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Fermenting Lemons

I’m still working on using all of  our Meyer lemons.  By our best estimates, our tree gave us over 200lbs of lemons this year.  We’ve been very blessed.  We’ve been able to share quite a few and I’ve even traded some for some medicinal herbs, handmade soaps and lotions.

My ultimate goal is to have lemons preserved for the entire year.  This includes juice for lemonade during the summer, zest and juice for cooking, dehydrated lemons slices, lemon salt and sugar and fermented lemons.  I’ve already showed you how we freeze and dehydrate the lemons.  And today I want to share with you something new (to me) fermented lemons.

Since this is something I’ve never done, I did some research and  my favorite site was The Nourished Kitchen.  She has a book coming out about fermentation and guess what’s on the cover….yep, lemons.

Fermenting lemons appealed to me for several reasons.  One is that you use the entire lemon.  Fermenting makes even the rind edible.  Even though we have lots of lemons, I don’t want any of it to go to waste.  Another reason is that it’s pretty simple and no special equipment is needed.

To ferment lemons you just need….

5 -6 Lemons – It’s probably best to use organic for this
3 Tbsp sea salt
Wide mouth quart size mason jar and lid

That’s it!

First you need to make sure your lemons are clean, so go ahead and give them a good washing.

Next, cut the lemons into pieces.  You can cut quarters but where you don’t cut all the way through the bottom.  That way when they come out of the jar the whole lemon will come out together.  Or, if you don’t care about that just quarter them. You can also cut them into slices or chunks.  Whatever look you like best is fine.

Sprinkle salt on the inside of the lemon and put it into your jar. (I sterilized mine, like I do when I’m canning). Continue cutting and salting and putting the lemons in the jar.  When the jar is full, squish the lemons down and add more.

When the jar is for real full and if the lemons aren’t totally submerged in the juice, juice another lemon or two to add to the top.  Sprinkle with the last of the salt. I put some plastic wrap over them and pushed them down.  I want to make sure that they stay totally submerged in the lemon juice.

Put the lid on and set on the counter.  You’re going to let them sit out for two weeks.  Make sure you turn over the jar upside each day to keep the salt from settling.  After two weeks put them in the refrigerator.

You can use these to flavor chicken or fish.  Or use in homemade salad dressing.  I’m excited to see what all I can use this in.

What other ideas do you have that I could use these for?

{Don’t forget that the Coffee Table Conversations sessions start this week. This week’s topic is Eating Slow in a Fast World. You can learn more about these sessions here.}

This post is shared at Barn Hop, Mostly Homemade Monday,  Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesday Greens, Homemaking Blog Hop, Mountain Woman Rendezvous,Home and Garden Blog Hop, HomeAcre Blog Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, From the Farm, Small Footprint Fridays

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  1. Carol says

    Just wondering: if you must refrigerate after making, what is the point? I thought that fermenting meant that is was preserved, and did not require refrigeration.

    • Angi Schneider says

      Well, it is preserved but not indefinitely. I’m not sure how long it would be good just on the counter but I’m pretty sure it will be longer than an unfermented lemon. Also, this isn’t a way I would choose preserve large numbers of lemons but I think it will be nice to have them this summer when I’m completely out of fresh lemons. My favorite way to preserve our lemon harvest is to dehydrate the zest and then juice the lemons and freeze the juice.

  2. says

    What an interesting post, I’ve never thought of preserving lemons this way. Now I want to try it myself! Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, I’m going to feature it tomorrow! Come back and share another post tomorrow! – Nancy
    The Home Acre Hop

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