The simple answer is yes! I hope it will be as mind-blowing for you as it was for me. If you’re already aware of how much it elevates your meals to cook with fresh citrus, and hate food waste, this tip may be pretty life changing. However, if you’re sat there reading this thinking, “Why would I want to freeze whole lemons?” keep reading…
We’re so lucky these days with all of the ways we are able to add citrus flavour to our food, but nothing compares to fresh juice and zest. Don’t get me wrong, I will often use bottled lemon or lime juice when it’s not too important of an ingredient.
And when I do, I like to buy in bulk because it saves a tonne of money. My favourite is this 4 litre bottle by Bevelini, it’s usually around £5. Which, as I’m sure you’re aware, is incredible value for money. This one works out at £1.35 a litre currently and the supermarkets charge that for half the amount.
However, when I’m making a recipe where citrus fruit is the main event, fresh is just the best.
It’s much more economical to buy lemons and limes in a big bag, but who can ever go through an entire bag? Not many people. That’s where your freezer comes in. So go ahead in the future and buy a whole bag without worry. Use one or two now, freeze whole lemons and other citrus fruits, and use them when you need them.
Frozen whole lemons and limes are actually a lot easier to zest, and once defrosted they’re even easier to juice. You can defrost the fruit quickly by holding it under running warm water or with a quick 10-30 seconds in the microwave. (Always zest before you defrost because otherwise zesting can be tricky.) This is by far my favourite zester. I love it so much that I’ve bought two so that I always have a spare!
Here’s how to do it:
- Remove any waxy coating still on the fruit by washing and drying.
- Place the whole citrus fruit in a zip top / sandwich bag and seal it.
- Freeze the citrus fruits. They will keep pretty much indefinitely, but the flavours will of course start to deteriorate if kept too long. I usually try to use up my frozen foods within three months to make sure they’re at their best.
- When ready to use, remove from the bag and zest the fruit whilst still frozen.
- Once zested, defrost the fruit by either microwaving for 10-30 seconds, or holding it under running warm water.
- Slice the fruit in half and juice as usual.