Ever since my father was diagnosed with cancer, we are always on the lookout for natural, healthy food that can help strengthen his body. So when I read about the benefits of lemons, I wanted to include them in his daily diet. The problem is how would we keep the lemons fresh? I was hoping that the lemons would freeze well.
My father’s immune system needs strengthening. The doctor recommended adding more fruit to his diet. My father remarked about how he missed the taste of lemons. When I got home, I decided to check on the full benefits of lemons.
Lemons are high in vitamin CC, essential for a stronger immune system. It also has B-complex vitamins and potassium, which is good for the heart. Aside from helping cancer patients, I found out that lemons had other benefits, too. Lemons can help digestion, reduces stress and anxiety, and regulates blood pressure.
So yes, I thought that adding lemon to my father’s diet was a great thing. But how would I preserve the lemons?
Ways to Preserve Lemons
Normally, they look beautiful sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter. Turns out, that is the worst way of preserving lemons. They dry out that way.
I looked up ways on how to preserve them. I wanted a way to preserve as much vitamins as I could for my father.
One way of preserving lemons is to can them. This is great for infusing a beautiful lemon flavor into dishes like lemon chicken.
But there’s a problem with this method. Processing the lemon lowers the Vitamin C levels. It might be delicious, but my father might not be getting as much vitamin C as he can with fresh lemons.
I thought about freezing them, instead. Frozen lemons can have more vitamin C than when it’s fresh. The vitamin C added during processing helps the fruit maintain its color.
When you buy frozen lemons, you can use all of the fruit, without wasting it. Freezing a lemon makes it softer. It turns out that you can use the whole lemon without wasting it.
Frozen lemon peel tastes better than fresh, too. Fresh lemon peel can taste bitter, like eating the white part while grating lemon zest. But the lemon peel contains 5 or 10 times more vitamins than lemon juice.
How to Freeze Lemons?
There are different ways to freeze lemons: whole lemons in a bag, lemon wedges, and lemon juice. This way, you can have the refreshing taste of lemons even if they’re out of season.
Preserving the Lemons
- Wash the lemons with soap and water, or a fruit and vegetable wash before freezing.
- If you want fresh lemon zest, grate some from the peel. Store this in a small container to add the taste of lemon to baked goods or sauces.
- Freeze whole lemons by placing them in a zip-loc bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing it. This will be perfect for lemon juice.
- If you grated the lemon zest from whole lemons, wrap it in aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
- Pour lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze them.
Frozen Lemon Recipes
Now that you have your tasty frozen lemons, it’s time to make some tangy, delicious desserts.
Lemon Granita: This is a semi-frozen dessert. You can make it by hand, or using an ice cream maker. It’s tangy and delicious, perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Lemon Greek Yogurt Pops: Simple and easy to make, and you can swap sugar for Splenda. It’s perfect for a relaxing dessert after dinner.
Lemon-Lime Mint Ice Cubes: Have lemon-infused water any time you want. You can also use these ice cubes to prevent your lemonade from becoming diluted.
Yes, you can freeze lemons. Frozen lemons will last for 6-8 months in the freezer. Here is how to go about freezing them: Wash and rinse your lemons well so that no dirt or pesticides remain on them. Peel off the skin and cut them into 1/2 cm thick slices. Lay all of the lemon slices out so that none of them touch each other while they thaw (to avoid sticking together). Put these sliced lemons in a freezer bag and seal tightly while pushing out any excess air. Label the bag with today’s date and store it properly in your freezer until you need it.
I would love to hear from you if you prefer freezing fresh lemons over buying frozen lemon juice! Share your experience by leaving a comment below.