How to: Zest Lemons & Limes

How to Zest Lemons and Limes

When I used to see a recipe with the word zest in it, it made me nervous. It sounded so fancy; too advanced for any of my recipes. Little did I know just how ridiculously easy it was to actually zest something, and just how much flavor zesting can add to your recipes.

How to zest

Even more embarrassing for me was how long it took me to begin to zest lemons given how much I love the flavor of lemons.

Regardless, it’s something that is so easy to do that I wanted to share this on my ‘How to Tuesday’ cooking tips because I hope I can change your mind if you’re at all feeling intimidated, like I used to be, by the idea of zesting anything when it comes to cooking.

How to zest

How to zest

To zest something you simply take a grater and ‘shave’ the fruit. Most recipes don’t call for more than a tablespoon or two of zest, and it takes less than 30 seconds to shave the fruit and get the zest. It’s honestly that easy.

If you don’t have a microplane grater I highly recommend getting one. They’re just under $13 on Amazon, and not only can you use them to zest lemons and limes, but you can zest oranges and grate cheeses. They’re especially great to grate (ha!) blocks of Parmesan cheese quickly and easily!

If you’ve missed and of the previous cooking tips and techniques you can visit an archive of them here, or go directly to them:

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How to Zest

How to: Zest Lemons & Limes
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  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime


  1. With a microplane grater, shave the skin of the lemon or lime into a pile to make your 'zest'.
  2. Add your zest to your recipe for flavor!
Recipe Type: How to, Cooking Techniques


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