This Simple Microwave Trick Will Help You Get More Juice From Your Citrus
At any given time, I usually have a lemon or lime sitting in my refrigerator. I like to add the bright flavor of citrus to my roasted vegetables, and it's a great addition to marinades for chicken or shrimp. But sometimes, it can be difficult to get enough juice out of my citrus. Either the fruit isn't soft enough or it's been sitting too long in my refrigerator and has dried out.
So I reached out to Jim Romanoff, EatingWell magazine's food editor, to get his tips and tricks for getting the most out of your citrus. Here are two tried-and-true methods for juicing your fruits.
Related: Healthy Citrus Recipes
Use the Microwave
One way to maximize the amount of juice you will get is to microwave the fruit before juicing it. Romanoff says that he suspects that the microwave warms up the cell walls in the fruit, making it easier to juice. We recommend starting with 20 seconds and adding time as needed. After you microwave the fruit, it'll be significantly easier to juice. (I've found this trick especially useful with citrus that's been previously cut and has dried out while sitting in my fridge.)
Use a Reamer or Juicer
If you are reluctant to microwave your fruit, try Romanoff's go-to trick for juicing lemons and other citrus fruit. First, he firmly rolls the fruit on the counter or a cutting board using the palm of his hand. According to Romanoff, "This usually softens up the flesh enough to make it easier to crush the juice out." He rolls for 10 to 15 seconds before using a reamer—i.e., a handheld tool with a head shaped like the working end of a juicer. Using a reamer allows Romanoff to maximize his leverage while juicing the citrus. (We like this reamer from Williams Sonoma for only $10.)
You could also use a juicer, which is similar to a reamer. Check out this recommendation from EatingWell's Jessica Ball, assistant nutrition editor, for her favorite juicer. Not only is it compact but it comes with a built-in strainer to keep out unwanted pulp or seeds!
Whichever method you choose, these simple tricks will make juicing your fruits much easier. And once you have enough juice, you can easily make citrus-forward recipes like our Whipped Frozen Lemonade.