Here's How You Should Be Juicing All Your Citrus, According to a Pro

Plus, find out how to use up all that citrus with three tasty recipes.

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There's nothing like the taste of a juicy clementine or tart grapefruit when you're craving a bite of something refreshing. While citrus fruits usually peak in winter, they're available year-round for snacking.

From fresh orange juice to segments garnished on honey toast or a crisp salad, citrus is a versatile and delicious fruit. Below, our favorite fruit expert shares several tips for eating, buying, and storing citrus fruit. He also explains how to juice citrus fruit quickly and easily.

How to Pick Citrus Fruit at the Store

Luke Sears, the president of LGS (a major importer of oranges, lemons, clementines, and more), explains that most of the citrus sold in grocery stores is already ripe. "Citrus actually ripens on the tree," he says. "There are actually many different varieties of citrus, and these varieties have been cultivated in order to keep your kitchen stocked with fresh citrus year-round."

This already-ripe produce makes for easy picking in the grocery store. When shopping for citrus, consider these tips:

  • Avoid choosing bruised fruit or browning on the outside. That's a clear indication it might not be at its best.
  • Feel for evenly firm fruit that shows some resistance when you press into it. A lemon that is too firm, for example, will release less juice than a slightly softer lemon.

The Easiest Way to Juice Citrus Fruit

What's the best way to juice a lemon or lime without getting seeds and flesh mixed in? Use a citrus press! A citrus press will get every last drop out of your lemon while leaving all the unwanted bits behind.

These types of presses are best to use when you need just a couple of tablespoons of juice for a recipe, not if you're making a whole glass of green juice or freshly squeezed OJ. If you want to make a large cup of juice, opt for a juicer instead. If you want a seedless splash of citrus juice for a recipe, here's how to use a citrus press.

What You Need:

  • Citrus press
  • Chef's knife
  • Citrus fruit, like lemons, limes, oranges, etc.
  • Bowl

Step 1: Cut Fruit in Half

If stored in the fridge, take your citrus out and let it come to room temperature. (The juice will be harder to extract if the fruit is cold.) Then, place the fruit on its side on a cutting board. Cut the fruit down the middle with a chef's knife, then remove any pointed tips. You can also cut the fruit lengthwise if the longer fruit sections fit inside the citrus press.

Step 2: Press the Citrus

Place half of the fruit flat-side down into the press (you want the juice to come out of the bottom where the holes are, not the top). Position the press over a small bowl to catch the juice. Then squeeze the bottom handle with your non-dominant hand and the top handle with your dominant hand. Continue squeezing until the liquid stops extracting. You'll notice the rind looks inside-out at this point.

Citrus Recipes to Try

Sears notes that more home cooks should try to use the entire citrus fruit rather than just eating what's on the inside. "You can easily prevent food waste by using the peel in everything from summery cocktails to a garnish (like key lime pie). It can be used raw, cooked, or most popularly, as a garnish." Explore a few more ways to use up the citrus in your fridge crisper.

Salmon Filet With Citrus and Lime

Salmon Fillet With Citrus and Thyme
Con Poulos

Thinly sliced lemons and oranges top this roasted salmon filet. And yes, the peels will help infuse additional flavor, so leave them on when cutting. Most people will leave the citrus as a garnish, but if they are cleaned well, you may decide to eat the slices whole. That's your call.

Get the recipe: Salmon Filet With Citrus and Lime

Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego

Every-Citrus Salad with Almonds and Manchego Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

This recipe calls for blood oranges, grapefruit, and naval oranges, but you can swap out any citrus in your fridge. Before peeling your fruit, grate off a little zest to top your salad (or save it for later).

Get the recipe: Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego

Orange Dreamsicle Icebox Cake

orange dreamsicle icebox-cake
Caitlin Bensel

This playful dessert features 2 teaspoons of orange zest that flavors the homemade ice cream layers. The garnish on top features orange zest, orange slices, and curled orange peels—get creative with their placement. If this recipe works well, try it again with either lemons or limes.

Get the recipe: Orange Dreamsicle Icebox Cake

How to Store Citrus

Citrus fruit can be safely stored at room temperature for three to four days—that includes anything from grapefruits to kumquats and everything in between. The best part about this method is that the citrus acts as a natural air freshener, as the peel has bright, fragrant essential oils.

If you're looking to extend the shelf life of citrus at home, Sears says to "store your citrus in the crisper section of your refrigerator for two to four weeks."

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