Kitchen Tip: Freezing Lemons

gwens nest kitchen tip lemonsDid you know that freezing lemons is a real thing? I have this super smart friend named Donnah and she buys lemons by the box and freezes them. So the last time she went to the market, we split a box. And I froze most of mine…and it works! Who knew?!??

Why would you want to freeze lemons? Well, I’m generally not a fan of bottled lemon juice…it’s too acidic and just not the same taste to me as a fresh lemon. But fresh lemons are not always available or can be very pricey at certain times of the year depending on where you live. So this is a really great option to have that fresh squeezed lemon juice taste- right out of your freezer!

My friend Donnah just removes the outermost yellow part (zest), and freezes the lemon whole with the white pith still in tact. That allows them to slice and squeeze out the juice after they’re thawed.

I have this thing where I really can’t tolerate much of the pith because it’s so bitter. So I sliced off most of the rind and pith, and froze my lemons like this.

freezing_lemons (1 of 4)

I laid all of the skinned lemons out on a cookie tray and froze them solid, then tossed them all into an airtight freezer bag. I can fit a LOT of lemons into one gallon sized bag. This small mixing bowl has 17 lemons in it! So freezing lemons is VERY efficient on space too.

I can squeeze the thawed ones in my lemon squeezer whole, or add them frozen to the blender.freezing_lemons (2 of 4)

Freezing lemons is a great idea if you can get them in bulk in season. Isn’t this a fun tip!?!!

gwens nest kitchen tip lemons

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Oooh...kitchen tip for freezing lemons for smoothies & more. Keeps them fresh and takes up less room in the freezer! Love these ideas!

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  1. says

    What a great idea, i have the worst time with lemons or limes going to waste in my veg. drawer.
    I don’t usually buy more then two at a time because of this , this is awesome and for sure i am going to try this..
    thank you so much.

  2. JCM says

    Thanks for the tip! I have always squeezed lemons in order to freeze the juice, but this creates a problem for useful storage. I always had to thaw the whole container, then refreeze after it after I poured out the amt I needed for my recipe. Your idea is much more ‘user friendly’!

  3. Shannon Harrell says

    Hi Gwen :) Do you still notice any of the pith-y taste when you add what you’ve frozen whole to a shake? (since you are leaving the innermost pith) I’ve had a real problem with the tast of pith also. Thanks!

  4. Debbie says

    We buy lemons in bulk, too! We squeeze and freeze the juice in small canning jars. It doesn’t take long to thaw and a jar of juice will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Easy to keep on hand!

  5. Tori says

    Do you know if this changes the enzymes? We use ALOT of lemons for healing during the winter (ginger-lemonade). It would be nice to just be able to pull them out of the freezer to juice but wonder if they still contain the same healing-properties after being frozen?

    Thanks for your blog post! You always have great recipes and helpful tips!

    • says

      I’ve found that freezing does alter the cells (the expansion of the water bursts the membranes) but I still get good actions out of frozen garlic and herbs, though they’ll oxidize quicker if left out to thaw. I consider frozen to be a very close second to fresh as far as actions. :)

  6. says

    Good to know! This is peak citrus season, and I happen to live where I can pick them fresh (and for free!) I bet freezing oranges and other citrus works fine, too! Now I need another freezer… :)

  7. Danielle Hull says

    I was freezing the blended lemon and water portion of The Shrinker. This works for when I am too lazy or run out of time, thanks!

  8. Rachel says

    Yes I believe I will try this. I am always looking for ways to keep my freezer full of things we love to eat. You are right, sometimes lemons are very expensive, or the ones you find are poor quality. Freezing them gives you the chance to buy in season, when they are fresh and inexpensive. Great Idea Gwen, thank you.

  9. Susan says

    This is so great. We have tons of citrus here in Arizona and my neighbor just gave me two bagfuls of lemons. I did not want to juice them all by hand so this is a better way

  10. jennifer says

    You can also freeze the zest, so when you have a random recipe that calls for zest and you’re all out of citrus you can just pull your stash from the freezer. I do this with lemon, lime, and orange zest.

  11. Trisha Delaney says

    Have you tried zesting the lemons to remove the zest and freezing the zest for future recipes as well?

  12. D BLanton says

    thank you for this post. I have lemons that I am going to try freezing. Also I am going to freeze the zest and use some to favor my vinegar. Such great tips.

  13. Joan says

    Is there a reason that the rind needs to be removed? I have key lime trees that produce like crazy so I just toss them all in the freezer until I have time to juice them. I may be imagining it, but it seems the lines are juicier once they have been frozen!

    • says

      I remove the rinds on these because they were VERY thick, and took up a lot more room in the freezer. :) Plus, I wanted to use them by just tossing them into the blender without juicing, and the pith was just way too bitter. So that’s why I removed a majority of it.
      You can *definitely* leave the rinds on thinner skinned varieties, or if you’re planning on juicing them the normal way. And YES…freezing bursts the cell walls, which means you’re going to get more juice!