Lemons Float and Limes Sink

Storing Citrus for Freshness

Freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice is a key ingredient in many great cocktails. In order to save money, we purchase our citrus in bulk from Trader Joe’s or Aldi. We were keeping our citrus in a fruit bowl on our kitchen counter. They looked beautiful for the first few days! However, within a week they were hard and dry and the limes would develop brown stops. So I did some research and experimented with the following storage methods to keep the citrus fresher longer. This video demonstrates the storage methods tested.

Freezing

Wash and dry lemons or limes prior to freezing and place in a plastic zip top bag. Remove air from the bag. I find that using a straw works perfectly to remove the air or you may simply press the air out. You may freeze whole fruit or fruit that has been cut into wedges. Whole fruit must be thawed prior to using. I tried thawing at room temperature and in the microwave. Thawing at room temperature produced better results, but this requires a couple hours of advanced planning. I do like freezing lemon wedges for using in cooking or hot tea. Thaw time is much faster and it is great to always have pre-cut lemon wedges on hand.

Airtight Refrigerator Storage in a Plastic Zip Top Bag

Wash and thoroughly dry lemons or limes prior to storage. Place in a plastic zip top bag. Remove air from the bag. I find that using a straw works perfectly to remove the air or you may simply press the air out. This method was the simplest of all methods. After 30 days the lemon looked perfect and juiced well. The lime developed a large brown spot, but produced sufficient juice. The juice from both the lemon and lime tasted fresh.

Vinegar Soak with Airtight Refrigerator Storage in a Plastic Zip Top Bag

Wash lemons or limes. Soak in a bowl containing 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and thoroughly dry. Place in a plastic zip top bag. Remove air from the bag. I find that using a straw works perfectly to remove the air or you may simply press the air out. This method produced the fruit with the best appearance. After 30 days the lemon and lime looked perfect and juiced well. The juice from both the lemon and lime tasted fresh.

Roll in Newspaper with Airtight Refrigerator Storage in a Plastic Zip Top Bag

Wash and thoroughly dry lemons or limes. Roll each piece of fruit in a strip of newspaper and press down edges. Place in a plastic zip top bag. Remove air from the bag. I find that using a straw works perfectly to remove the air or you may simply press the air out. After 30 days the lemon and lime had small black spots in the pores of the fruit. The juice from both the lemon and lime tasted fresh.

Summary

Freeze citrus wedges for use in cooking and hot beverages.

The Vinegar Soak produced the best looking whole fruit, yet the juicing results were close to just simply storing in an airtight container. For myself, the extra effort is not worthy of the results. I prefer to simply wash, dry and store the citrus in an airtight container and use within 14 days versus storing for 30 days.

Rolling in Newspaper was absolutely not worth the added effort, as the black spots were off-putting.

As I am looking to reduce our zip top plastic bag usage, I am awaiting the arrival of a couple Tupperware FridgeSmartĀ® containers. I will repeat this experiment when they arrive and let you know the results!