From tart Meyer lemons to juicy tangerines, it’s time to turn your extra citrus fruit into juices and seasonings you can use all year long. Fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, whether fresh, frozen or dried.
Citrus trees produce plentiful crops, have bright, green foliage and fragrant flowers. They’re perfect in the landscape as ornamental trees, attract pollinators and are easy to grow. Learn more about growing citrus trees in your home garden.
3 Ways to Use Citrus
1. Ripen: Ripen lemons that are not quite yellow at room temperature for a few days. For short-term storage, move them to the refrigerator when they change color.
2. Freeze: Cut lemons or limes into wedges. Separate mandarins and tangerines into segments. Freeze the pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until hard, then store in freezer-safe containers. Use frozen pieces in drinks, smoothies and cooking.
3. Dry: Remove lemon and orange rinds using a peeler or a citrus zester. Avoid taking off too much of the bitter white part. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scatter rinds without overlapping. Dry rinds in a warm, well-ventilated place for a couple of days until they curl at the edges. Or bake at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours or until the rinds curl. Dried rinds are good for 6 months and are great in punches and on desserts.
3 More Ways to Use Citrus
4. Juice: Save juice from any citrus fruit, from lemons to grapefruit. Use within a week or freeze for long-term storage. Lemon and lime juice are usually used in small amounts, so divide juice in ice cube trays, freeze, then place frozen cubes in freezer-safe containers. Include finely grated rind in the cubes for more punch.
5. Eat: Try new recipes for marmalade, citrus syrup or tangy orange or lemon curd to spread on scones. Extra lemon curd can be frozen.
6. Burn: Citrus rinds can be dried in the sun to use as fire starters in your indoor or outdoor fireplace.
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