Are you ready to learn how to start preserving citrus fruits?
If you’re a fan of homemade jams and jellies, or you have a garden filled with citrus fruit trees, then chances are that at some point in the year you’ll have more citrus fruits than you know what to do with.
Luckily there are several delicious ways to preserve these fruits so they can be enjoyed all year long!
Whether it’s making marmalade from from clementines or lemon curd from lemons, preserving your excess citrus is easy when you follow the simple steps in this post.
Why Preserving Citrus Fruits Is A Great Idea
If you love buying fresh citrus fruits bulk or growing citrus trees, then it is time to learn how to preserve citrus fruits.
Preserving your own citrus fruits can be easy and fun.
You will save money by preserving your own citrus fruit instead of buying the already preserved version in the store.
Sometimes even those of us who don’t have access to our own citrus trees end up with a lot of citrus fruits to do something with.
After all, there are only so many ways to use fresh citrus at once.
Once you have made Key Lime Pie or a Key Lime Pie Cheesecake, fresh citrus based beverages such as orange juice or lemonade and my favorite, a spicy lime oven chicken recipe, you are going to get tired of using citrus.
This is why learning how to preserve citrus fruits is a great idea.
How I Ended Up With Hundreds Of Pounds Of Fresh Citrus Fruits
Last week I went to the local Mission Mart to do some shopping.
They were giving away limes!
This has been happening for two years running.
They told me that most people don’t know what should be done with them, so if nobody takes these then it’s likely we’ll throw out all the unclaimed limes when we close tonight.
How sad I thought!
There are so many people in need of food and while it is true limes do not make a meal, there is a lot you can do with them.
So I loaded up a few bags while dreaming about what kinds of things I could make with the limes.
Lime-aid was one of the first things I thought of.
Did you know sailors used to drink lime juice so they would not get scurvy?
Many recipes call for a small amount of lime juice and the dehydrated, powdered peel is a wonderful addition to homemade spice blends!
By this time I had filled about six grocery bags with limes and answered several people’s questions about what to do with limes.
It was wonderful to see people begin to fill bags with limes once they knew they could freeze them and use them as they needed to.
I took several bags of limes to others who were not able to get out, then I headed home.
I ended up with 460 pounds of limes – and there were still a ton left at the Mission Mart.
I’m not sure if people finally started taking what was left or where they ended up.
I hope someone took them.
I hate seeing food wasted.
Try Preserving Citrus Fruits Whole
Once I returned home, the first batch of limes went into the freezer since that was the fastest way to deal with them and I was busy that day.
My friend Shirley told me last year all you have to do is put them in a freezer bag and freeze them whole.
This is true for any of the citrus fruits.
No washing, no peeling, no juicing!
Nothing could be easier!
Best of all, when you are ready to juice them, just let them thaw at room temperature and you will get a lot more juice than you would if you juiced them when they were fresh.
Of course, if you are like most people, you have limited room in your freezer for limes.
That was my next problem when I went back and the limes were still there.
I wanted to take more to keep them from being thrown away, but what on earth was I going to do with them?
Preserving Citrus Fruits Juice
Lime juice certainly takes up a lot less room in the freezer than whole limes, but you have to divide it out into small portions to prevent thawing too much at once.
That is very time consuming, but if you need just a little lime juice for a recipe such as my dilly lime butter, you will have just the right amount..
Trust me, I did that last year.
So, I went in search of a recipe for canning citrus juice.
Jerry was the one who actually came across one.
Lucky for me!
I went to my Ball books first and there was no mention of canning lime juice in them.
So we began juicing – and spent days juicing limes!
Luckily canning lime juice is easy.
Here in Indiana we cold pack the pints for 5 minutes and the quarts for 10 minutes.
One of my favorite ways to use the lime juice is in my Halloween party drink recipe.
Preserving Citrus Fruits Peels
After you juice the limes, you are going to end up with a ton of highly fragrant lime peels.
Be sure to save them.
You can candy them, distill them, zest them or use them in a variety of crafts such as potpourri once the peels are dry.
You can even use the fresh peels or whole citrus slices to make a scented vinegar cleaner and fabric softener.
Another thing you can do with whole citrus slices is grill them to use in drinks or in other recipes!