I love lemons. They are bright, refreshing, and smell divine. I’ve gotten in the habit of squeezing fresh lemon juice in a glass of water to help wake me up (and my digestive system) first thing in the morning. When I first started, I’m ashamed to admit that I would usually just throw the lemon peel away (or toss it in the garbage disposal). But when my lemon habit really took off I started storing the peels. I’ve collected a lot, actually.
Did you know that lemon peels are nutritional power houses? Seriously?
Lemon Peels contain a spectrum of vitamins, minerals and fiber (things like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C) that can give your menu a nutritional boost. And even though you would have to consume large amounts of peel to glean significant nutritional benefits, it doesn’t hurt to throw in some peel when you can.
Remember, organic will be your best best when consuming the peel to avoid eating any pesticides.
1. Lemon Zest
Lemon zest is a common ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Zest some of your peel, use some now or freeze it for later.
2. Lemon Pepper
One of my favorite seasonings, and easy to make. Check out Lemon Pepper Seasoning by Simply Scratch.
3. Candied Lemon Peel
Um. Yum. What more do I need to say? I love this Candied Lemon Peel recipe by Luna Cafe.
4. Lemon Sugar
Doesn’t it just sound awesome? I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s definitely on my “to do” list. Check out this Lemon Sugar Recipe by Baking Bites.
5. Lemon Olive Oil
Give your olive oil a yummy makeover for a bright flavor. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started.
6. Lemon Extract
Sometimes I’m amazed at the things I never realized you could make yourself. Like this lemon extract.
7. Lemon twists and ice cubes!
Brighten your drinks by putting twists of the peel into ice cubes. Perfect for summer parties. Use a vegetable peeler (like this) or knife to make long strips, cutting away from the white pith which can be quite bitter. Again, these can be frozen.
8. Herb-Lemon Zest Butter
Another “what more do I need to say,” right?
9. Keep brown sugar soft
Adding some lemon peel (with traces of pulp and pith removed) to your brown sugar can help keep it moist and easy to use.