Delicious and Nutritious
I recently extoled the virtues of chocolate—not that I likely had to twist anybody’s arm on that one—but there are certainly other delicious flavors that support good health.
One of my dear friends actually doesn’t like chocolate at all. Her favorite flavor for sweet treats is lemon! I love lemon myself …lemon cake, lemonade, lemon cream, lemon curd, lemon pie … Yum!
Like chocolate, lemon offers intense health benefits in addition to its delicious taste and smell.
Containing powerful antioxidants, citric acid, and thirteen important vitamins, lemons are the star ingredient in many recipes. If you’re suffering cold or flu symptoms, try a Hot Toddy made with lemon, honey, boiling water, and maybe a bit of fresh ginger and a touch of whiskey. The lemon of course contains high doses of vitamin C and helps to break up congestion, aided by the deliciously antiseptic properties of ginger, while the honey sweetens the blend and coats the throat. The heat and alcohol help the body to relax and heal, and it’s just a tasty, warming, soothing drink when you’re not feeling your best.
I like to mix half a lemon into my fruit and veggie protein smoothies, and fresh lemon zest adds a kick to just about anything.
Lemon juice makes a great foundation for marinades and salad dressings. The citric acid helps to tenderize meats while also killing bacteria. Try blending fresh lemon juice with a little Dijon mustard, a fruity balsamic vinegar and seasonings to taste for a yummy fresh salad dressing or marinade for chicken, pork, or fish. Do you love ceviche as much as I do? Lemon juice is a key ingredient in this delicious fish dish. Giada De Laurentiis shared this easy recipe on Food Network.
Natural, Organic Cleaning
Many household cleansers from floor washes to furniture polish are made with lemon—or at least lemon scent—and who isn’t familiar with the term “lemon fresh”? Some of these products contain harsh chemicals, and since we’re all about organic nourishment, we want to minimize use of such products in favor of the natural. Lemon’s antibacterial properties make it an excellent cleaner, and of course, the fresh scent provides a great bonus!
These bright yellow rough-skinned fruits keep for a long time in the refrigerator, though they will dehydrate. If you have any that look a little withered and dry, having passed their prime freshness date, use them to clean! Half a lemon, maybe with a little baking soda and salt sprinkled on it, makes a great natural scrubber for cutting boards, pans, sinks, countertops, and even cabinets. If you feel like hand-washing your water or wine glasses, lemon will help remove some of those hard water or lipstick stains your dishwasher—if it’s anything like mine—might miss.
I love lemons! They truly are among the most useful and versatile natural products around. And if life gives you lemons, you can always make lemonade!
Do you prefer lemon or chocolate? What are your favorite lemon recipes or uses? Tell us about it!