May 21
2011

How to: Store (Freeze) Lemon and Lime Juice

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HowtoLemon1

It has been the week of lemons for us. Thanks to my in-laws’ prolific tree, we brought back a bounty of Meyer lemons from our California trip a couple of weeks ago. This led to a batch of Lemon Sugar Puff Pastry Twists, which disappeared faster than Donald Trump’s presidential bid. From there we moved onto Grilled Lemon & Rosemary Chicken, which has earned a place in our summer grilling line-up.

My mum, who was here for a visit, set to work juicing the rest of the lemons, producing six cups of fresh citrus juice. She rummaged around for extra ice cube trays in our pantry and, using a small ladle, filled them with the juice. We now have lemon juice to last for the summer, which will help me avoid those extra trips to the store when I discover the lemons I bought two weeks ago are now shriveled specimens.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Why doesn’t she just use the bottled lemon juice or the lime juice in those cute little plastic, squeezable limes?” This is where my “fresh is best” snobby side comes out. The side of me that can’t palate bottled lemon or lime juice (or bottled garlic, for that matter) is the same side that flips out at house guests when they try to use my “day off” mug for their coffee. Seriously, my husband and I have special mugs dedicated to our weekend coffee and tea breaks, to be used only on the weekend…only by us. Now you really want to come and stay with us, don’t you? Well, I may not let you use my mug, but I do promise to make you some great dishes fresh citrus juice.

How to do it:

To make the fruit easier to juice, roll firmly on the counter with the palm of your hand to loosen up the flesh. Cut the fruit in half crosswise and juice it using a handheld juicer, food processor attachment or whatever tool you happen to favor.

Using a small ladle or a small pitcher with a spout, pour the citrus juice into ice cube trays. Each standard-sized ice cube will contain about 2 tablespoons of liquid. However, I suggest measuring the capacity of your ice cube tray to be sure.

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Freeze until solid. Juice will freeze to a stage that is slightly softer than regular ice cubes. Remove cubes from the tray and place in a freezer resealable bag.

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When you are ready to use the juice, remove the number of ice cubes from the freezer that you desire and defrost them.

Recipes that use fresh lemon or lime juice:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile & Cilantro Sauce
Cookin’ Canuck’s Lime Squares with Gingersnap Crust
Cookin’ Canuck’s Avocado, Tomato & Cotija Cheese Salad
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest
Herbivoracious’ Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
101 Cookbooks’ Lime, Grapefruit & Ginger Juice

How to: Store (Freeze) Lemon and Lime Juice

Yield: Depends on the number of lemons (2 tbsp per ice cube)

Serving Size: Juice of 1 lemon

How to: Store (Freeze) Lemon and Lime Juice

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • Whole lemons
  • Juicer (hand-held or automatic)
  • Ice cube trays

Instructions

  1. To make the fruit easier to juice, roll firmly on the counter with the palm of your hand to loosen up the flesh.
  2. Cut the fruit in half crosswise and juice it using a handheld juicer, food processor attachment or whatever tool you happen to favor.
  3. Using a small ladle or a small pitcher with a spout, pour the citrus juice into ice cube trays. Each standard-sized ice cube will contain about 2 tablespoons of liquid. However, I suggest measuring the capacity of your ice cube tray to be sure.
  4. Freeze until solid. Juice will freeze to a stage that is slightly softer than regular ice cubes. Remove cubes from the tray and place in a freezer resealable bag.
  5. When you are ready to use the juice, remove the number of ice cubes from the freezer that you desire and defrost them.

Notes

Calories 11.8 / Total Fat 0g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 0.6mg / Total Carbohydrates 4.1g / Fiber 0.2g / Sugars 1.1g / Protein 0.2g / WW (Old Points) 0 / WW (Points+) 0

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I live in San Diego and run past tons and tons of lemon trees daily and my daughter’s homebased preschool teacher has a HUGE lemon tree and meyer lemon tree and I have more lemons than I know what to do with in the spring thru fall…I am totally going to freeze the juice now! thanks for the idea.

I actually recently posted about lemon trees, lemons, and lemon recipes. Wish i had known about this tip!

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2 Brandie May 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

This is an excellent tip! Such a great idea. Loved the Donald Trump comment..hahaha.

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3 Katrina May 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for the info!

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4 Kay Little May 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

This is what I am about to do…I just bought my lemons and ready to freeze the juice, but I have a question about the zest. Is it possible to freeze the zest in the juice. or maybe separate? Thanks for the inspiration!

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5 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

Kay, do you mean the zest or the pulp? If you mean the pulp, it’s a personal preference. I don’t mind the pulp, so I leave it in there, but others may prefer to strain the juice first. I hope that answers your question.

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6 Kay Little May 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

I was asking about the zest on the outside of the lemon….thanks for the info about the pulp that helps me too.

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7 Monica June 1, 2011 at 10:33 am

Kay, I’ve frozen the zest before, and then used it in baking. It dried out quite a bit, but still worked for my recipe. Maybe freezing it in juice would help with that, though?

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8 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend May 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I love this ! Great info and very helpful as usual thank you!

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9 The Newlywed Chefs May 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Yum! We’re planning on lemon bars later this week. Thanks for the post!

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10 nancy@skinnykitchen.com May 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

What a terrific tip! Thanks for sharing…

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11 doodles May 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

There is nothing better than a meyer lemon. Sister has one in her yard in So Cal. Me I’m in an RV and would love a meyer lemon tree. But sister saw your post and is going to freeze some juice for me.

Love your lemom rosemary chicken……….thanks!

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

Lucky you! It will be great to have that juice on hand.

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13 blackbookkitchendiaries May 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm

this is a wonderful tip! thank you:)

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14 Stacey West-Feather May 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

I will only use fresh and heck, I live in Oklahoma. Love your blog!

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15 Kimby May 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Me, too, Stacey! (re: Oklahoma and “fresh is best!”) Hope the storms passed you by last night.

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16 Cassie - Bake Your Day May 22, 2011 at 6:43 am

Thanks for the tips! The grilled lemon and rosemary chicken sounds lovely!

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17 Delishhh May 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

I do this too – not only do i store lemon juice this way but also chicken stock – it is great when making a quick sauce and need some stock. I love it. You are hilarious about your mugs :) We all have qualities like this :) I am sure some of mine are a little crazy :)

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

Ewa, I agree that chicken stock does freeze really well this way, too. Pesto is another one.

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19 Barbara | Creative Culinary May 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

Can I offer that it’s not just a great solution for lemon and lime juice but I do the same thing with leftover wine. I know, I know…I hear “Leftover wine, who ever has leftover wine?” a lot…but in the event you do; freeze it!

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

That is a fantastic idea, Barb. I always seem to have a little leftover wine – next time it will be destined for the ice cube tray.

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21 Vicki @ WITK May 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

I wish I had a problem with an overabundance of lemons! There aren’t a whole lot of lemon trees in Connecticut :) I do prefer fresh lemon juice to those bottles. Although I often have to settle for bottled key lime juice, so sad.

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22 Jen at The Three Little Piglets May 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I’m the same way about my omelette pan – nobody else is allowed to touch it! They can neither cook with it OR clean it… I totally agree though – fresh juice is always better!

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23 Yuri May 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Ha! I see I’m not the only one crazy about your lemon rosemary chicken ;) wonderful tip, sometimes my lemons go bad bc I don’t use them fast enough. Happy Sunday, Dara!

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24 Belinda @zomppa May 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Great tips! I just want to suck on that frozen juice!

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25 Kimby May 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Dara, it was exceptional timing to post this “how to” now — thanks for the great tip! BTW, I have my “own” mug, too — don’t apologize! It’s things like that that help make the transition into the weekend. :)

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26 Kalynskitchen May 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I love keeping freshly-squeezed lemon and lime juice in the freezer. So convenient!

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27 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

You had a Meyer lemon bounty just like I did. It was fun thinking of and finding new recipes for the lemons. Ice cube trays are such a great way to freeze small portions of foods we’d like to preserve but admittedly, I’ve never thought of using them on lemon juice. What a great idea. I also sometimes find myself with old, unused lemons and it’s really a pity. Now I must see if I can unearth an ice cube tray or two from my kitchen cabinets! :-)

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28 Maris (In Good Taste) May 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Great tip! Thanks so much!

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29 Jeanette May 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

What a great idea, freezing fresh lemon/lime juice – I usually just keep them in my refrigerator but sometimes they go bad and end up getting thrown out, what a shame.

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30 Chef Louise May 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

love this idea… hate wasting fruit when i don’t get to it…

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31 Katrina May 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Such a great idea because I hate when I run out of fresh lemons and limes and I hate it even more when I didn’t use them fast enough and they are starting to go bad!

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32 Nancy@acommunaltable May 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Brilliant!! I agree with you – the bottled stuff just doesn’t cut it!!! So much better to have fresh juice and this is the perfect way to make sure you always have some when you need it!!

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33 thepickyeater May 23, 2011 at 4:30 am

what a great idea ! i drink loads of lemon juice during summer….its the best drink

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34 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

The perfect use for ice cube trays!

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35 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 23, 2011 at 9:10 am

great teaching here!! Are you going to EVO btw. Were your ears burning this weekend? I was talking about how I love your site and you!

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36 DessertForTwo May 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm

We’re overwhelmed with citrus juice from our trees. Must get to juicin’ and freezin’! Thanks :)

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37 Laurie May 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Thanks for the tip. We get lemons and limes in big batches, and I spent a week cooking with lemons and still have more left.

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38 marla May 24, 2011 at 6:12 am

Dara, this is a very smart idea. I find that we often let lemons & lime go to waste – now there is no need to do that since we can preserve their precious juices. Great how-to post!

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39 Shaina May 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

This is a fantastic idea. I’m with Marla on letting them go to waste all too often.

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40 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 25, 2011 at 5:07 am

I’ve been doing this with pesto and sauces but never thought to do it for lemon juice, so simple and so easy!

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41 megan @ whatmegansmaking May 25, 2011 at 6:40 am

what a great idea! Seriously, how did i not think of this?

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42 Anna May 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm

so smart! thanks for sharing!!

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43 Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Great idea to freeze lemon and lime juice! Now I just need to clear some more space in my fridge.

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44 Marly June 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I love this idea! I agree with you – fresh is best! We can be fresh fruities (you know, like foodies?)!

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45 Elle June 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

You know, I always freeze zest, so why not the juice? Great tip!

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46 Kristina Vanni June 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Great tips! Whenever I have a leftover half of lemon or lime I squeeze it and save the juice in a small container in the fridge….now when that starts to overflow I can just freeze it!

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47 John September 29, 2011 at 2:15 am

I simply cut the citrus in half and place into a zippy bag then freeze. At the moment I have about 4 shopping bags full with last years lime crop. Just thaw and squeeze for lime juice for fish etc. Too easy.

Cheers,

John.

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48 elainrm December 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

My tree produced tons of lemons. I am jucing them with a juicer and freezing a cup of the juice in zip lock bags. I do have to remove the skin but it is worth it.

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49 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) December 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

You’re right…the effort is definitely worth it. It’s great to have all of that lemon juice during the year.

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50 drink lemon water May 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

nice tips I’ve tried it and it works everytime!!

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51 Merl September 15, 2013 at 5:10 am

Can I use frozen lemon juice to make Lemon Butter? Want to make for Christmas presents and may not have the lemons then! I am in Australia and have just founf this blog, very informative, Thank You.

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