I’m sure you’ve seen the opulent piles of gorgeous yellow lemons, ruby red grapefruit, and succulent oranges at the grocery store. It has been a beautiful and bountiful citrus season!
These late winter gems have likely been featured in a number of your meals, desserts, and drinks lately, but what will we do when the season is gone and we can no longer find gorgeous Meyer lemons, grapefruit, or blood oranges at the market? Must we just go without these delicious fruit flavors until this time next year?
No, of course not!
This weekend, go out and buy a number of your favorite seasonal citrus fruits, then take the following steps to get the most use out of your precious bounty.
1. Zest your citrus and freeze the zest.
I love using citrus zest to zing up a sauce, a poultry dish, a drink, or a dessert. Go ahead and zest all your citrus first, and then store the zest in ziplock bags in the freezer. It will last for months this way and you can just take out what you need as you go!
2. Juice your citrus and freeze the juice.
After you’ve zested your fruit and bagged and frozen the zest, pull out ye olde juicer and get all of the fresh juice out of your citrus fruit. Then freeze the juice in ice cube trays and store the juice cubes in plastic baggies.
Now you’ll have a bunch of 2 tablespoon-sized servings of frozen fresh-squeezed citrus juice to use later in syrups or dressings, to add to soup, broth, or pasta, and to use in any other recipes that call for citrus juice!
3. Make flavored simple syrups.
If you boil your citrus juice down with some sugar or honey, you’ll have a tasty, versatile simple syrup that lasts foreverrr, although you’ll most definitely be using them up quicker than that!
Try any one of these three citrus syrups in cocktails, in champagne, or with sparkling water to make simple homemade sodas! They’re also amazing drizzled over vanilla ice cream!
4. Make homemade pesto with lemon juice and zest and freeze the pesto.
Make a batch of homemade pesto using your fresh citrus zest and juice. And if you’re not going to use up your pesto in a week, it freezes beautifully! Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays to make convenient, “individual servings” of pesto that will last you right through the spring.
5. Infuse honey with citrus and herbs.
OMG citrus and herb infused honey is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s also the best thing for sliced bread.
Try this lavender lemon infused honey that I am in love with right now! It is the BOMB on and in everything!
6. Make a simple salad dressing.
This is my aahbbsolute favorite lemon-olive oil dressing lately. It’s mostly savory with just a hint of sweet; it’s warm and herby and bright and zingy. It’s PERF.
Citrus-olive oil dressings also last a long time in the fridge, but will probably also get used up super quick. Especially because, BONUS! – citrus salad dressings also make fantastic marinades!
7. Make a homemade citrus peel disinfecting cleaner.
And don’t throw away those citrus peels after you’ve zested and juiced them! The whole fruit is packed with goodness! We’re going to take those peels, infuse them in white vinegar to remove all of their cleaning & disinfecting powers, combine the infused vinegar with a little tea tree oil, and spring clean our houses from top to bottom with our new, great-smelling cleaning spray! Find out how to make this all-natural cleaner here.
In love with citrus? You don’t need to say goodbye!
While we’re still rolling in late winter’s produce, gather up as many citrus fruits as you can and save every part of them! We’ll be able to enjoy plenty of in-season citrus for months to come!!!