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How & Why You Need to Freeze Lemons (Detailed Instructions)

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How & Why You Need to Freeze Lemons

Refreshing, zesty and alkalizing. Lemons are one of those fruits I always like to stock in my kitchen. One way to assure you are never short of these yellow vitamin bombs is to freeze them. Yes, it’s perfectly all right to do that.

In fact, every part of the fruit can be frozen, including the juice, and consumed at your convenience. Moreover, freezing lemons can bring some other benefits and make the preparation of food and beverages a lot smoother.


Before Freezing Your Lemons

Choose lemons that have no dark or soft spots. Wash them well with water and fruit and vegetable soap like this one. Or you can remove pesticides from your produce by washing them in a mixture of water and white vinegar, which is especially applicable if you buy non-organic lemons (see how to do it in my previous article How to Easily Remove Pesticides From Your Fruits and Vegetables).

How to Freeze Your Lemons

Whole lemons

Place the lemons in freezer bags, remove air and seal well.

When you need the lemons, thaw them or place them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Use them for juicing and enjoy the health benefits of drinking lemon water or as an ingredient in your recipes.

Unfortunately, once totally defrosted, the lemons become very squashy and are not good for slicing and decorating. For such uses I either take fresh lemons or use frozen wedges as described below.

Whole lemons without the zest

Lemons you grated the zest from don’t need to be left to rot or thrown away. Instead, wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put the wrapped fruits in freezer bags. The nicely tucked fruit will not dry out and can be used later for juicing.

Lemon Zest

You can also freeze just the zest by simply putting it in a freezer bag for later use.

If you use a whole frozen lemon and then grind the zest, you will not lose any lemon rind oils, which defrost straight into the recipe mix and do not spray all over the kitchen counter.


Lemon wedges and slices

Slice the lemons and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the sheet into the freezer. When the items are frozen, pop them into bags or containers.

Prepared in this way, your lemons are perfect for flavoring drinks, an addition to your ice tea or a handy way to cool down your morning cup of tea.

Lemon juice

Frozen lemon juice is very convenient for recipes. Juice fresh lemons and pour the juice into ice cube trays. You can leave it there or if you need the trays, when the juice freezes, remove the cubes and place them into zipper-style freezing bags after removing as much air as possible.

To make it easier and more accurate, measure the volume of one cube. It should be between one and two tablespoons. Record the amount on the freezing bag, so you know exactly how many cubes to thaw for your recipe.

For something a little special, try adding a slice of strawberry, a mint leaf or a raspberry into the cube and freezing it together with the lemon juice. These special cubes can make for a novelty decoration at your parties and gatherings.

Health Benefits of Lemons

Lemons are rich in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits.

A study about citrus fruits such as lemons found that their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties have a protective effect on the body.


Lemon juice is very low in calories and contains up to half of your daily recommended intake (RDI) of vitamin C.

Lemons also contain polyphenols and flavonoids. These beneficial plant compounds have been linked to giving protection against chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

Some of the most important health benefits of lemons include:

Boosting Your Immune System. A study from 2013 found that increasing vitamin C intake (which is found in lemons) can reduce the duration of the common cold. It was found that vitamin C improves your immune system in general. Vitamin C in lemon juice can also help to reduce symptoms of allergies.

Protecting Against Heart Disease. One cohort study on over a 14-year period found that people whose diets consisted of vitamin C-rich fruits (such as lemons) and green leafy vegetables had lower instances of heart disease.


Lowering Blood Pressure. A study examined both the effect of lemon juice and lemon peel and found that taking lemon daily had a significant effect in lowering blood pressure.

The effects of reducing blood pressure to normal levels were boosted with daily walking.

Reducing Cholesterol. A study from 2016 found that consuming lemon juice and garlic helped to lower blood cholesterol. Researchers discovered that combining 20 g of garlic and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice helped to significantly lower cholesterol in an 8-week period.

Lemon Water to Prevent Kidney Stones. A study from 2008 found that the lemon juice was just as effective as potassium citrate in preventing recurrence of painful kidney stones.

Managing Diabetes Symptoms. Research carried out in 2013 found that polyphenolic compounds in lemon peel can help to reduce insulin resistance. The research found that citrus flavonoids help to reduce inflammatory responses and increase insulin sensitivity.

You can read about more health benefits of lemons in my article “Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Lemons“.

Consume The Lemon Peel As Well

Lemon peel also contains powerful medicinal compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols that help to reduce inflammatory responses in the body, as well as fiber.

For example, clinical trial from 2000 showed that consuming lemon peel could have a protective effect against skin cancer. In this study, it seemed that it was the peel of lemons that had the beneficial effect against human cancers, not the lemon juice or pulp.

Another study from 2016 found that the fiber from lemon peel helps to boost digestion and improve nutrient absorption in the intestines. However, to improve your digestive health with lemon water, it’s important to drink the pulp along with the grated lemon peel.

This is why some people grate lemon peel into their lemon water drinks to increase the benefits from lemons.

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16 Responses to How & Why You Need to Freeze Lemons (Detailed Instructions)

  1. loon says:

    I used to throw about a half lemon,but now this is gonna help me save my lemons. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. name says:

    You can also cook with the lemon wedge if it’s slightly frozen by adding it to a pan with a little butter or olive oil and a white meat like chicken or fish…think lemon pepper.

  3. Jennifer says:

    My Myers lemon tree had an abundance of beautiful fruit this season, thanks for the freezing tip. For a natural energy boost I drink one capsule of Malic Acid (found in apples) with around four ounces sparkling mineral water and juice from half a lemon each morning. Natural, healing and calm energy. Can repeat as often as needed.

    • Cyndi says:

      I’m trying to grow a Meyers lemon tree right now and I just brought it in side for the winter. I live in Illinois and our winters are very cold. Any tips on growing my tree would be very helpful. Thanks in advance 😇😎

      • S. Konkel says:

        I also live in IL. and have had my lemon tree from QVC for a year. Put near a sunny window, but out of the cold. Point fruit towards window when it’s sunny. Water only 1 time a week.

        I did not know that the lemons finish growing and are ready to pick in the winter. We had green lemons on the lemon tree sitting on our back deck but couldn’t figure out why they weren’t turning yellow. In summer fertilize once a week.

        Be Patient, it’ll happen, it just took longer than we thought it would. Now I’m looking up what to do with the lemons since they are ready to pick!

        • MLowe says:

          Today, I am actually watching QVC and it is selling the Meyer Lemon Tree. Based on your recommendation, I will be buying one.

  4. Jireau says:

    This was very helpful. I have a whole bag of lemons that I didn’t want to go to the waste.

  5. kay says:

    Wow like the idea of lemon ice cubes with mint what a refreshing summer drink that would be

  6. Vivi says:

    Most helpful, thank you.
    I do not like freeze anything in plastic bags as they are re active,
    Can you suggest other ways store Basi Lemons and so on.
    Thank you

  7. nicole says:

    I am beginning to make potpourri using lemons and wanted to know what is the best way to keep smell strong whether i am freezing them or storing them in room temparature?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Hi Nicole, I’m not an expert in making potpourri, but I know that potpourri can differ greatly depending on its country of origin and the plants that can be found in that region. It usually contains a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, that provides a gentle natural scent inside the home to give the air a pleasant smell, such as flower petals, aromatic herbs, wood shavings, spices and usually includes a few drops of essential oil. When using oranges or lemons in potpourri, you can cure dry the orange/lemon pomander to make it last longer. You do it by either placing it in the oven at a low temperature (around 150 degrees) for an hour or two. If you’ve got more time, you can place your lemon in a paper bag, and let it sit in a cool, dry place for four to six weeks. Be sure to check your lemon periodically to make sure it hasn’t begun to mold – if it does, it mean that cool dry place has moisture in it, and you’ll need to throw your lemon away. When the potpourri loses it scent, instead of throwing it away, add few drops of essential oils of your choice (for example, lemon essential oil) to the mixture to refresh it.

  8. O. Grey says:

    How about BOILING the sliced Lemon and drinking after cooling?

  9. Anna says:

    If the lemons do have brown spots on them, can you just cut off the brown spots and then still freeze the whole lemon?

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