For me, the best lemon puree starts with the best lemons – and I defer to organic, unwaxed lemons.
I’ll share some steps to take if you have lemons that are waxed, not organic – don’t worry.
One of my biggest approaches to food is exploring how much of the whole ingredient I can use in my home or cooking, especially if they have life in them. This zero-waste approach helps me get the most and the best out of each ingredient which is not only a great guiding philosophy but in these times of COVID can help us immensely.
To make this puree, I use ‘saved’ lemon shells. Lemon halves that have been juiced and if not for saving would have ended in the trash.
I save them in the fridge and when I have gathered a lot, I process and puree and use in both sweet and savoury preparations.
So, what do I do if my lemons aren’t organic or are waxed or if they are really hard?
Starting with cold water, put the lemons in and bring to a boil. Rinse and repeat 2 or three times. This should get rid of the wax while softening the shells.
If my shells are organic, unwaxed – I boil once to soften
With a spoon, I scoop out the pith which I discard. And then I freeze the shells in a bag – single layer and bring out as needed
For sweet things, I remove the shells I want and blend with sugar, honey or any other sweetener of my choice to form a puree. You can add spices if you like. You can also make a lemon caramel this way
For savoury things, I blend add herbs, salt, garlic – whatever I like and the lemon shells and puree. This goes into salad dressing, gets stirred in with yogurt, sauces, rice and more
And all from shells that would otherwise be discarded.
So, tell me, how would you use your lemon puree?