Lemons are real thirst quenchers and it is important to always have a few at home in summers. Lemons are important in lemonade (either sweet or salted) that is one of the most popular home made refreshing beverages! It not only rejuvenates but also provides the essential nutrients that are required to fight the dehydrating heat. So when one wants to benefit the healthy aspects of a lemon try a Lemon Banana Lassi that will pep you up.
Lemon juice also revives in conditions of fever, diarrhoea etc. Lemons are also used as appetisers other than all its uses in cookery. It is also used in the cosmetics industry. Lemons are rich in vitamin C. They are low in calories and high in potassium content. Every part of the lemon is used in sweet or cooking delicious dishes. From the rind to the juice it is used. Traditionally a drink of lemon juice, hot water and a teaspoon of honey have been used as a remedy for colds, obesity, and constipation.
In the kitchen a lemon can do some sparkling things. Make this starter at the next party you have: Grilled Prawns with Spicy Lemon Dressing and sit back for the accolades. Lemon juice freshly squeezed over grilled fish is a traditional way to serve it. Or then some serve the fish with cut lemon wedges. Lemon slices are a popular addition to tea and cold drinks.
Lemons give a wonderful flavour to sweet dishes. Miniature Tarts with Lemon Curd are always pleasantly received. Not only lemon curd, lemons can be used for jellies, jam, or cheeses, mousses, ice cream, soufflés etc. Lemon peels contain pectin, which helps to set jams and jellies. Strips of peel can be added to candied fruits to add to cakes and puddings. Try the Lemon and Pistachio Cookies in your kids’ mid-morning snack box!
Lemons are widely used in pickles and sherbets. Lemon juice is also used as a stain remover due to its bleaching property. Due to the high vitamin C content, lemon juice prevents oxidation, so it is often brushed over cut fruit or white vegetables to stop them from turning brown.
Tips for best use of lemons
1. A lemon at room temperature will yield more juice.
2. Before juicing, press down firmly and roll the lemon on the kitchen counter to break up the pulp before juicing.
3. If the lemon is very cold, you can microwave it for a few seconds before squeezing.
4. Freeze the juice in ice cube trays, when frozen save in a plastic bag.
5. Grate lemon zest; seal tightly in a plastic bag and freeze.
6. Put lemon wedges inside the cavity of a whole chicken.
7. Tenderize meat by marinating it in lemon juice.
8. Squeeze lemon on vegetables while steaming, to keep the colours bright.
9. A few drops of lemon juice improves the taste of other fruits.
10. Add it to rice while cooking to make it fluffier.