What to do with Lemons (Zesting, Juicing, Freezing)

What to do with a lot of Lemons? Whether you have a bag or a tree full of lemons, here is how to preserve and use them. No more wasted lemons! These brilliant ways to use up lemons will surprise you.

We love fresh lemon juice in homemade Lemonade and the brilliant sauce in Shrimp Scampi Pasta. Lemons are wonderfully useful and so good for you!

Lemons read for preserving

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What to Do with Lemons:

So often, I find myself with a bag of lemons when my recipe called for a single lemon. Is anyone else frustrated that a single lemon can cost $1 while an entire bag of lemons is $3? Most times I just needed 1 lemon and it’s sad to see perfectly good lemons shrivel up and die on the counter.

My Mother-in-law sent us a ton a lemons from their tree. Read on to learn how we made the most out of every single lemon.

These ideas will save you both time and money, and your kitchen will smell amazing. Let me know which idea surprised you most.

Rinsing lemons for using lemons

Are Lemons Healthy?

The health benefits of lemons are impressive, particularly in the lemon peel and lemon juice.

Lemon peel is one of the most beneficial parts of lemons because it has lemon oil. It helps with digesting fats and cleansing your lymphatic system (for when you’re sick with a cold or flu). It also has immune boosting properties and D-limonene which can help to fight cancer.

Lemon juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C which will helps boost your immune system. If you feel a cold coming on, start increasing your lemon juice intake. Lemon juice also helps reduce inflammation and that sour flavor can help detox your liver to cleans your body. Nutrition Source: Dr. Axe.

Freezing Lemon Slices:

Rinse, pat dry and slice your lemons. Arrange them on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen solid, transfer the slices to a freezer safe bag and freeze up to 3 months (longer in a deep freezer). Frozen lemon slices can be used in summer and winter drinks. You can also preserve lemon slices in sugar but frozen will last longer.

Frozen lemon slices

Freezing Lemon Zest:

Before juicing your lemons, you should zest them. Be sure to remove only the Zest (yellow outer skin) and not the bitter white pith underneath. The lemon peel/zest is so healthy and freezes beautifully. Zest the lemon then transfer to a freezer safe container or a mason jar with lid (loosely packed), then scoop it out and use in any recipe that calls for lemon zest.

Keeping the lemon zest makes it worthwhile to buy organic lemons. If you have non-organic or waxed lemons (although the wax is considered safe for consumption), you may want to de-wax your lemons first.

Lemon zest in jar for freezer

Fresh Lemon Juice:

Fresh squeezed lemon juice will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks before it loses its vibrance and freshness. Keep it in a glass mason jar and use in salsas, drinks or any recipe that calls for lemon juice. It also makes the best Lemonade you’ll ever try! Here is our favorite lemon juicer.

Fresh Lemon juice in jar

How Much Juice in One Lemon?

The amount of juice in a lemon depends on the size of the lemon. A large lemon will yield about 3 Tbsp of juice while a medium sized lemon will yield 2 Tbsp lemon juice.

Juice squeezed from lemons

Lemon Ice Cubes: 

Lemon juice can be frozen for 3 months or even longer in a deep freezer. We love this spill proof ice cube tray from OXO. The ice cubes release easily when you push down on one side. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer safe ziploc bag and store in the freezer. Add frozen lemon juice cubes to:

  • Lemonade (since regular ice cubes can dilute the flavor)
  • Your morning lemon water (see below)
  • Any recipe that calls for lemon juice (just thaw and use)

making lemon ice cubes

Is Lemon Water Good For You?

Lemon water and flavored water is one of the latest health crazes and it’s a good thing! People start their day with lemon water to hydrate, feel good, get a healthy dose of vitamin C and promote digestive health. Lemon water is just 8 oz of filtered water with 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon. You can also use a frozen lemon ice cubes and put that in a glass of water to save time.

Uses for Leftover Lemon Peels:

Once your lemons are zested and squeezed, you can still use the leftover lemon rind/peels:

  • Freshening up the Sink Disposal: throw in 2-4 at a time and run your garbage disposal with the water on until they clear.
  • Clean your Microwave: Place 4-5 squeezed lemon peels into a large measuring cup or bowl. Add 1 cup water and heat in the microwave 5 minutes. As soon as it’s done, remove the bowl and wipe down the interior of the microwave with a paper towel.
  • Refrigerate Un-Used Peels: place in a ziploc bag for up to 2 weeks and use them to clean the microwave and disposal as needed.

Cleaning microwave with leftover lemon peels

Lemon Recipes for Lemon Lovers:

Lemon is an essential ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. Whenever a recipe calls for lemon juice, always use real lemon juice squeezed from a lemon (not from concentrate) for best results, especially when it is a critical ingredient.

What to do with Lemons (Zesting, Juicing, Freezing)

5 from 9 votes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Never let your lemons go to waste again! Save time and money by zesting, freezing and juicing your lemons.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: Varies by Season

Keyword: lemons

Calories: 16 kcal

Servings: 20 people (makes 2 cups lemon juice and 10 Tbsp zest)

  • 10 large lemons

Freezing Lemon Slices:

  1. If you wish to freeze lemon slices: rinse, pat dry and slice whole lemons into rings. Arrange them on a parchment or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the slices to a freezer safe bag and freeze up to 3 months.

Freezing Lemon Zest:

  1. Before juicing remaining lemons, zest them. Be sure to remove only Zest (yellow outer skin) and not the bitter white pith beneath. Transfer zest to a freezer safe container or a mason jar with lid (loosely packed). Scoop it out and use in any recipe that calls for lemon zest.

To Make Lemon Juice:

  1. Cut zested lemons in half and use a lemon juicer to squeeze out the juice. Store fresh juice in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

To Freeze Lemon Juice:

  1. Pour lemon juice into an ice tray and freeze. Once frozen, ice cubes can be transferred to freezer safe ziploc bag and stored in the freezer up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

What to do with Lemons (Zesting, Juicing, Freezing)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 16 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1g 2%

Saturated Fat 1g 5%

Sodium 1mg 0%

Potassium 75mg 2%

Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%

Dietary Fiber 2g 8%

Sugars 1g

Protein 1g 2%

Vitamin A 0.2%

Vitamin C 34.7%

Calcium 1.4%

Iron 1.8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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