Freezing citrus zest and juice is my favorite way to ensure that I have it available to add to my favorite recipes for months! Even when a recipe just calls for the juice, just stop and zest it first. The flavor is retained and can be used just like fresh in any recipe.
No more finding shriveled up lemons and oranges in your refrigerator. I always store my citrus in the refrigerator because they last so much longer than on the countertop. I hate throwing away food and found this method has helped me save so much time and money. Citrus slices freeze well too!
Here’s how I do it:
- Always zest first, juice later:
- Place a parchment paper on a work surface and remove the bright citrus zest with a microplane. Stop when you get to the white pith because that part is very bitter.
- Flatten out the layer of zest, fold the parchment over to cover the zest and label it with a marker.
- Place the parchment in a freezer-safe bag and store in the freeze up to 6 months.
- When a recipe calls for citrus zest, use it just like fresh. No need to thaw the zest before adding to recipes.
- Juice the citrus:
- Cut the citrus in half and juice them. If you’re juicing a lot of citrus, using an electric juicer makes this process much easier. Make sure to discard the pulp and seeds often so they don’t end up in your juice.
- Pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Once they are solid, transfer the cubes into a freezer-safe bag and keep frozen up to 4 months.
- Freezing citrus juice in ice cube trays is great because the standard tray usually holds about 2 tablespoons of liquid in each slot. 2 cubes equal a quarter cup of juice. Having it pre-measured makes adding it to recipes so much easier.
- Freeze citrus slices:
- Slice the citrus spread onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid then transfer into a freezer-safe bag.
- Add the slices to your favorite drinks.