Lemon puree

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.

Rhubarb in season

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

Rhubarb in season
Rhubarb in season
Rhubarb in season

What next?

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

Rhubarb in season
Rhubarb in season
Rhubarb in season
Rhubarb in season

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

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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

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And all from shells that would otherwise be discarded.

So, tell me, how would you use your lemon puree?

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