Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Freezing fresh Lemon & Lime Juice

When cooking, you often find a recipe calling for the juice of a lime or a lemon. A question I am asked frequently is "Can I use bottled lemon (or lime) juice in this recipe?" The answer is NO! Bottled lemon or lime juice is no substitute for the subtle, fresh, and slightly sour-citrus flavor of fresh lemon or lime juice. It is so much easier to keep bottled lemon or lime juice in the fridge rather than fresh lemon or limes...but it doesn't taste good! I am a self taught cook and am honestly so sick and tired of throwing away produce. I feel as if most of it goes bad before I have a chance to use it. It then ends up going in the garbage (and so is my money). Is this happening to you?

I manage to have a supply of almost-as-good-as fresh lemon and lime juice on hand at all times by stocking up on limes and lemons when they're on sale, squeezing the juice and storing it in the freezer. At first this seemed so obvious to me that I wondered if it was even blog-worthy, but after thinking about it, I decided others might also like hearing about it as well.

Be on the lookout for a good deal on lemons or limes at the grocery store, or you can buy those big bags at Costco. Once they get soft enough to juice easily have a juice-squeezing session! Cut them in half and squeeze 2 halves (equals 1) into a small cup. Then put the juice of that one lemon or lime into an ice cube tray. I find that one lime can fit into 1 cube in the tray, but my lemon's on the other hand fill up 2 (not all the way full) cubes. Repeat for the remaining juice of all your lemons or limes. Freeze.

After they freeze completely I will pop out the lime cubes and put them into a freezer bag labeled "limes". I also put a note on the bag that 1 lime equals 1 cube. I do the same with the lemons in a separate bag making a note that 1 lemon equals 2 cubes. When my recipe calls for the juice of a lemon or a lime, I just pull out how much I need and it defrosts very quickly. These will hold in your freezer for a year.

*NOTE* You could just squeeze the juice into a jar with a lid and put it in the fridge, but the shelf life will only be about 2 months. So I just freeze mine, so that I don't have to worry about the juice going bad.

Now you never have to worry about throwing away those lemons & limes again! I hope you enjoyed this technique. Come back next Wednesday to find another way to stretch your money even further.


Lisa said...

in the beginning i was really wondering about this, i couldn't figure out how you were going to use frozen juice in a recipe, it seemed like you were going to have to defrost a whole container at a time and seemed pointless to the even freeze it. but i have to say you got me with the ice cube trays! GENIUS! I can't wait to try this.
glad you and sarah decided on "Wonder Whitney Wednesday"

Julie said...

What a fabulous idea whitney!!

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