Get the most out of your lemons and limes by squeezing out every last juicy drop.
How Much Juice and Zest from a Lemon and Lime
Of course every lime and lemon is going to be a little different but on average, here’s what you can expect:
1 lemon = 1 Tbsp of zest
1 lemon = 2 Tbsp of lemon juice
1 lime = 2 tsp of zest
1 lime = 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp of lime juice
The zest of limes and lemons is just the colored part. The white part underneath the outer most layer is called the pith. This pith is has a bitter flavor. When a recipe calls for zest, try to avoid as much of the white pith as possible, just get the colored portion.
Here are four tips to help you get the most out of your citrus.
1. Select the Juiciest Lemons and Limes
It starts at the store. Choose lemons and limes that have a thin, smooth peel and are heavy for their size. Heavy=juicy! For more tips on selecting the freshest, juiciest citrus fruit read Selecting and Storing Citrus Fruit.
2. Warm up Lemons and Limes for More Juice
If you prefer, you can also place them in a bowl of warm (not boiling!) water for a minute or so until the peel becomes warm to the touch.
3. Roll Lemons and Limes to Get More Juice
Break up those juice restraining membranes by rolling your citrus on a hard surface with the palm of your hand. And yes, it’s okay to use a little pressure – you actually want to damage the poor lemon or lime’s insides.
4. Use a Juicing Tool to Get the Most Juice
Of course you can use your hands to juice a lemon and lime, it’s a perfectly cool thing to do. A juicing tool or even a fork will just help get a few more drops out. And, some models make it easy to keep out seeds or even some of the pulp.
Do you use a tool? Which one? I use the type you place over a bowl to catch all the juice. I’m quite happy with mine and have actually never tried any of the others, so I’m really curious about your experience with other juicing tools.
Getty Stewart is an engaging speaker and writer providing tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas to make home cooking easy and enjoyable. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.