Drying or Freezing Citrus Zest

I love the extra little zing that citrus zest can give recipes and it doesn’t matter if I’m going sweet or savory. I use zest often in my herb blends and sauces and also in cakes, frostings & muffins.

Dried Citrus Zest
Dried Citrus Zest

And sometimes having a bit of zest is a save when I’m making a recipe that calls for lemon or lime and I realize last-minute I don’t have one on hand. I’ve just made it a habit zest even it the recipe I’m using doesn’t call for it.

If I’m freezing, I just add as is to a little snack sized bag I keep in the freezer. If I want dried zest, I put it in the microwave on a sheet of parchment (over a plate) and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until it’s dry. A lime or lemon takes about a minute.

One lime usually gives about a teaspoon frozen and because it’s fluffier, about a teaspoon and a half when dried. A lemon gives just a bit more. When I make a recipe calling for zest, I use a little bit more of the dried or frozen than I would fresh.

All citrus should be scrubbed well before zesting, especially if it has a waxy coating. A little plastic scrubbie works well.

Dried Citrus Zest
Dried Citrus Zest

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26 thoughts on “Drying or Freezing Citrus Zest”

  1. This is such a great idea! I can’t tell you how many times I need zest, and living 20 miles from the nearest grocery store, I just have to get by without, or change to a different recipe. I need to start freezing zest so I have it on hand!

          1. I actually gave away my first microwave … 20 yrs old, bought from Sears and weighed a ton cause my nephew insisted on giving me his microwave. And then it died so I had to buy a new one. I almost asked for the people I gave my old one to if they still had it. 🙂

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