So many recipes call for the addition of lemon, lime or orange zest. The zest is the colourful part of the skin of citrus fruit and is removed by finely grating it away from the skin. It is only very fine, but packs a lot of flavour. This is because the zest contains lots of essential oils, which are responsible for the scent, flavour and aroma of citrus fruit. Using zest is something I’ve not been overly confident with until recently.

My biggest issue is that I can’t see what is zest and what is the next layer down in the skin. For example I don’t want to accidentally grate the pith, the white part of the skin, as well. I’m only now learning what to feel for and I’m still not overly confident on how to describe it yet, but hopefully in time I will be able to share this as my confidence builds. 

For a long time, whenever a recipe called for zest, I just left it out. I didn’t think something so fine would really add anything to the flavour. It was only during my bread making course, when we added orange zest to our wholemeal loaf, that I realised just how much it could lift and add flavour to something. This prompted me to start to look in to how to do it properly.

My other issue was that for a long time I didn’t have a proper zesting tool that I was comfortable with using. I had one from OXO Good Grips, but I just couldn’t get the hang of using it. Then I discovered this Kitchen IQ Zester from Lakeland and its really changed things. It basically looks like a mini grater that you run the piece of citrus fruit along. The zest is then grated off and collected in the shallow tray that clips underneath. The grater is so fine that it is impossible to accidentally take off any other layers beneath the zest, giving me the confidence to know that I’m only using the right part.

It has meant that I am now far more inclined to add zest to my recipes, like in this healthy fish and chips. It really is useful for adding freshness to fish. Other uses for zest include adding it to salad dressings, sauces and even pesto. Its definitely something that will be appearing more in my recipes now that I am more confident with removing it myself. I can’t recommend the Kitchen IQ Zester highly enough. Its really simple and safe to use and I especially love the handy clip on tray to catch the zest as it is removed. Zest is so fine that if you can’t see it, it can be hard to feel where it is and how much you have used, unless you have something to catch it all in and keep track of it.

Nutritionally the peel of citrus fruit tends to contain a higher quantity of vitamin C and calcium. Both of these are very important for good health, calcium builds strong bones and teeth, while vitamin C maintains a strong immune system and assists with the absorption of iron. Therefore adding zest to your meal can help to boost your health as well as boost the flavour of the meal you are eating.

If you have any useful advice on how to zest or tasty recipes that use it, then please share in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and speak soon.


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