Citrus fruit has a fantastic ability to transform the flavor of foods with only a little of their juice or rind. Although they often make the perfect finishing touch, they don’t always last very long before going bad. If you already plan to use a lot of fresh lemon in your home cooking, knowing how to freeze lemons is a simple way to guarantee that you’ll always have this special ingredient on hand.
Can you freeze lemons in multiple ways? Although this is only one fruit, there are various strategies for freezing lemons that allow you to utilize the zest, juice, and rind so that none of the fruit goes to waste.
Lemons are some of the world’s most popular types of citrus. These fruits grow on lemon trees and are usually found in warmer climates. The taste of a lemon is super sour.
Although they can be eaten by themselves, most people use them to brighten a dish or use them as a garnish. They also have health benefits from being packed with vitamin C and fiber. They are known to lower the risk of cancer, kidney stones, and heart disease.
Can You Freeze Lemons?
It’s not uncommon to ask yourself, can I freeze lemons without damaging the fruit? Lemons are incredibly versatile, and freezing lemons is only one of the ways to store them.
The freezer is a great tool to use when preserving food, and lemons are one of the best fruits to use.
Before you learn how to freeze lemons, taking the time to prep them for the freezer is essential so that they’re ready to be pulled from the freezer and used right away without having to wash or cut them later.
Keeping lemons fresh starts with washing your hands before handling them. Using soap and warm water removes bacteria and other toxins before reaching into a bag of lemons and handling a surplus of fruit.
Once you wash your hands, scrub the outside of the lemons under cold water with a vegetable brush or new toothbrush to remove dirt or chemicals from the surface. Rinse all your lemons once more under cold, running water, and set them aside to dry.
If you’d like to take cleaning your lemons one step further, fill a large bowl with one-part vinegar and five parts cold water.
Soak the whole lemons in the vinegar solution for 20 minutes to remove pesticides and chemicals. Once done soaking, rinse them under cold water and dry them with paper towels or a rag.
How to Freeze Lemons
Despite the many ways to freeze lemons and utilize all the different parts, the method you choose all depends on how you’re going to get the most use out of the fresh fruit. Just like with frozen bananas, using your frozen lemons is easy and takes just minutes.
Skim through each strategy for freezing lemons to figure out which one will work best for your household and how you cook with them.
Unlike when you freeze fresh peaches, lemons require no preservative. Their acidic juices are perfect for preservation purposes.
Freezing Lemons Whole
One of the easiest ways to freeze lemons is to put whole lemons in the freezer. Once you’ve washed and dried the lemons, put as many whole lemons as you want inside a Ziplock bag.
Remove as much of the remaining air from the bag as possible and seal it. Removing the air from plastic bags helps to keep the lemons fresh longer and takes up less space, so you still have lots of room for other things in your freezer.
Place the bag of fresh lemons in the freezer and store them for up to four months. The lemons’ consistency gets mushy after being frozen, so cutting them for a garnish isn’t an option at this point. Frozen whole lemons are best for the juice and rind.
Frozen Lemon Slices
Some people prefer their lemons to be pre-cut before freezing them, as you would when freezing watermelon. Once your lemons are washed, cut them into quarter-inch thick slices or lemon wedges.
Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with a single layer of parchment paper and spread the pieces out so that they’re not touching one another.
Freeze the lemons for two hours before removing them. Put the frozen lemon slices into a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container and put them back in the freezer for storage.
Freezing Lemon Zest
Many people often throw out the lemon’s outer peel, but the lemon zest is packed with flavor and easy to toss into or on top of a dish for a flavor boost.
Use a grater or microplane to begin zesting the skin of the lemon. Do this to as many lemons as you want until you get the desired amount of zest.
Put the zest into a plastic bag, remove the excess air, and seal it before placing it into your freezer for storing. Once you’re ready to use the zest, place the bag on the counter and let the zest sit for a couple of hours to defrost.
Frozen Lemon Peels
We love using lemon peels as garnishes inside a cocktail. If you and your family love having a drink with dinner, pre-peeling before storing lemons may be a smart choice for you.
Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the outer portion of the lemon in small strips. Place the peels into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months.
Whenever you’re making your favorite cocktail, remove a single peel from the freezer bag and let it defrost on the counter. Once defrosted, rub the peel around the rim of your glass and throw it into your glass before pouring your favorite liquor over the top.
Lemon Juice Cubes
Do you have to refrigerate lemon juice? No, the absolute best way to freeze lemons is to turn their juice into ice cubes. Lemon juice is the star of the fruit, and frozen lemon cubes are great to have on hand because you only have to reach in and grab one before throwing it directly into a hot pot of food.
Use a lemon juicer and begin juicing lemons until you have roughly one cup of fresh lemon juice. Remove any remaining seeds from the liquid and then pour it into ice cube trays.
Place the trays into the freezer. If you’d like, remove the frozen cubes from the trays and store them in a freezer bag for easy access. Throw the cubes into cooking food or a glass of water to make lemon water.
Frozen Lemon Marmalade
Turning your lemons into a marmalade for toasts and pastries is our favorite recipe with frozen lemons and is sure to get a high recipe rating from your loved ones.
This recipe can be made with either fresh or frozen lemons, depending on what you have at home.
Wash the lemons under cold, running water. Working with one fresh lemon at a time, cut the ends of each lemon off, and then cut it into quarters. Remove as many seeds as possible while you work.
Once the seeds are removed, cut the segments into smaller chunks, peel included. Put the lemons and water into a large pot and bring it to a boil.
Allow the lemons to boil in the water for about 30 minutes until all the peels are soft. Mix in the sugar and allow it to boil, continually stirring until the marmalade temperature reaches 218°F.
Pour the mixture into sterilized canning jars. Can the marmalade in a boiling water bath for ten minutes and store the jars in a cool, dry place.
How to Thaw Frozen Lemons
Thawing frozen lemons, especially when whole, is an essential piece of information as well. To thaw frozen lemons, put the frozen lemons into a bowl of cold water and let them soak for ten minutes. The thawed lemons get mushy but are ready to add to a recipe.
Can you freeze lemons in a way that works for you and your family? Lemons are powerful ingredients that take bland dishes up a notch and that have the ability to transform an entire meal.
There are various ways to utilize every part of them and make the lemons work best for you and your needs.
If learning how to freeze lemons helped make cooking at home easier, share these tips on freezing lemons on Facebook and Pinterest.