by: Purple Carrot

Each Purple Carrot Chef can name a kitchen appliance or gadget they consider essential for preparing a meal, but they all have an especially deep appreciation for one tool: the microplane. Ask them why and they all say there’s no better way to zest citrus. And, according to the chefs, citrus zest is the secret ingredient for amping up the taste of any dish you’re making.

Why Zest?

Right about now you might be asking: “Why can’t I just add the citrus juice to my meal”? You can, don’t get us wrong, but when it comes to getting the most flavor for your buck you want that zest. Zesting releases natural oils in the outer layer of citrus, and the oils contain a greater concentration of flavor than juice alone. In other words, when you zest a lemon, lime, or orange, you get the maximum flavor when by unleashing the natural oils. 

Plus, citrus zest is packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, and that’s never a bad thing to consume (especially when the cold season comes around).

Zest like a pro! 

Now that you’re onboard with zesting, it’s all about your technique. Zesting is easy enough, but a few simple tips and tricks will ensure you’re a master! 

  • While a smooth citrus fruit may look very appealing, choose fruits with skin that’s a bit bumpy, the skin will be thicker and yield more zest.
  • Cold citrus is much easier to zest so keep the fruit in the fridge until you’re ready to make some moves.
  • Wash and dry your citrus to remove the thin, outer layer of colored skin from the fruit before you take that microplane for a run. 
  • Once you reach the white pith underneath the colored skin you’re done! You definitely want to avoid it because it tastes can be quite bitter.
  • Leftover zest? Fill an ice cube tray with the extra zest and citrus juice and freeze. Defrost your zest cubes anytime you need a burst of flavor in a recipe.

Looking for a tasty way to try out some zest? 

While Purple Carrot meals often call for zest, snacks can benefit from zest, too! Try: Stovetop Togarashi-Lime Popcorn, it’s the ultimate movie goodie.

Don’t Forget:

Microplanes love a good workout! Use it to grate garlic cloves, fresh ginger, and even nuts. Grated peanuts make a very convincing plant-based parmesan.