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Unimaginably Versatile Ways to Use Lemon Zest

Different Ways to Use Lemon Zest
It is refreshing, and it brings about a surprising taste to everyday dishes. From using it for basting to marinating, the uses of lemon zest are a plenty. Here's all you can do with lemon zest.
Cheryl Mascarenhas
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
Extensively used to infuse a tangy flavor while cooking, baking or grilling food, the zest is a favorite ingredient in the kitchen. Apart from using it to infuse zing in dishes, it can be used in myriad ways around the house. The zest is essentially the outermost colorful layer of the peel. The zest along with the white lining called pith forms the rind of the citrus fruit. It is obtained by scrapping, cutting or grating the outer layer of citrus fruits. The zest can be used dried, pickled or even candied, oh and not to forget, freshly grated, in just about any dish to give it an extra tangy taste. A good source of vitamin C and citric acid, the health benefits of consuming lemon juice is widely known. This citric acid is not just present in the pulp and the juice, but also present in the peel of the lemon or any other citrus fruit for that matter.
The low pH level in lemons makes it great to use as a household requirement. Its versatility makes the zest a useful ingredient in beauty and culinary departments, as well as in cleaning and refreshing the house. Let's take a look at some of the ways the lemon zest can be put to use in and around the house, and not just the kitchen. We will also take a look at some interesting things you can make with the good old lemon zest. The three sections included here are ...
  • Household Purposes
  • Beauty Treatments
  • Gourmet
Household Purposes
Did you know...
The zest of a lemon contains limonene, an aromatic liquid.
As a cleaning agent
Cleaning agent
» Boil water along with some lemon zest to clean your tea kettles and coffee pots. It will eat away the mineral deposits in the kettle and leave you with a sparkling pot.

» Take water in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a tablespoon of lemon zest and boil it on high for 5 minutes to get rid of greasy microwave stains. The steam will help break down the oil accumulated on the inner walls of the microwave, after which you can wipe the microwave dry.

» Who needs those costly cleaning agents to make the kitchen and stove counter stain-free when help is at hand? Use the lemon zest mixed with salt and scrub your kitchen clean to get rid of all the oil and grime staining the counter as a result of a messy sautéing.

» Cooking pots used to cook fatty meats can be washed clean using a little bit of zest or a few rinds of lemon. Simply boil water and let the zest/rind rest in the water for a few minutes before washing. It will not only remove the oil, but also leave your pot sans a stale odor.
As a Freshener
Lemon Freshener
» Place a few spoonfuls of lemon zest in the humidifier. The simmering water in the humidifier will freshen up the room instantly.

» Using a sachet or a muslin cloth, place some dry lemon zest or rinds in closets and drawers to keep them smelling fresh at all times.

» Dry lemon zest and rinds make excellent potpourri. Place them in a bowl and treat your olfactory senses.

» Placing a few rinds of lemon or lemon zest in a pouch in strategic corners in the house can work as a room freshener.

» Finely grated and dried lemon zest can be used as beads to decorate around candles, and thus emanating a tangy freshness in the room that it is placed in.

» Dried lemon rinds work as an excellent kindler for the fireplace. Burning lemon rinds and zest will not just make a crackling fire, but also leave the room smelling fresh.
As a Repellent
Lemon Repellent
» Ward off moths from your closets and drawers by hanging some lemon zest in a sachet. Besides, it will also deal with the musty smell of wardrobes.

» Finely grated lemon zest works well to put off insects and pests. Use it to cover up possible openings like windowsills and cracks and ward off those ants and other insects.

» Not just insects, you can use lemon spray made by infusing the zest in water to keep your cat away from your flowering plants.

» Keep your garden safe from scavenging cats by mixing lemon zest with the compost.
As an Antibacterial
Lemon Antibacterial
» Use the lemon rind/zest to kill bacteria that reside on frequently used kitchen items like knives and cutting boards. Wash clean with a liquid cleaner. Then rub some lemon zest on the cutting board and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing off.
As a Polish
Bathroom Mirror Polish
» Lemon zest soaked in salt is perfect to use as a scrub to clean and polish your chrome faucets and copper pots.

» Lemon zest is good option to clean stained glassware and mirrors especially in the bathroom. Using a sponge, rub some zest on the mirror and wipe clean with a piece of paper or a dry cloth and it will be squeaky clean in a matter of minutes.
Beauty Treatments
As a Skin Care Product
Skin Care Product
For a bath scrub...
Mix finely grated/chopped lemon zest along with a tablespoon each of honey and olive oil.

» Use lemon zest to get rid of unwanted skin tan and age spots. Rub some lemon zest on your hands and face and leave it on for an hour. Though for results to be apparent, you would have to do this on a regular basis.

» Another good option is to use the lemon zest with or without sugar as a skin tonic. Lightly rub the lemon zest all over your face and neck. Leave it for a couple of minutes; do this on a regular basis and see the results for yourself.

» Lemon zest work as a perfect bath scrub. It will not only leave your skin feeling fresh, but will also make the skin soft. Using a loofah, gently massage the scrub onto your body before a shower.

» Tired of acne? Here's the solution. Grate some lemon zest and mix it with a half cup of water to which you can add a tablespoon of honey and a few cloves. Use this wash to get rid of the oiliness in your skin, which is the root cause of acne. Besides, it will also get rid of the dead cells on the face, thus leaving you beaming and glowing.

» Lemon is an excellent skin toner and lightener, and can be effectively used as a bleaching agent. Mix a spoonful of lemon zest with honey and apply this on your face with the help of cotton pads. Leave it on for about an hour and peel it off once dry.

» Getting rid of blackheads just got easier and cheaper. All you got to do is rub the rind or some lemon zest on to the blackheads before you hit bed and wash it with cold water the morning after.

» Worried of crow's feet and age lines showing on your face? Use a face pack made with honey, sweet almond oil and lemon zest to get rid of those worry lines looming large on your forehead.
For Hair Care
Hair Care
» Lemon juice is known to be a cure for dandruff and there is no reason why the zest should be far behind. Applying lemon zest soaked in olive oil to the scalp 15 minutes prior to shampooing your hair will take care of the pesky dandruff problem.

» Limp and listless hair is often a cause of worry. Breathe life into your mane with a lemony conditioner. Mix the juice of a lemon along with the zest in half a cup of warm water. Apply this conditioner to your hair and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing off.

» For an instant shine and bounce to your hair, do not forget to spritz them with a homemade spray infused with lemon zest. Do not try this just before going out in the sun unless you want your hair color to go light instantly.

» Lemon juice is known to lighten hair color, thus becoming a natural hair colorant. For natural highlights, apply the juice of a lemon or use the hair spray and sit in the sun for about an hour.

» Hair loss can be treated by applying lemon zest mixed with coconut oil or coconut milk to the scalp once a week. This will also help add volume to your limp hair.
For Tired Hands and Feet
Nail Cleaning with Lemon
» Have your nails discolored due to constant use of nail paint? If yes, then this is sure to benefit you. Mix the juice of a lemon with the zest in a bowl of warm water and soak your fingernails for 15 minutes. Follow it with by brushing them with a solution of white vinegar and water.

» For an ultimate foot scrub, mix half a bowl of brown sugar with olive oil and the juice of half a lemon along with a tablespoon of lemon zest and massage it over your feet. You will never again feel the need to purchase a foot scrub. You can also use it to soften dry elbows and hands.

» Lemon juice and zest applied on nails will help make them shinier and stronger. Soaking nails in lemon water helps deep-clean the nails and returns the natural shine of the nails.
Did you know...
In Louis XIV's court, the women rubbed lemon rind on their lips to get rosy lips.
As a Breath Freshener
» Chewing on a few pieces of the lemon rind or zest is known to freshen up the breath. Rubbing the zest on your gums seems to be effective. It is also helpful to whiten teeth.
As a Perfume
Lemon Flavor Perfume
» Awaken your senses with a citrus perfume. To make the perfume, infuse some lemon zest into vodka and a quarter teaspoon of castor oil. Let this mixture sit in a cool dark place for a week after which you can transfer it into a spray bottle and voilà you have your own perfume ready.
Baking, Basting and Grilling
Grilled With Lemon
» Lemon zest is an all-time favorite ingredient especially when baking or grilling meats. Use it to enhance the flavor of the meat either by marinating it or preparing a baste.

For the Marinade...
Mix 60 ml of orange juice with a cup of oil and about 3 tablespoons of lemon zest. Add a little bit of honey for a sweet and tangy taste. Mix well and keep it aside for a few hours. You can apply it on the meat while roasting or grilling.

» Add flavor to your breads, cookies, brownies and cakes by adding a dash of lemon zest to the regular recipe. Try baking oatmeal cookies with a dash of lemon zest, I bet you will love it.

» Use finely chopped lemon zest to stuff into your roast chicken or turkey. It is sure to leave the meat with a heavenly aroma.

» Make a spice rub with finely grated/chopped lemon zest, coriander, poppy seeds, garlic cloves and onions. Use this when grilling fish fillets or chicken breasts.

» Mix honey with lemon zest and use this mix as a glaze for meats that are being grilled/roasted.
Sauces, Pastas and Pizzas
Pasta With Lemon Sauce
» Add color and zing to your pasta or pizza with a good shaving of lemon zest. Lemon zest added to the pizza dough will leave you with a tastier pizza crust.

» For a lemony pasta sauce, mix the juice of a lemon along with grated zest and coarsely grated cheese of your liking. Add chopped chives, salt and pepper and serve hot.
Jams, Marmalades and Candies
Lemon Jam
» Lemon zest are good to use in jams, pies and yes, even jellies. To make lemon zest jello, dissolve lemon gelatin in a cup of hot water. To that, add a cup of vodka, a cup of lemon juice mixed with sugar syrup and a good grating of lemon zest. Mix it with half a cup of cold water and refrigerate till the lemon zest jelly solidifies.

» Marmalade is the absolute comfort food, and it is without doubt that a lemon zest marmalade is a must have.

» Candied lemon zest not only taste good, but also help freshen up the breath. Pop some in the mouth for instant mouth freshness.
Cocktails, Mocktails, and Garnishes
Lemon Lime Cocktail
» Lemon zest twirls add freshness and a sense of fun to the drink that is being served. Candied strips of lemon zest are good to serve as topping over espressos, cocktails and even soups.

» For a refreshing drink, combine sweetened ginger-lemon mixture in a cocktail shaker. To that, add crushed ice and 2 cups of vodka and the lemon zests. Shake well and serve it with sprigs of mint and lemon twirls.

» Dunking the lemon zest in the glass will give you a better flavor. It is especially true in the case of vodka. Try the vodka with a lemon zest and a green chili.

» How can we forget to mention the sweet concoction of lemon ice tea? Make the lemony twist even more prominent by adding bits of lemon rind.
The uses of a lemon, be it the zest or the juice do not culminate right here. The list is endless and it would be agreeable to disagree with the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." After all, if you can reap the benefits of the fruit, it is wise that you simply go ahead and explore its benefits to the fullest.