I make a lot of smoothies (no kidding) during the summer. I used to blend up fresh and frozen fruit and add stevia or xylitol, but the smoothies often lacked punch. But then I started adding acid, usually in the form of an acidic fruit like lemon, lime or orange juice.
But juices, even tart ones, are filled with sugar. In my quest to reduce the amount of sugar I eat, I started peeling lemons and pulverizing them in the blender, then freezing the pulp in ice cube trays. Whenever I need a tart boost to a smoothie, I drop a cube of frozen lemon pulp into my smoothie.
Lemons contain a lot of sugar in the form of fructose. They also contain acid, which covers up the sweetness of the fructose. By squeezing the juice out of the lemon, you end up with a lot of fructose without any fiber.
But lemon pulp includes the fiber from the lemon. You have to be careful to peel away as much of the pith–that white stuff that’s underneath the yellow skin–or your lemon pulp will taste very bitter. Pith is perfectly healthy to eat, but it’s difficult to cover up the bitterness in a smoothie.
I cut the lemons in half and dig out as many seeds as I can. Sometimes I miss a seed or two, but that’s OK. Often, I’ll strain the lemon pulp through a wide mesh sieve to weed out the seeds. If I miss a few, they’re safe to eat.
Cut a slice down the side of each half of the lemon to make it easier to peel. Some lemons have very thin skins, which can make peeling impossible without slicing through the peel. This method works with limes, which I make into lime pulp, because lime peels are even thinner.
How to Make Lemon Pulp
Lemon pulp adds tang to smoothies and other foods that need a lemony boost without adding a slurp of sugar.
- Organic whole lemons (as many as you want)
Cut the lemons in half.
Using a pointed knife, remove the seeds from the lemon halves.
Cut a slice through the peel (don't slice into the fruit) down the side of each lemon half.
Peel the lemon halves.
Place the peeled lemon halves into a blender, and blend until smooth.
Strain the lemon pulp through an open mesh sieve to remove any stray seeds.
Pour into a jar, cover, and use within 3 days.
For longer-term storage, freeze the lemon pulp in ice-cube trays, then store the cubes of lemon pulp in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cut the lemons in half…
…and dig out the seeds.
Make a slice down the side of each half-lemon through the skin (not through the fruit).
Peel each lemon half.
Peeled away as much of the white pith under the skin as possible.
Make lemon pulp from one or many peeled lemons.
Place the peeled lemons in a blender, and blend until smooth.
Strain the lemon pulp through a wide-mesh sieve if you find any stray seeds in it.
Store the lemon pulp in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze in ice cube trays, and store the frozen cubes in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use in smoothies or in any food that needs a lemony lift.