Summer is finally here – what could be nicer on a sunny afternoon than a lovely long drink over ice, with a slice or two of lemon or lime? And how often does half a citrus fruit end up mouldering in the door of the fridge until it’s completely useless and inedible? Even worse perhaps, how frustrating is it when there’s no edible lime in the fruit bowl just when you really really fancy that G&T?
Here’s my top tip to save waste and avoid citrus fruit frustration this summer – freeze them!
When you’ve sliced what you want, keep going, and finish slicing the whole fruit. Pack them in a bag (I like using ziplock sandwich bags, if I have them, because I can re-use them time and time again). I lay them in the bag in twos, if I can, since that’s how I tend to use them in drinks. Put them in the top of the freezer with the ice-cube trays, job done! Couldn’t be much simpler, could it, really?
Here are a couple of bags of frozen lemon and orange segments I pulled out of my freezer just now. I freeze all sorts of pieces – half lemons can be defrosted in the microwave (a few 10s blasts should do the trick) and used in cooking and baking (microwaving fresh citrus fruits briefly before juicing is also a useful tip and greatly increases the juice extraction!). The slices go in drinks, of course (or into the cavity of whole fish before baking!) and the segments are multi purpose – great in a long drink or squeezed over whatever you like.
No need to defrost before using, if it’s a long cold one you’re after. Just toss the slice or segment into your glass with the ice, and pour over your drink of choice. The citrus flavour will take a little longer to diffuse into your drink than a fresh slice, but it will all happen as the lemon thaws – which is almost instantaneous for a slice, slightly longer for a segment perhaps but patience is a virtue! Sit back, and enjoy – and never waste a lime, or go without your wedge of lemon again!
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