Week 2 of DK’s Healthiest Food Series! We kicked things off with the beet, now I’m back with a citrus favorite- the lemon!
I sometimes dream of having a large home, surrounded by a plentiful garden with lots of citrus trees, raspberry bushes, and tomato stalks. While our city-condo doesn’t offer that yet, I am excited for the day when I can head into my yard and come back with an armful of lemons. They are my secret ingredient to most of my sauces, dressings & dips. A little zest or fresh juice brightens up just about any recipe.
Lemons contain both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Several studies have shown the possible healing properties of lemons, perhaps because of their Vitamin C content or flavonoid compounds. Most of us know the lemon as a high Vitamin-C containing food, one of the most important antioxidants and essential in preventing scurvy. In fact, the opening lecture to my nutrition class is the “history of scurvy” and how sailors slowly realized that citrus fruits prevented the disease… aha! Nutrition science was born.
Have extra lemons lying around? Freeze the juice! When citrus is in season, I stock up on 5# bags, juice and freeze. Perfect for throwing into green juices, adding to the blender when making sauces or thawing for marinades. One of my favorite dressings is this lemon-basil mayo. Incredible on roasted vegetable paninis or thinned to use as a salad dressing, the combination of fresh lemon and garden basil is a win-win.
To get the most juice out of a lemon, I massage it into the counter with my palm for 5-10 seconds until soft. Then, slice in 1/2 and juice through your hands, letting your fingers catch the seeds. While I usually use them to zing up a dish, I also love highlighting their tartness and flavor in stand-out recipes.
1. Lemon Poppyseed Granola
2. Raw Lemon Meltaway Balls
3. Raw Lemon Bars
How do you use lemons and what’s your favorite lemon recipe!?