Lemons are a versatile fruit that can be used in various dishes and drinks, but they can be difficult to find or expensive during the off-season. Here are some ideas to save lemons for the off-season:
Freeze Lemon Juice to Make Ice Cubes
Squeeze fresh lemon juice and freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a resealable freezer bag. The frozen lemon juice can be used in recipes or drinks as needed.
Make Lemon Zest
Use a zester or a grater to remove the zest (the outermost layer of the lemon peel) and spread it on a baking sheet. Allow it to dry completely and then transfer to an airtight container. Lemon zest adds flavor to dishes and can be used in desserts, marinades, and dressings.
Preserved lemons are a traditional Moroccan condiment that can add a tangy, salty flavor to dishes. Cut lemons into wedges and pack them tightly in a jar with coarse salt and lemon juice. Seal the jar and allow it to sit at room temperature for a few weeks, shaking the jar occasionally. Once the lemons have softened, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Make Lemon Marmalade
Peel and chop lemons and simmer them in a saucepan with sugar and water until the mixture thickens. Store the marmalade in a jar in the refrigerator for up to six months. Lemon marmalade is great on toast, scones, and as a glaze for meats.
Dehydrate Lemon Slices
Slice lemons thinly and lay them in a single layer on a dehydrator tray or a baking sheet. Dehydrate them until they are completely dry and store in an airtight container. Dried lemon slices can be used in tea, desserts, and as a garnish for cocktails.
DIY Lemon Ice Cubes
Lemon ice cubes are a great way to preserve fresh lemon juice and add flavor to drinks, especially during the summer months. Here’s how to make lemon ice cubes:
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Ice cube tray
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any pulp or seeds.
- Pour the lemon juice into an ice cube tray, filling each cube about 2/3 full.
- Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and allow the lemon juice to freeze completely.
- Once the lemon juice is frozen, remove the ice cube tray from the freezer and run it under warm water for a few seconds to loosen the lemon ice cubes.
- Pop the lemon ice cubes out of the tray and transfer them to a re-sealable freezer bag or a container with a lid.
- Store the lemon ice cubes in the freezer until ready to use.
- To use, simply add a lemon ice cube to a glass of water, iced tea, or your favorite cocktail. The lemon ice cube will slowly melt, adding flavor and freshness to your drink.
Lemon ice cubes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also experiment with adding other ingredients to the lemon juice, such as herbs or berries, to create flavored ice cubes.