Why You Should Start Preserving Lemons + How To Do It
A few years back, I became obsessed with anything that had to do with gut healing after I realized that many rounds of antibiotics left me with a leaky gut. So I turned to fermented foods to help me on my healing journey.
I started with sauerkraut, and I learned to love it. I added it to everything in huge amounts, and all my food allergies started to clear up. After stressful events, though, I noticed that some of these sensitivities returned, as So it got me thinking, how can I prevent this further?
I decided to diversify the kinds of fermented foods I ate. I still have issues with dairy, so even kefir caused problems for me. I really enjoy kombucha, but my body does much better without caffeine ... and it gets a little pricey to consume every day.
Then I stumbled across lemons. People all over the world ferment lemons, and the benefits are amazing. Lemons are a great addition to any healthy routine, and the fermented version adds a rich complexity that can be added to smoothies, salads, or meat dishes — almost anything, really. And don't forget all those probiotics!
Here's the recipe that I use for lemons:
- 4-6 organic lemons
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt per lemon (smaller lemons require a little less)
- 1 quart Mason jar
- wood spoon for mashing
- shot glass
- cheese cloth and rubber band
1. Take a lemon and cut off both ends and slice into quarters, stopping right before cutting all the way through. Depending on how wide your jar is, you may need to cut them apart fully to get all of the pieces in there.
2. Pinching the lemon so that it’s separated into halves, completely cover it in a little less than half a tablespoon of salt. Pinch it in half the other way and pour the same amount of salt into the other half.
3. Squeeze the lemon together and then squeeze it into the jar. Add a bit more salt on top of the lemon.
4. Take your wooden spoon and mash down (this part takes a little muscle) until all of the juice is released; this is what creates the brine.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 adding in the remaining lemons.
6. Place a shot glass on top to make sure all lemons are below the brine. Cover the jar with cheese cloth and store in cool, dark place for about 3 weeks.
7. After 3 weeks, remove the cheese cloth and place the lid on the jar. Refrigerate for eight hours to stop the fermentation process and enjoy.
Note: When you ferment lemons, every part is edible, including the peel. The flavor is strong, though, so I dice them up small and add them as garnishes to meals or even in smoothies after they’ve been blended. Get creative with them; they’re too good not to!