Of course I will not keep my lemons as they are all throughout the year. They’d obviously rot within weeks. Luckily, my mum thought me to freeze everything I have in excess and thus preserve them fresh for longer – from herbs like dill or parsley, to (you guessed it) lemon zest and lemon juice.

box of lemonsRemember my box of lemons (one of many)?  Not a problem.

preserving lemon zest and juiceMy funky lemons have the color of oranges when super ripe.

preserving lemon zest and juiceWhy am I such a fan of lemons you might ask? Without going into nutrition too much, I’d say that they just rock. They contain vitamin C, a free radical fighting antioxidant, good for the body on the inside and on the outside, for our skin. Lemons boost the immune system, a good reason not to limit our intake of lemonade during summer only; we probably need them during colder months more than ever.

Lemons help reduce inflammation and are also a good source of electrolytes like potassium, calcium and magnesium, which is why they’re my go to post workout drink. They are also good for the liver and the kidneys, they help us get rid of toxins in the body and to balance our pH level.

If you were to talk to a nutritionist, which I am not, I’m pretty sure the list of lemony benefits runs much longer than this. And I’m pretty sure she’d say “A lemon ice cube a day, keeps the doctor away!“. Shucks, I feel healthier just standing next to lemons.

preserving lemon zest and juicepreserving lemon zest and juiceAs for the uses of lemons preserved this way, they’re numerous. The lemon juice ice cubes can be used not only to make fresh lemony drinks, but can also be added to smoothies (instead of regular lemon juice + ice cubes, now you have a 2 in 1), they can be used in soups or stews, or even in raw desserts like cheesecakes (you’d have to thaw them a little bit though). As for lemon zest, it goes in everything. I’m using it in my hot lemony drinks, adding it to desserts (in baked desserts it is DIVINE) and it can also be used to season a lot of meals (and I mean A LOT).

As for the leftover lemon carcases, don’t throw them away just yet. If you want, I’ll tell you all about my home made gentle lemony skin scrub.

Sour power. Preserving fresh lemon year round
Author: TalesofaKitchen
Ingredients
  • lemons
Instructions
  1. First, you begin by zesting all the lemons. If you did not grow your lemons, wash them well to remove any chemicals or wax and allow them to dry before zesting.
  2. Place all the zest in a zip lock bag and into the freezer. Make sure there is as little air as possible in the bag.
  3. Once they’re zested, cut lemons in half and start juicing them.
  4. Pour juice in ice cube trays or ice cube bags and place into the freezer. If you’re using ice cube trays, once they’re solid frozen, remove lemon ice cubes from the tray and add them to a zip lock bag and return to freezer. This will allow you to keep lemon juice in individual cubes that are not stuck to each other, making it easy to use only as much as you need at any given time.

 C.

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