Lemon zest is something that is used in so many dishes, especially desserts, and it’s something you can easily make. Of course, you’ll have to be careful that the fruits you’re using are safe for zesting, as many lemons nowadays have been sprayed with pesticides so they should not be consumed. So, when you want to zest the lemons so you can freeze them up, you just need to be extra careful when picking the fruits.
Whether or not freezing the lemon zest will work, we’re going to find out as we dive into the topic.
Can You Freeze Lemon Zest?
Freezing lemon zest is something one of our readers is interested in, so let’s see what message we received:
I accidentally zested two lemons instead of one for a recipe I was baking, and now I have leftover lemon zest. I thought about just throwing out the extra lemon zest, but I don’t like throwing away good food.
Plus, I make the recipe that calls for the zest on a regular basis, so I know I’ll use it again soon. The problem is, I know it will go bad if I leave it in the fridge for too long, but I’ve never tried freezing it before. I’m afraid that freezing it will change the taste.
Lemon zest adds such an important flavor to recipes that it would be useless if the flavor disappeared. Can you freeze lemon zest?
Yes, you can freeze lemon zest! It freezes quite well, and is so easy to freeze. In fact, some people regularly zest their citrus fruits before eating them, freezing the zest for future use. It can help save time when cooking in the future, and the zest is great for adding to soups, sauces, and even pasta dishes.
Lemon zest will keep in the freezer indefinitely, without compromising on taste. It takes almost no time to thaw and then can be added straight to recipes without any fuss. So, let’s get freezing!
What Is Lemon Zest?
Lemon zest is created by scraping or cutting the rind of unwaxed lemons. As with all citrus fruits, lemon zest is highly flavorful which is why it is used in so many recipes. You can use it fresh, dried, candied, or even frozen. You simply have to be careful to stop scraping when you reach the white layer as that one is bitter.
How to Zest a Lemon?
If you are unsure about how to zest a lemon, you don’t have to worry. First of all, you should know there are special-made tools to help you out. Whether you decide to buy one of these zesters or you just use a regular grater, that’s up to you. Our suggestion is to use the same side on your grater that you use for cheese. If you really want to get a multitool, the microplane grater will work to zest lemons, but also to grate nutmegs, ginger, or even chocolate.
How to Freeze Lemon Zest?
Lemon zest can be frozen in batches or in smaller, single-serving portions.
To freeze lemon zest without portioning it out:
- Simply place the zest into a small freezer bag.
- Squeeze out the excess air, and then seal the bag.
- Label and date the bag and then lay it flat in the freezer.
- Place the bag away from strong-smelling items that may affect the taste of the product.
If you use lemon zest in teaspoon measurements
- Wash out a small ice cube tray and dry it well.
- Using your preferred unit of measurement, portion out the lemon zest.
- Place a serving into each individual ice cube holder, then place the tray in the freezer.
- Once the zest has frozen, pop out the zest cubes.
- Place all of the cubes into a freezer bag.
- Squeeze out the excess air and then seal the bag.
- Label the bag with the contents, the unit of measurement, and the date frozen.
How to Keep Lemon Zest for Longer?
If you want to make sure that your lemon zest will keep for longer in the freezer, we suggest you use a vacuum sealer. These appliances can suck out all the air in the bag and create a perfect seal so your ingredients are not affected.
We have a great list of vacuum sealers you could get, but we are really partial to the one we loved best – FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine. The FoodSaver works with freezer bags and containers of different sizes so you can freeze whatever you need – small portions or large dishes. In the long run, this will save you lots of time and money.
How to Thaw Lemon Zest?
When it comes to thawing out your lemon zest, it all depends on how you chose to freeze it.
- If you froze it without portioning, remove the bag from the freezer and place in the refrigerator, or run the bag under running water for a few minutes.
- Those who chose to freeze lemon zest in teaspoon measurements can simply pop out the required number of cubes needed for a recipe.
Now that the zest is thawed, you can go ahead and use it in various recipes. We have a few great recipes that use lemon zest, so try them out: