How Long Can You Keep Fresh Lemon Juice?

How Long Can You Keep Fresh Lemon Juice? (Image: belchonock/iStock/GettyImages)

Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice while it's bright, tangy, tart and packed with nutritional value. The juice will stay fresh for up to one or two weeks when it is kept in the refrigerator. However, it will lose some of its zesty quality on a daily basis. Alternatively, frozen lemon juice can stay fresh for several months. Be sure it is tightly sealed in a zipper bag or poured into an ice cube tray.

Fresh Lemons Are Packed With Vitamin C

It's all about the naturally present vitamin C found in significantly high amounts in fresh lemons. Other vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit, such as folate and potassium, are minimal or present only as a trace. One glass of fresh lemon juice mixed with water provides 25 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C, with virtually no calories. For a sweetened lemonade, add simple syrup made with boiling water and sugar.

How Long Is Lemon Juice Good?

It's best to make lemon juice daily or in small batches. Although it's packed with vitamin C, the nutritional value of freshly made lemon juice will decrease over time, so it's best to consume it within one to two weeks. Bottled lemon juice will last a year or more because of added enhancers and preservatives, such as sulfite.

Tip: Store the Lemons Instead

Since the shelf life of freshly squeezed lemon juice is so short, it's smarter to store the lemons instead. Bagged, sealed and placed in the refrigerator, fresh lemons will keep for a month or so. It only takes a few minutes to make fresh lemon juice, so take the time to do so on a daily basis for the tastiest and most nutritional option_._

How to Make Fresh Lemon Juice

There are no high-tech improvements for making fresh lemon juice. You can do it the same way that grandma did. Before cutting it in half, roll a lemon on the countertop to soften it up for easier juicing that maximizes each lemon's output. Cut it in half and use a hand citrus squeezer or an inexpensive wooden reamer to do the juicing job in no time with quick and easy cleanup.

Removing the Seeds

A bit of pulp can be nice, but nobody cares for seeds in lemon juice. If the squeezer doesn't have a built-in strainer to catch the pulp and seeds, use one when pouring the liquid into a glass or container. A food processor with a juicing component or a hand-held lemon squeezer made of plastic or stainless steel will also do the job while separating the seeds.

How to Tell When Fresh Lemon Juice Is Old

Just one look will indicate when refrigerated lemon juice has seen its best days. Because there are no added preservatives, lemon juice takes on a cloudy appearance after less than one week in the refrigerator. As the days pass, lemon juice will also turn darker in color and may even smell a bit off or pick up other scents of foods stored in the refrigerator.

Household Uses for Lemon Juice

When fresh lemon juice is past its prime, use it for a number of household cleaning chores. The citric acid works well to wipe away lime scale from faucets and taps or to mix with water as an all-purpose grease cutter and cleaner for sinks, greasy pans, pots, dishes, windows, toilet bowls and more.

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