It always happens too quickly: you buy a net of lemons, use one or two, and the rest dries up or molds. This can be prevented in the future, quite simply with water.
For the fruity lemon slices, the yoghurt lemon cake or the refreshing lemon pasta, you've got plenty of the yellow vitamin bombs. But if something comes up or you have simply made a mistake with the amount, the purchased lemons unfortunately mold or dry out far too quickly.
Of course, you can squeeze them and freeze the juice (or individual pieces of lemon). But the whole fruits can also be stored in such a way that they can be kept for weeks. You don't even need any special equipment or means, just a sealable container and conventional tap water.
Preserve whole lemons for weeks
To extend the shelf life of lemons, all you need is a large jar. Canning jars are particularly suitable for this. Test whether the opening is wide enough so that you can comfortably insert your hand into it.
In the water, the lemons are protected from drying out and mold growth. © Wirestock/Imago
Then the washed lemons (it also works with limes and other citrus fruits) go into the jar, everything is filled with water and sealed. Important here: The fruits should be completely covered. If you have space, put the jar in the refrigerator, but it can just as well be left on the work surface. Just make sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Tip: If you don't have such a large jar, you can also use screw-top jars or storage jars for individual fruits.
The water is changed about every two to three days and can be used well for watering flowers. However, you should not drink it or use it for cooking.
By the way: With a screw-top jar in the refrigerator, the shelf life of strawberries can also be extended.
The water secret: Why lemon storage works like this
In general, according to the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE), the following recommendation applies to the storage of citrus fruits: "The optimal storage temperature is between zero and nine degrees Celsius for oranges, between one and five degrees Celsius for tangerines and between ten and 15 degrees Celsius for grapefruits and lemons."
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If lemons or other citrus fruits are stored in water, they will remain fresh for several weeks. There are several reasons for this:
- Hydration: Lemons consist largely of water. If they are stored in water, their moisture is retained and they do not dry out so quickly.
- Protection against mold growth: If lemons are stored in water, they can also be protected from mold growth. The humid environment of the water makes it difficult for mold to form on the peel or pulp. This will help keep the lemons longer.
But be careful, lemons don't last forever either. You should always check whether the taste or consistency has changed and trust your gut feeling. The fact that the color changes a little is natural and problem-free during water storage.
This article was created with the help of machines and carefully reviewed by editor Anna Heyers before publication.