A look at lemons

Lemons are pretty high in vitamin C but their use is mostly limited to a squeeze over fish or into a cup of tea. There’s so much more to lemons though so let’s take a look.

The origin of lemons is a bit unclear, seemingly to be either China or India, but in time they were cultivated across Europe, then the Americas, then the rest of the world. Dr Lind first discovered that citrus prevents scurvy and over the years since then, people have realised just what lemons can do for you.

Lemon juice reportedly has the following benefits:

  • The antioxidants prevent cell damage and so may reduce the risk of cancer
  • This same antioxidant activity may help promote a healthier skin
  • The vitamin C content aids absorption of iron from other foods, such as meat and spinach
  • The vitamin C content can help boost your immune system

Candied_Lemon_Zest

Those are all good reasons to start using lemons in your kitchen. Here’s how:

  • To prevent browning, add some to fruit salad if there are bananas and pears in it, to cooked and pealed potatoes and sweet potatoes, to grated carrots and apples, and to sliced or mashed avos.
  • Use it when cooking chicken instead of using oil. The chicken will cook quickly, get a lovely light brown tinge, and won’t get tough.
  • Use it in a marinade to tenderise meat and poultry. Use it by itself with some pepper, or add some lemon juice to stock or yoghurt.
  • Lemon juice adds a wonderful flavour when sprinkled over green salads and you can use it instead of salad dressing and mayonnaise.
  • Add a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest to fresh, summer pasta salads

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