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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Any thoughts on lemon juice substitute?

I know, I know -- lemon juice can't be substituted.

But until my lemon tree learns (or I learn to encourage it) to make lemons, I have to keep buying them. And I don't always have them.

So I was wondering what I can do to get that zing sometimes without lemons.
This thought came to me while drinking some herbal tea I made with lemon verbena.

I already have lemongrass, lemon verbena, and lemon balm. I also have lime basil. ...I ran out of lemon basil seeds, last year,s lemon basil failed before providing seeds, and I didn't get any this year. :(

So I thought, at the very least, I should make some lemony oil and vinegar by infusing these herbs?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Any thoughts on lemon juice substitute?

absolutely. Last year I made lots of herbal infused oils and vinegars, including some lemony ones. They come out very nice, although my favorite was the purple basil vinegar. Such a beautiful color!
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hendi_alex
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Re: Any thoughts on lemon juice substitute?

We just keep lemons 12 months per year. Up until this year, also always kept a good supply of limes. With the lime shortage, our usage has dropped to about 2 per week. I hope the lemons keep streaming to the grocer shelf. I tried growing citrus several years ago, but got this monstrous invasion of very large scale and couldn't get rid of it. I may try lemon and lime again in the future, but the plants have gotten so very expensive.

I'm thinking that frozen (fresh) lemon juice may be the best option for those occasions when we run out of fresh lemons. We usually buy a large bag, that we can never use before quality drops or the fruit spoils. So for us, the best use is to squeeze a few of those lemons into ice trays, freeze, then bag. The juice holds up well for many months, and tastes far better than any of the bottled, pasteurized stuff. If done during the peak of the season, this could be done very inexpensively.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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imafan26
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Re: Any thoughts on lemon juice substitute?

If you want lemon juice on hand, and you have to buy them. Buy the bulk pack of lemons from Costco or farmer's market and squeeze the juice and freeze in ice trays. One cube is close to a tablespoon depending on the size of your ice tray.

That is what I do with my meyer lemons. If I don't use all of the lemons before they get to ripe, I freeze the juice. My mom has a Bears' lime and I asked for a couple of limes and she gave me about 30 of them, I did the same thing. One thing though, make sure you label the bag of ice cubes. I didn't, so when I thought I was taking out lemon juice it was actually lime. I haven't figured out how to preserve the peel yet. If I dry them they don't have the same flavor.
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