Lemons are great for your health: they're incredibly rich in Vitamin C, have a wide range of other nutrients and antioxidants, and add delicious flavor to both food and drinks. Many people keep a few lemons in their fruit bowl, but did you know there is a better way to keep them?
Freeze your lemons! Lemons are a great food to incorporate into our diet in any form, but freezing them makes it quicker and easier for us to access every part of the fruit. Without further ado, here are 10 reasons why you should keep lemons in the freezer:
1) Lemon peel is the best part
The peel contains 10 times more vitamins than the juice or the flesh of the lemon. Frozen lemons are firm enough to be grated into food. You'll be utilizing every part of the fruit, including the bit that packs the greatest punch in terms of health benefits — the skin.
Try freezing them in halves for easy grating.
2) Lemons are rich in Vitamin C
This important vitamin helps to fight against colds and flus, and neutralizes the free radicals which age us. One large lemon gives us 53mg of Vitamin C, which is almost 90% of our daily requirement.
3) Lemons help our bodies repair
The massive amount of Vitamin C found in lemons is essential for producing collagen, which helps our bodies to form new bone, blood vessels, and tendons, and repair wounds.
4) Lemons are more versatile when they're frozen
Some people don't like the flavor of lemons, or find them too sour, and that's okay. By freezing and grating them, you'll find it easier to incorporate lemon into your meals without packing a huge flavor punch (unless you want to!).
For instance, cooking lemon reduces some of the Vitamin C, so try sprinkling the frozen lemon into soups, salad dressings, and onto noodles and rice dishes. You can even sprinkle the grated lemon onto fruit salad with yogurt, or onto ice cream. It has a fresh and zesty flavor, and goes well with sweet or savory dishes.
5) You won't need ice cubes
Cut your lemons into walnut-sized chunks before freezing, and then you can throw them into your glass of water to keep it cool and to add a lovely fresh flavor.
6) It'll save you money
Keep your wallet healthy as well as your body... Lemons can get very expensive out of season, so if you see a good price at the grocery store, then stock up! You don't need to worry about shelf life as lemons will last three to four months in the freezer.
7) Limonoids prevent cancer
Studies have shown that limonoids, a natural compound found in citrus fruits, prevent the development of cancer cells, with a particular link to breast cancer. Lemons contain antioxidants and are known to have anti-microbial properties to fight off bacterial infections, fungi, and internal parasites. All the more reason to incorporate lemon into your daily diet.
8) Lemons alkalize your body
Many people suffer from body acidity without knowing it. Symptoms include acid reflux, sensitive gums, and mouth ulcers, as well as fatigue and nervousness. The easiest way to alkalize your body is to drink water with lemon, and the benefit of using frozen lemons here is that you can be more precise with the amount you add to the water. Lemon juice alone can be quite sour and make a big difference to the water immediately, whereas a mix of the skin and flesh gives a more subtle flavor (and keeps the water cool!).
9) Lemons are low in calories and sugar
As compared to oranges, a more traditional source of Vitamin C, lemons have far less sugar and calories. Lemons have approximately 29 calories and 2.9 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit. By comparison, oranges have 47 calories and 9.4 grams of sugar. Although these sugars are natural, it is still important to limit the amount of sugar we have in our diet.
10) They're perfect for drinks
Cocktails and fresh iced teas often call for lemon juice and other fresh ingredients, but here's an even better way of preparing: pour fresh lemon juice into ice trays with other healthy and colorful additions — a strawberry, a mint leaf, or a slice of orange, for example. They're quick and mess-free when making drinks, and you can even use them to cool down a hot cup of tea.
Bonus Tip: You can freeze lemons whole (for grating), but if you want them sliced or shopped then it is best to do so before freezing them as the flesh will go a little mushy when thawed. Slice or chop the fruit to your desired size and then freeze them on a single layer baking tray overnight - this will prevent the juice from sticking them together. When frozen, you can throw them all into a snap-lock bag. If recipes call for certain parts of the lemon you can freeze the grated rind separately in snap-lock bags, or you can pour the juice into ice trays for freezing as in the suggestion above.
Lemons are undoubtedly a superfood, but if you don't have a tree in the garden, then it can be less than convenient to maintain a fresh supply. That's why you should stock up when they're at their cheapest, prepare them however you want, and throw them in the freezer. You'll love the convenience of being able to add lovely fresh flavors to your cooking — and the health benefits that come with it.