A Substitute for Grated Lemon Peel

by Aline Lindemann

    Grated lemon peel, or lemon rind, is the outermost layer of the peel, plus a bit of white pith. It is a tiny but essential ingredient in recipes that require an acidic zing. The very outermost layer of peel is called lemon zest, and it contains aromatic lemon oil. When a recipe calls for lemon peel but you don't have fresh lemons on hand, do not despair. Substitute other acids to get the kicky taste of lemon.

    The grated peel of limes and oranges has the same texture and almost the same level of acidity as grated lemon peel. Use it the same way you would use grated lemon peel -- teaspoon for teaspoon. Take care to use only the outermost part of the peel; the inner layers of the rind or peel can be bitter.

    Dried lemon peel will keep in the refrigerator or pantry much longer than freshly grated lemon peel. The flavor isn't exactly the same, but you can usually substitute teaspoon for teaspoon. Read the directions; some store-bought dried lemon peel must be reconstituted with water before use.

    If you don't have fresh citrus on hand, substitute citrus juice instead. Because the flavor of juice isn't as potent as that of fresh peel, double up the quantities. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel, use 2 teaspoons of lemon, lime or orange juice.

    Bottled extracts can be a lifesaver when you don't have fresh ingredients on hand. The flavor of lemon extract, however, is more concentrated than that of freshly grated lemon peel. Cut your quantities in half to compensate. For example, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of extract for every 1 teaspoon of peel.

    About the Author

    Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.

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