There are thousands of ways to use lemon juice. Have you ever used the peel to make candy and a broth?
Lemon juice is easy. Drink it straight up or add into your favorite baked goods for a delicious zing.
But, C’mon lets have a bit of a challenge. Have you used the entire lemon? And not just blending the whole lemon but actually using it to make more than one deliciously lemon product.
Did you know you can use (almost) the WHOLE lemon!
That’s right! Nothing goes to waste (except for the seeds. I’ve tried planting them but I have had no luck yet. If you know a trick to get a lemon tree to grow from seeds I would love to know!).
The steps are designed to make it easy to lower your waste when using lemons. So, if you don’t have enough time to complete the process, you can stop at any step. So here we go…
4 easy steps = 5 lemon products and only seeds are left behind.
Here is what you’ll need to create all 5 lemons products:
- Ice tray
- Sharp knife
- Granulated sugar (1 cup for simple syrup & ¼ cup for coating the candy)
- Air-tight storage containers (2) (1- for simple syrup and 1-for lemon broth)
- Wire wrack
- Pan or towel for underneath the rack to catch the excess sugar
Step 1: Zest the Lemon Skin (2 min)
Before you cut the lemons, zest the skin. It’s easier when the lemons are whole. Take care to only zest the yellow part of the skin. The white part (pith) underneath is bitter so be careful not to zest the same place more than once (I timed myself and it took less than 2 min to zest a large lemon).
Use the zest now or let air dry and save for later (store in air tight container). As it dries it looses some of its lemon-y flavor. So if you want a stronger lemon flavor use within a day, otherwise add an extra pinch of dried zest.
Step 2: Juice (5 min)
Step 3: Boil the Peels to Produce Lemon Broth (10-15 min)
(NOTE!!: if you want to make candy skip this step and go straight to Step 4.)
You must slice the lemon peels before boiling. You’ll still get your lemon broth for cleaning; don’t you worry.Use the broth for cleaning. Add 2 part lemon broth to 1 part vinegar for an all-purpose cleaning spray. If you don’t want to do make lemon peel candy, then after boiling, compost the peels for use in the garden or go on to STEP 4 to make Candy.
Step 4: Lemon Peel Candy (60- 90 min prep + 8-10 hours to dry)
Next slice the lemon peels into ¼-1/8 “ wide strips. This doesn’t need to be exact.
Cover the peels in water, just enough to cover, then boil for 5 min. Repeat this step 3x. (Save the broth from this step to make lemon scented vinegar cleaning spray.)
Add 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water and boil for 45 min. or until translucent. Drain this sugar water (Voila! Your simple syrup) into air-tight container for other recipes. (I store in fridge so it’ll last longer)
This step is important! Add drained peels to a bowl of granulated sugar. It’s important to have enough sugar to coat the peels or it won’t crystallize. You’ll end up with soggy sweet lemon peels. (Yes. I know this from experience. :P) For one lemon, I used about ¼ cup of sugar. Lay the peels out on wire rack to dry. To dry it may take anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
And there you have it! You did it! And now there is a little bit less waste and a little bit more sweetness in the world
One side note: you can make orange peel candy too.
So when life gives you lemons say “thank you” and make candy!
Questions? How did your no-waste lemon process go?