Preserved Lemons

This is a super simple and quick ferment that’s so easy to put up! Preserved lemons are great to give a big hit of citrus flavor to chicken or fish dishes, or to homemade salad dressing. Lemons and limes are a great source of Vitamin C when eaten fresh, and as always, fermenting increase the bioavailable nutrition of anything. Additionally, fermenting always increases Vitamin C. Therefore, preserved lemons are an amazingly dense source of Vitamin C. These benefits unfortunately are lost when heat is applied, but there are ways to use these preserved lemons in recipes that don’t use heat, in addition to the recipes that do use heat.

Everyone knows that Vitamin C is good for them, but most people only think of it as an immune support. That is true, but Vitamin C is also essential for creating and repairing connective tissue (such as joints, ligaments, skin, and mucus membranes), as well as nourishing the adrenal glands, which can help in periods of stress. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning our body uses what it can, but any excess is not stored. Therefore, it’s good to get a large amount of Vitamin C from whole food sources every day. 

Back to the recipe! As with all ferments, be sure to use filtered water. The chlorine added to tap water kills microbial creatures, so if you use it in your ferments it will kill the good bacteria that we are trying to grow in our fermented food.

When you are jar fermenting, you need to have a tight seal with the metal lids, but after you open a ferment you can switch to a white plastic lid, which will also save your metal lids from rusting and breaking down. 

I have found that simple tight lids work best, I do not use any gas-releasing lids as I find them unnecessary, and even detrimental. 

Finally, when the ferment finishes, take a piece of lemon out and slice it into your desired size, skin and all. Then add it to your dish! The fermenting process makes the lemon flavor extremely potent, so you won’t need to add much to any dish to get a good amount of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3-5 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 6-8 Lemons, depending on their size
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice from Additional Lemons, if needed

Directions

Scrub the lemons with water.

Slice the lemons into quarters.

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on both sides of the lemons.

Add the salted lemon slice to the jar. Continue with the salting and layering process. Use your muscles to squish the lemons into the jar as tightly as possible so a significant amount of juice is released. Your goal is to cover the lemons. 

Once you’ve finished the layering process, add in any remaining salt. The lemons should release juice as the jar fills. If the lemon juice does not fully submerge the lemon slices, top the jar with additional juice.

Wipe off the lid and add the lid. Place on the counter for 5-7 days. During this time, tip the jar upside down, then immediately right side up, up to a few times a day so that the lemons remain covered by brine.

After a week, move the ferment to “cold storage.” This can be defined as the fridge, a cool place in your basement, or a cool dark pantry. The lower the temperature, the slower the fermentation action will continue to happen. 

Remove a lemon slice, chop finely, and add to the dish of your choice!

Preserved Lemons

Ingredients
  

  • 3-5 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 6-8 Lemons depending on their size
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice from Additional Lemons if needed

Instructions
 

  • Scrub the lemons with water.
  • Slice the lemons into quarters.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on both sides of the lemons.
  • Add the salted lemon slice to the jar. Continue with the salting and layering process. Use your muscles to squish the lemons into the jar as tightly as possible so a significant amount of juice is released. Your goal is to cover the lemons.
  • Once you’ve finished the layering process, add in any remaining salt. The lemons should release juice as the jar fills. If the lemon juice does not fully submerge the lemon slices, top the jar with additional juice.
  • Wipe off the lid and add the lid. Place on the counter for 5-7 days. During this time, tip the jar upside down, then immediately right side up, up to a few times a day so that the lemons remain covered by brine.
  • After a week, move the ferment to “cold storage.” This can be defined as the fridge, a cool place in your basement, or a cool dark pantry. The lower the temperature, the slower the fermentation action will continue to happen.
  • Remove a lemon slice, chop finely, and add to the dish of your choice!

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