Whether you prefer consuming them in lemonade, cocktails, salad dressings, sauces, desserts, marinades, or just raw, lemons are an inseparable part of your everyday diet. But how many times have you ended up feeling disappointed when preparing a meal around your last lemon just to realize it had dried out and lost all of its juiciness? If you ask me the same question, I’d answer countless times.
I’ve thrown a lot of lemons away so many times when they could have been included in some super tasty cake or a refreshing cocktail. And recently I’ve discovered why this juicy fruit often ends up in the garbage bin. Lemons need to be stored properly in order to last for longer. So, let’s see how you can do this.
Many of us love decorating our kitchen countertop or dining room table with a nice bowl full of fresh, juicy lemons. But, this is the wrong way to store lemons. When this fruit is stored at room temperature, it does not take it long to dry out and become hard and lose all of its juiciness. So here’s one little and yet important tip: To keep lemons fresh for longer, store them in sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator. Never store them at room temperature!
If you want to make sure you preserve your lemons safely for longer, it is best to store them in a zip-lock plastic bag or sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. Kept this way, they can stay fresh and preserve their juiciness for around a month. Whereas, they can never stay fresh at room temperature for this period of time. Keeping them in a bowl on your kitchen countertop makes them last only for one week. And in case this is the way you want to store lemons, then make sure you do that properly.
To keep lemons from going bad at room temperature, all you need to do is wash them thoroughly and put them in a glass jar or bowl full of water. The water won’t let moisture escape the lemons, which means they’ll stay juicy for longer and you can use them whenever you want. And here’s one more useful tip: Never store lemons with fruits that produce ethylene, a gaseous hormone that begins the ripening process of a lot of fruits, as lemons are sensitive to it. Storing lemons with ethylene-producing fruits will cause the lemons to rot more quickly. Ethylene-producing fruits are apples, bananas, grapes, avocados, kiwis, mangos, peaches, watermelons, and limes.
Who said that lemon slices and lemon halves serve no purpose and should be tossed? You can store them in a zip-lock plastic bag or a sealed container and put them in the fridge. Or, you can also wrap the exposed part of the lemon in foil. Stored this way, lemon slices and lemon halves will preserve their juiciness and they can be used within a couple of days.
And for those of you who are wondering how you can properly store other citrus fruits, such as limes, the same above-mentioned rules apply for this fruit as well.
The secret to lengthening the life of limes by three to four weeks is, again, storing them in a sealed container or air-tight bag in the refrigerator or freezer. In this way, the limes will preserve their juiciness and all of their minerals and vitamins. Now that you know how to keep limes fresh, we’d just like to remind you not to store limes and lemons together in one container, whether at room temperature or in the refrigerator, because limes are ethylene-producing fruits and lemons are sensitive to this hormone.
We can’t finish this article without mentioning the health benefits of consuming lemons. So, let’s dive right into it:
Being a rich source of citric acid and vitamin C, lemons prevent you from developing anemia. These two compounds help your body better absorb iron from other fruits and vegetables.
Consuming fruits that are high in vitamin C lowers your risk of stroke and cardiovascular conditions. Lemons are a rich source of this vitamin. They contain fiber as well, which could have a positive effect on your heart and lower your level of cholesterol in the blood.
Citric acid can be helpful in preventing kidney stones formation by raising the pH of your urine and increasing its volume, thereby creating a less welcoming environment where kidney stones could be made.
Lemons contain fiber, known as pectin, which can slow the digestion of starches and sugars and enhance your gut health. All of this can lead to lowering your sugar levels in the blood. But, it’s important to mention that if you want to obtain this benefit from lemons, you’re required to eat the pulp.
Having a good amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, lemons boost your immunity and help protect your body from viruses that cause influenza and the common cold.
Eating lemons whole could help you shed a few pounds by making you feel satiated for longer. So, if you’re someone who has an enormous, insatiable appetite, remember: One lemon a day keeps the appetite away.
To conclude, when life gives you lemons, make sure you know how to store them so as to keep these super healthy fruits fresh for longer and derive all the health benefits from them.