Can You Eat Lemon Zest?

Lemon is a yellow citrus fruit and is generally known for its pleasant, sour taste. The fruit is usually squeezed and the juice is used to make drinks and added to recipes. What about the outer layer of the lemon? Can you eat that part of the lemon?

Can You Eat Lemon Zest?

Yes, you can eat lemon zest. Zest is the colored outer layer of the rind, which is made up of essential oils and flavonoids. It is used in cooking to enhance the flavors and appearance of the meal.

Are There Any Risks To Eating Lemon Zest?

Although there are no known risks associated with eating lemon zest, it’s important to know that some people may be allergic to citrus fruits. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to citrus fruits, do not consume lemon zest.

Benefits Of Eating Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is the outermost layer of a lemon’s peel. It contains a lot of vitamin C, flavonoids, and limonene, which are all good for you.

Lemon zest is also a good source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. These compounds give lemon zest its bright yellow color.

Lemon zest has a high concentration of limonene—a compound found in citrus fruits that has antioxidant properties that may help prevent cancer as well as reduce cholesterol levels in your body, according to Frontiers.

Limonene can also increase the absorption of many other nutrients including beta-carotene (vitamin A) and lycopene (another antioxidant). Vitamin C helps boost immune function while flavonoids work together with vitamin C to neutralize free radicals before they cause damage to healthy cells in your body.

What Does Lemon Zest Taste Like?

The taste of lemon zest is bright, tart, and more intense than the juice. Lemon zest contains a lot more pungent oils than the juice, so it’s more bitter and has a more pronounced flavor.

Lemon zest is made from the outermost peel of a lemon. It’s commonly used as a garnish for desserts and baking, but it can also be added to sauces or used to make tea.

How To Prepare Lemon Zest For Eating

Lemon zest is the outermost yellow skin of a lemon, used as a flavoring or garnish. It can be finely minced or rubbed off with a zester, a tool with small holes that removes only the colored outer layer. The white pith underneath the zest has very little flavor and should be avoided when using the zest.

Zesting is done with a zester: a small kitchen utensil with tiny holes that can be used to remove just the colorful part of citrus fruit without its bitter pith. A Microplane-style grater can also be used for this purpose.

You can also use a peeler to remove strips of zest from lemons and other citrus fruits, but it’s more likely to leave behind some pith than using a zester would be.

After you’ve removed your zest, it’s possible to freeze it in an airtight container if you’re not planning on using it immediately; just make sure you squeeze out as much juice as you possibly can first so that there isn’t any liquid left on top when you put your zest in the freezer (which could cause bacteria to grow).

How To Eat Lemon Zest

When it comes to lemon zest, there are many ways to use them. Below are some of the popular ways to incorporate lemon zest in your food:

Use Zest as a Garnish

Lemon zest is a wonderful addition to many recipes. It can add a bright, fresh flavor to any dish, especially those that involve lemon juice.

Zest the lemon before you squeeze it for maximum flavor. Zesting releases the oils in the skin of the fruit while using a grater or Microplane to finely grate the outermost layer of citrus peel. The zest is often used in baking and other desserts, but it can also be used in savory dishes, like chicken or fish dishes.

Add Zest to Salad Dressings

Add some zest to your vinaigrette for extra flavor! You can use some salt or pepper with it too if you want to make your dressing more savory.

Make Lemonade

If you have leftover lemon juice from making something like lemon curd or cookies, don’t throw them away! Make lemonade with them! You could even add some mint leaves to make it even better!


If you’ve ever wondered how to eat lemon zest, you now know that it can be eaten in a variety of ways. Although the process may seem daunting at first, with practice and proper preparation, it will become second nature to you. Once you start eating lemon zest regularly, your taste buds will thank you for it!