Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

I love cooking with citrus, but sometimes my crazy travel schedule can be a bit challenging with keeping fresh fruit in the house.  I try to always have at least one lemon around, but sometimes I just find myself in such a pinch.  I recently received this email from Aunt Karen (you've also seen her creativity with Ian's stocking and her wine cork wreath). 
It's so ingenious, I don't even know what to do with myself.
The writing in italics is from my Aunt Karen's email, and the pictures are mine from when I put her advice into action this past Monday evening.
You mentioned substituting lime for lemon, as you just wanted to use what you had in the house. I have a trick I use that you might find interesting. 

I buy lemons and limes in bulk at someplace like BJs. So much cheaper!

First I zest all the fruit and put the zest in little bunches--like two teaspoons worth each--into the compartments of a mini ice cube tray. I use the rubber/plastic kind. On top of the zest I add enough water to fill the compartment (I use water so as not to waste the juice).  

After zesting, I juice the fruit and add it to the empty compartments. It also measures out to about two teaspoons per compartment.

Into the freezer they go. Once frozen, you can put the cubes into separately marked freezer bags--one for lemon, one for lime.

When you need juice or zest, you always have it on hand. No running to the grocery store. No lemons or limes turning hard or fuzzy and having to be discarded. Everything gets used. The juice and zest can quickly be defrosted in the microwave. I dry off the zest with a paper towel and continue on with my recipe. You can't tell the difference.
Both a frugal and elegant solution to a problem we all run into from time to time.
Love, AK

How smart is that?!
And a quick note from me: I used this Williams-Sonoma zester and a Cuisinart juicer.  My silicone cube molds came from Marshall's.


  1. This is a genius idea! I am so glad you shared your aunts advice with us!

  2. genius! I have been freezing my leftover mint leaves in ice cube trays too for my sassy water.

    I really need that W-S zester!!!!

  3. Such a great idea! I always struggle with having lemons or limes when I need them. Thanks for sharing!

  4. GREAT idea! I guess I could use regular old ice cube trays?

  5. brilliant!! I also love using ice cube trays to freeze pasta sauces, pesto, etc. Having a little cube to just throw over pasta is so quick (particularly on nights when JM is away and I just want a serving for one)

  6. This is such a great idea! I'll definitely be putting these tips to use! Thanks for sharing, April!


  7. Such a great solution! I love this!

  8. This is genius! I don't know why I never thought to do this with lemons and limes since I do something very similar for fresh basil. I basically make a basil puree from fresh basil out of my garden and water and then freeze it in ice cubes trays to use later. I am always using lemons and limes so I will definitely gives this a try!

  9. This is such a smart and simple idea, thanks for sharing!! You're lucky to have Aunt Karen!

  10. This is such a great idea! I love lemons in my water but find that I end up throwing more lemons than I can drink!


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