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

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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