How to Make Zest

Citrus fruits! Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Want to add a burst of natural flavor and color to your cooking? Add zest! Lemons, limes, oranges and any other citrus fruits can be used to make zest.

How to Make Zest
  1. Thoroughly wash a whole citrus fruit.
  2. Use a peeler or pairing knife to trim slender, thin slices of the fruit peel. Be careful not to get the white underside of the peel known as pith. It has a bitter flavor.
  3. Chop the peelings into tiny slivers (I believe chefs call this julienne) or small pieces.
  4. Or, use the fine grating on a cheese grater to shave zest from the fruit peel. Hold the whole fruit against the grater and gently shave off the skin.
  5. That's it! The zest is ready to use. If you have extra, store it in an airtight container and use it within a day or two before it dries out. 
Add Zest to Your Meal
Here are a few ways I like to add the fresh flavor of citrus zest to food.
  • Sprinkle lime zest on a bowl of cranberry sauce at the holidays.
  • Add lemon or orange zest to a sugar cookie recipe for a springy, refreshing flavor.
  • Dust the tops of pancakes with powdered sugar and orange zest.
  • Whisk citrus zest into homemade vinaigrette salad dressing.
  • Garnish a chocolate cake or cupcakes with slivers of orange zest.
How do you enjoy your zest? Please comment below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This may be the last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but don't forget to drop by on occasion and see what I've got cookin'! Or, follow me on Twitter and Facebook and I'll let you know what I've been up to! :)



  1. Hi Angela! I like adding zest to different kinds of cookies. Great wrap up for the A to Z Challenge. I look forward to stopping by to see what else you blog about.


    1. Hi Susanne! Thanks for following along during the challenge and beyond! ~Angela

  2. Replies
    1. It is a spicy little number, isn't it! HAHA! ~Angela

  3. I've always wondered why my attempts to make zest in the past failed. No one ever told me to not include the white layer. Thanks for the valuable tips and suggestions!

    1. I'm glad I could help! Also, peel all citrus fruits before juicing them. Same reason...that white pith is so bitter! ~Angela

  4. I adore lemon garnish...just to smell it. Great Z post Angela. I see, we were on the same page today with the word. Funny huh? :) It's been great reading and commenting here every day.

  5. Perfect for Z! We made it!! Congrats :)

  6. I never could figure out zest. Thanks for explaining it. Congrats on completing the challenge!

    1. Same to you! What a wild, fun month! ~Angela


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