Making the Most Out of a Sour Gift…


Living close to Double S Farms, my mother’s residence, means that we get to enjoy some of the bounty from her large lemon tree.

My nephew, Oliver, helping with the lemon harvest.

My nephew, Oliver, helping with the lemon harvest.

 Now, I could grow own lemon tree in my back garden, but I really don’t need to since my mother has more lemons then she knows what to do with.


Unfortunately, lemons don’t grow year round and I am stuck getting mine at the grocery store.

Have you seen how much a single lemon costs at the grocery store?

I can’t remember the exact amount, I just know that it is a lot.

So, whether you have a ready supply of lemons fresh off the tree, or even if you have to buy yours at the grocery store

– here are some tips to make the most of each lemon:


Let’s say that you have a recipe that calls for the juice of half a lemon.  Well, after spending up to a $1 a lemon, the last thing you want to do is throw away the other half, so why don’t you save the juice?

lemon juice

Whenever I get lemons from Double S Farms, I juice them and pour the juice into ice cube trays.  Then I freeze the ice cubes and then remove the frozen cubes of lemon juice and store in a plastic freezer storage bag in my freezer.

Then whenever I need a bit of lemon for cooking, all I have to do is grab a frozen cube of lemon.

In addition to saving lemon juice, did you know that you can also save and freeze lemon zest?

lemon zest

Now this step should be done before you cut and juice your lemons.

I actually forgot this step until it was too late, but I was still able to zest a somewhat squishy juiced lemon, although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Remove the outer yellow skin of your lemon using a microplane tool.  Take care not to remove the white of the peel, which is bitter.

lemon zest

Store your lemon zest in a plastic freezer bag and put in your freezer.  Whenever you need lemon zest, just grab a little.

Whether you want to make the most out of your expensive lemon purchase or if you want to preserve your yearly bounty of fresh lemons, try out these tips.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
5 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Great tips. I also freeze some of the rinds after zesting and juicing. You can thaw one and put it down the garbage disposal.

  2. Helen
    Helen says:

    That’s so foreign to me. I can’t imagine eating a lemon that came straight from a tree or getting a lemon that didn’t travel across country and come from a store. Do they really taste different?

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