Lemon pith and zest
I have started to finely grate the lemon peel and as much as the zest as I can and then I mix in my lemon water and drink it with a straw.
Wondering if that is the best way to ingest the zest and peel or will that on a daily basis be an irritant to my esophagus.
Any other ideas how to use the pith and peel. I think it is a shame to waste it. Of course, I am using organic.
I am glad to hear that you are using organic lemons because I do not recommend ingesting the rind of any fruit that is not organically grown and thoroughly washed.
As you may know, most commercial produce is sprayed with oil-based chemicals that do not wash off with water and regular produce cleansers.
I am much more inclined to use the pith (the inner white part of the peel) in smoothies, for example, where I use the whole lemon (excluding the yellow part of the peel).
I believe the most important nutrients of the lemon are contained in the pith rather than the peel. However, as you may know, the pith has a bitter, unpleasant taste, which is why I put it in a smoothie with other fruits and vegetables, such as green vegetables with an apple or berries to mask the bitter taste of the pith.
In addition, I don't believe the rubbery yellow part of the peel is digestible for most of us.
I tend to think that if Nature did not design the skin of a fruit to be bitten into, it probably is not supposed to be eaten. I mean, we can take a bite of lemon (outer peel and all) but it certainly is not pleasant compared to biting into a peach or an apple, for example.
For much more information on the health benefits and additional tips of ingesting lemon peels, please see Lemon Rind Zest in Water.