The Simple Hack To Soften Citrus And Make Squeezing Juices A Breeze

Ever slice into that perfect-looking lemon or lime only to be stymied in your efforts by a lack of juice? Perhaps you're making refreshing lemonade and have a whole bag of lemons to squeeze. Or maybe you've got a hard lemon on your hands — it hasn't gone bad, just a little on the hard side, making juicing a chore. Whatever the case, there's a simple hack that takes the elbow grease out of squeezing a lemon (or any other citrus), making it a breeze, and ensuring you get even more juice out of this zesty fruit. The trick: Roll your lemons before juicing.

Of course, for optimal results, you should set yourself up for success by choosing the best lemons you can find. Look for those that are a bright, vibrant yellow without any blemishes, dis-colorization, or wrinkles. And while there should be some give to your lemon when you gently press on it, there should be no soft spots (an indication that it will mold soon). If it's pale or hard this signals the fruit was likely picked too early and it will give you a run for your money, yielding less overall juice. Finally, choose lemons that are on the heavy side — an indication of peak ripeness and full juicy flesh.

The secret to quick and easy lemon juicing

This hack works equally well with limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. All you have to do is set the lemon on a clean, flat surface such as a counter or cutting board and roll the lemon slightly forward and backward with the palm of your hand. You should apply some force (but not so much that you break the rind) and turn the lemon as you go, in order to get all the way around it. The whole process should only take about 30 seconds, just until you feel that the outer layer of the fruit has softened under your hand. This process breaks down the outer membrane, paving the way for easier juicing. An average-sized lemon should yield between two and three tablespoons of juice — if you're not getting that, then you better get rolling.

Want another bonus trick for softening your lemons? Pop them in the microwave for up to 20 seconds. Just allow a little cooldown time before you start juicing them. No microwave? Just use a bowl of hot tap water (no need to boil), allowing the lemons to soak until soft — up to 40 minutes. Whichever technique you use, there's no end to the possibilities of this versatile fruit. Remember, when life gives you lemons, just roll with it.