Lemons work wonders! Their juice or rind livens up fruit beverages, teas, cocktails, seafood, adds snap to baked goods and tenderizes meats! It even keeps sensitive foods from oxidizing, is a dieter’s salad dressing delight, makes a pretty garnish, substitutes for salt, becomes its own “herb” and gives vinegar a run for its money when it comes to pleasing tartness. The Moroccans brine them whole.
Like most of our foods, lemons were first developed in China or India 2,500 years ago. Arab traders brought them to Europe, then to Spain and on to North Africa. Crusaders also discovered them in Palestine and helped spread them across northern Europe. And, lemons were something else Chris Columbus brought along to America. He did this on his second trip in 1493.
Lemons have high concentrations of citric acid which our bodies value as necessary vitamin C.
Choose medium-sized lemons with smoothest skin, lightly shiny, because they contain more juice. Also, make sure they are heavy for their size which denotes more moisture inside. Store at room temperature or in your refrigerator crisper.
Store freshly-squeezed juice frozen in ice cube trays; lemon zest can be stored in a tightly-covered glass jar.
For more juice yield, bring lemons to room temperature and roll on hard surface to break down juice cells.
Wash carefully when using the lemon’s zest. Use zester tool, grating rasp or box grater. Zest needs to be the yellow outer layer and should not include any of the inner white membrane.
When adding lemon juice to a cooked dish, add it after the cooking is finished.
WHEN TO SERVE:
Sliced lemon on fish before cooking and after
Lemon juice combined with olive or other oil and herbs for salad dressing. Dijon mustard optional.
Sprinkle juice on all foods to brighten up flavor and serve as salt substitute.
Make lemon syrup for delicious lemonade base.
Add lemon juice to stir frys, pasta dishes, rice/vegetable combinations
Sprinkle juice and salt onto fresh topical fruits
Add juice to soups, sauces.
Add zest to baked goods
Use zest and slices as garnish
Add juice to all salads
Add to cocktails and smoothies
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