When Life Gives You Lemons…Use Them!
Lemons, the ultimate do more with less fruit. You can use these little yellow wonders for everything from culinary to cleaning purposes. There’s the obvious uses like hot tea with lemon juice to soothe a sore throat, and of course lemon meringue pie, YUM!
I personally love the smell of lemons and for many people the scent alone symbolizes cleanliness. Here are some ideas on how to use this versatile little fruit and make that bowl full of lemons go a whole lot further!
Lemonade. A classic refreshing drink for those hot summer days. Try this easy recipe:
- Make a simple syrup with 3/4 Cup white sugar and 1 Cup water. Bring to a boil, then cool to room temperature, cover and chill in the fridge
- In a pitcher combine chilled syrup with 3/4 Cup lemon juice and 3 Cups of water
- Add ice to chill and float lemon slices for a special touch
Freshen up a room. Add some lemon peel to a pot of water and simmer it on your stove top. Add a cinnamon stick and cloves for a bit of spice. Alternatively, add some lemon juice to water in a spray bottle and spritz it around the room.
Clean a cutting board. Say goodbye to the aroma of onions, meat and garlic by rubbing half a lemon on both sides of the cutting board to give it a fresh lease on life. The acid in the lemon juice is a natural mild bleach and is effective in cleaning and deodorizing.
Clean your microwave. Have hard baked on bits in your microwave? Add a few drops of lemon juice to a bowl of water and nuke on high for five minutes. The steam will condense on the inside of the microwave loosening any stuck on food. After 5 minutes the food should just wipe off with a cloth and you’re left with a clean fresh smelling microwave.
Garnish. Use a zester to make lemon peel curls to adorn desserts, cut wedges to top a salad or use lemon slices to hang on the rim of glasses. Add some slices to your favorite summertime beverages including iced tea and of course, water.
Use as a mild bleach for your laundry. For brighter whites try a combination of water, lemon juice and baking soda to soak delicate items prior to washing. Add a cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle and gently remove stains from whites while leaving a fresh lemony scent.
Use in cooking. Lemon juice is a perfect addition to any seafood dish (shrimp, fish, lobster etc.). It’s also wonderful in salad dressings as a vinegar substitute, on roasted potatoes and on chicken. Lemon chicken happens to be one of our favorite dishes! There are hundreds of things you could cook using lemons from appetizers to mains to desserts. Be adventurous and try a new recipe.
Fill ice cube trays with lemon juice. Once frozen, store the cubes in a plastic resealable bag. This way you always have fresh lemon juice on hand.
Decorate. Having a big bowl full of lemons can make a beautifully simple piece for an entrance hall table or outdoor patio table in the summer. Fill an extra large vase with lemons and keep it on the kitchen counter or use it as a centrepiece for a dining room table. The bright yellow will add a fresh bolt of color to any room.
2 things I haven’t tried but found intriguing
Natural highlights. Spritzing wet hair with lemon juice and sitting out in the sun is a natural way to lighten your hair. I see this being a lot cheaper than a trip to the salon! Just make sure if you’re sitting around in the sun, lightening your hair that you slather on the sunscreen!
Breath freshner. If you’re in a pinch swish with lemon juice (swallow it for longer lasting effects). The acid in the juice lowers the pH in your mouth killing off bacteria that cause bad breath. I don’t know that I would rely on this too often as I’m sure all that acid would do a number on your teeth!
What other uses can you think of for these little fruity powerhouses?
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Photo courtesy of: AHMED…