Lemons are an integral part of any bar, and restaurants tend to use them across their menus as well. From sorbets to beverage garnishes to pastries, lemons can bring zest and flavor to even the most mundane of dishes. If you aren’t using the entire lemon in your restaurant, you’re missing out on some of the key health benefits that they provide! At the same time, reducing waste - even organic - can keep costs to a minimum. Lemons can be a profitable, delicious, and healthy addition to your daily restaurant routines.
When you purchase lemons, you typically should be purchasing in bulk and in their original, whole form to keep costs low. Unfortunately, it can be difficult many times to use your entire lemon purchase before they outlive their freshness. To reduce waste and utilize all of your purchase, there are many ways to use the extras!
Frozen and Grated: Take extra lemons, wash them completely, and place them in a sanitized area of your freezer. Once your washed lemon is completely frozen, you can grate the entire lemon - peel and all - to sprinkle on top of vegetable salads, spaghetti sauce, and even sushi for a fresh, zesty note.
Sanitize: If you have a disposer in your sink, lemons can help clean and deodorize your disposer and plumbing! Simply cut lemons in half and shred them in the disposer when it’s running and with the water running as well. After shredding the lemon halves, turn the disposer and water off, and allow the lemon particles to sit in the system until you need to use it next. As a bonus, lemons have antibacterial effects as well.
Dishes: Throw lemon rinds and peels into your dishwasher. While this may seem like you’re adding more food waste into the equation, the lemons will actually remove hard water spots and keep your dishes looking clean!
Cutting Boards: Lemons have a great antibacterial property that can clean and sanitize your cutting boards. First, sprinkle coarse salt on the cutting board you plan to clean. Simply cut the lemon in half, squeeze out the juice onto the board, and rub the rind and pulp all over the board. Once finished, rinse thoroughly and let dry!