Life giving you lemons? Well they are in season, so that’s kind of expected.
We all have fond memories of cooling off on a hot summers day with a refreshing lemonade. It’s probably safe to say that most of us associate lemons with long summer days, fresh salads and a great garnish for the bowl of punch you made just to post on Instagram. But these little sour bombs are far from being a summer fruit – even though they’re available all year, winter is their season, baby.
Lemons have gone too long being underrated and taken for granted. These little (or sometimes huge, depending on which farmers market you visit) beauties have so many uses, one can only begin to comprehend the possibilities.
They can be the ingredient that lifts any savoury or sweet dish, they can help to cleanse and detox the body, they boost your immune system to make it fighting fit, they are a natural cleaning agent, can be used to to treat skin blemishes and even help lighten your hair for the perfect beach blonde locks. They pack such a high vitamin C boost, that 1 cup of lemon juice is over 130% of your daily intake, making them the ultimate companion to staying healthy in the colder months. Bet all those hot water and lemon drinks don’t sound so sour anymore?
But for me, the real strength of these tennis ball-wannabes is their endless versatility when it comes to making a good dish great. It wouldn’t be difficult to have a whole day of eating dishes that all made lemon the hero. And including lemons in every dish wouldn’t only boost your daily intake of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and copper – it would help (lemon)aid your digestion, cleanse your body of toxins, give you an awesome energy boost, assist in collagen production AND make everything taste just that little bit better. Talk about a well-rounded ingredient for the healthy gastronomist.
Here’s one way you could start giving lemons the love and attention they deserve, by including it in breakfast, lunch and dinner (or forget dinner, and go straight to dessert):
Inspired to add some lemon zest to your life? Already on your way to buy your weight in lemons? Good call. Here are some tips on what to look for when buying lemons:
- To find the juiciest lemon in the pack, look for one that is firm to a gentle squeeze. it doesn’t have to be rock hard, but the softer they are, the sweeter (ew, sweet lemons, who even wants that?).
- Always go for the heaviest bad boys there – the heavier it is, the more delicious juice to squeeze all over your avocado on toast.
- If you’re using lemons for their rind and zest, try to source organic, pesticide free ones and avoid the nasties getting in your *insert amazing lemon dish here*. If you can’t get organic, no biggie – wash your lemon with hot water for a minute before using the zest to remove any wax and other chemical stuff.
- Note about the organic stuff – they don’t get a protective covering of fungicide wax before hitting the store shelves, so be extra careful to watch out for any mould before purchasing.
- Store those beauties in the fruit bowl for at least a week. If you have gone organic, keep them in the fridge to avoid mould stealing them away from you.
In the words of our favourite lemon, Liz Lemon – “I want to go to there”. I can only assume she is talking about the green grocer, to buy some lemons.
What are you making with lemons? Know another way to use them that no one else has heard of before? Or just itching to see your favourite ingredient up here next? Let us know in the comments section!