Citrus Surplus? No problem!


One of my favorite things about living in Arizona is the beautiful “winter” weather we have here and all the fresh fruit we get from our family’s citrus trees during the season. We almost always have to take bagfuls into work, over to friend’s houses, or anywhere else we know will welcome some citrus because we simply can’t use it all.  But this year, we have so much that we can’t even seem to give it all away! Normally, I donate our extra citrus to food shelters, but they currently aren’t accepting donations due to the risk of spreading Asian Citrus Psyllid, which can cause serious damage to crops.  (Good news though – it hasn’t been found here yet, but food shelters are taking every precaution.) So, since I am not one to let things go to waste, I had to get a bit more creative; I’m excited to share ways to put your citrus to great use!

Citrus Trees

Okay, before you laugh and call me crazy, this isn’t actually that hard to do. Believe me, if I can do it, you can too! You just have to be patient. If you intend to make potpourri by drying your citrus in the oven, it can take 6-8 hours since you have to use a super low temp. But if you have a food dehydrator, you can make the potpourri in half the time. Once you have dried your citrus, you can display them in a pretty bowl or vase and enjoy the fresh citrus scent for months! If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can also add some spices or herbs to take it up a notch; think dried cranberries and cinnamon sticks for a wintery scent, or dried rosemary for a crisp spring scent. The possibilities are endless! You can also cut up the citrus and simmer it with spices for a decadent aroma that will fill the whole house (great for when you’re hosting a party!)  Here are some great simmering potpourri recipes.

Slice a lemon in half and you have an awesome tub/sink cleaner. Just swirl around and scrub, then rinse well. Works great and smells so good. And when you’re done scrubbing, take those rinds and squeeze any leftover juice and pulp down your kitchen garbage disposal to deodorize. (Depending on your disposal, be careful with grinding the rinds though). Check out other great citrus cleaning ideas here.

Citrus Cubes
Get yourself a good citrus press and this one will be a breeze! (We found ours at Marshall’s for only $30). Cut fruit in half and squeeze into a bowl, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze, voila! Couldn’t be easier. Once frozen, pop the cubes out of the trays and store in gallon freezer bags. Our freezer is full of these! Then, when you’re making a pitcher of iced tea, thrown a cube of lemon juice in there. Have a recipe that needs fresh citrus juice? Take one out and thaw (most ice cube trays make cubes that are just about 2 tablespoons.) Try these Orange, Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins – so good and perfect for citrus cubes!


By far, my favorite way to use citrus is to make cocktails. Here are some of my favorite recipes. You can sweeten these with honey, agave nectar, or simple syrup. I’ve tried them all, I just happen to prefer agave nectar.

Moscow Mule
– 1.5 oz vodka (Tito’s Homemade Organic is my go to vodka!)
– .5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
– 6 oz ginger beer
Shake and serve over ice

Grapefruit Margarita
– 1oz tequila
– .5 oz grand marnier
– 1oz fresh lime juice
– 1oz fresh grapefruit juice
– .5 oz agave nectar
Shake and serve over ice

– 5 oz favorite wine (red or white works)
– slices of favorite citrus fruits
Serve over ice
(This one wins in the quick and easy category!)

Blueberry Lemontini
– 1.5 oz vodka (again, Tito’s is my fav but if you want extra flavor, Smirnoff makes a yummy blueberry flavored vodka that is perfect for this)
– 1 oz fresh lemon juice
– .5 oz agave nectar
Shake with ice and top with frozen blueberries for garnish (can use fresh too but the frozen ones help keep your drink chilled – bonus!)
If this is too strong, add 1 oz water to tone it down

What other creative ideas do you have to use your extra citrus?  I’d love to hear your ideas below!

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Lindsey is mom to an adorable and precocious little girl born in February 2015 after a long and difficult struggle with infertility. It was a painful journey to motherhood, but in the end, it was all more than worth it. Originally from Minnesota, Lindsey moved to Phoenix in 2004 and met her now husband within a month. Needless to say, she was swept off her feet. 13 years, four homes and several jobs later, they are loving life as parents while laughing through the madness that it brings. She is happiest when her love of food, drinks and fun meet with her passion for fitness and wellness to create a balanced and active life. Her family and friends are the center of her world and that includes a lovable golden retriever Leinie, a dog who (literally) wears many hats. Connect with Lindsey on Facebook and Instagram and follow her here to laugh along!


  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing…..we also slice the lemons and freeze them on baking sheets. Once frozen we store the slices in a ziploc bag to have lemon slices for water and iced tea all year long.


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