6 surprising uses for lemons

I'm convinced the gods must have been wanting for a little sun when they invented the lemon. Lemons evoke sunshine in every way—from their cheery, yellow complexion and squeaky-clean scent to the fresh, bright flavor they impart to any dish.

Related:
23 Fresh Lemon Recipes to Brighten Your Meals
5 More Fresh Winter Fruits to Enjoy

Though lemons are available at the supermarket year-round, their peak season comes at the perfect time of year, in winter, when most of us are suffering from too many gray days in a row. That's when I'm craving them most—when other fresh produce is harder to come by and I need a hit of vitamin C. (Vitamin C is well known for helping to protect you from infection and heal wounds and cuts. It may also keep skin smooth, improve heart health and even help reduce risk of cancer and stroke.)

Related: 19 More Foods for Beautiful Skin

I always tend to keep a few lemons in the produce drawer so I have them on hand for salad dressings, soups and stir-fries. You never know when a lemon might come in handy. Here are EatingWell staffers' favorite uses for lemons—beyond cooking, including some from the January/February 2011 issue of EatingWell Magazine. What would you add to the list?

Related: 5 Recipes to Use Up Your Leftover Lemons, Celery and More

Uses for Lemons:

  1. Make lemon powder to season rice, meat and vegetables. Use a Microplane grater to remove the zest from a lemon. Spread the zest out on a plate and let dry for 2 to 3 days. Once dry, use your fingers to crumble the zest into a powder; store in an airtight container.
  2. Keep sliced apples or pears from browning by squirting a little lemon juice on them. The acidity of the lemon juice helps prevent the fruit from oxidizing.
  3. Freshen breath naturally. Candying lemon zest turns it into a tasty treat. Use it to garnish your morning yogurt, add flavor to tea or even freshen breath.
    Related: 5 Foods to Fight Garlic Breath
  4. Soothe a cold by adding lemon juice and honey to hot water or tea. The vitamin C from the lemon may help boost your immune system and the hot drink may reduce congestion.
  5. Make your tea healthier. Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which are most potent when tea is freshly brewed. Give your tea a healthy boost by adding lemon juice to your brew. The citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon help preserve the flavonoids.
  6. Remove stains and odors from cutting boards. Rub half a lemon on the surface, leave it for 15 minutes, rinse and repeat as necessary.

What interesting uses have you found for lemons, beyond cooking?

Penelope is a web producer and writer for EatingWell.com. When she's not busy geeking out at the computer, she loves cooking and trying new recipes on her friends. Some of her favorite foods are dark chocolate, coffee, apples, sweet potatoes and cheese.


More from EatingWell:

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Date without the pressure of hooking up: Peekawoo is the app for you Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 1:51 PM PHT
    Date without the pressure of hooking up: Peekawoo is the app for you

    This female-fueled, Filipina-made app brings old-fashioned courtship into modern dating. …

  • The pursuit of happy-ness: Liz Uy's beauty secret Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 12:24 PM PHT
    The pursuit of happy-ness: Liz Uy's beauty secret

    The celebrity stylist lets us in on how she maintains her happy glow. …

  • You are what you eat: 6 ways to eat mindfully Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 8:31 PM PHT
    You are what you eat: 6 ways to eat mindfully

    Mindfulness can be brought into what you eat and how you eat. …

  • To manage diabetes, eat breakfast like an athlete, dinner like a sloth, study suggests AFP Relax - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 10:24 PM PHT
    To manage diabetes, eat breakfast like an athlete, dinner like a sloth, study suggests

    Type 2 diabetes patients should eat a high-energy breakfast and a low-energy dinner for optimal control over their blood sugar, according to researchers hailing from Sweden and Israel who conducted a small-scale study. In the new study, published in the journal Diabetologia, they worked with eight men and 10 women who have lived with type 2 diabetes for less than 10 years. Ten of the 18 participants were being treated with a combination of diet advice and the drug metformin and the remaining …

  • No need to hit the drive-thru for this seasonal minty shake Associated Press - 22 hours ago
    No need to hit the drive-thru for this seasonal minty shake

    I'm ashamed to admit this, for I am no fan of fast food, but I've always had a soft spot for McDonald's shakes. …

  • How to create an urban tropical home Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 8:20 PM PHT
    How to create an urban tropical home

    Bring the beach to your home with these 10 easy steps. …

  • Research zeroes in on effects of common food additive AFP Relax - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 10:26 PM PHT
    Research zeroes in on effects of common food additive

    Everyone's heard a lot about questionable food additives lately, but a recent study provides new insight on why emulsifiers are something to avoid. Commonly found in packaged and processed foods, emulsifiers add texture and extend shelf life but according to the US-based research team, they could alter your composition of friendly gut bacteria -- or gut microbiota -- and lead to inflammation. "Food interacts intimately with the microbiota so we considered what modern additions to the food …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 9:37 AM PHT
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

POLL

My New Year's resolution is to:

Loading...
Poll Choice Options