Along the Garden Path: The benefits of lemons


By Charlene Thornhill - Along the Garden Path



In the summertime when the temperatures rise, we enjoy a refreshing favorite glass of lemonade, a glass of Sweet Lemon Iced Tea or maybe an Arnold Palmer!

Many people also use lemon as a washing agent, because of its ability to remove stains.

Lemon juice and rind are used to make marmalade, lemon curd and lemon liqueur. Lemon slices and lemon rind are used as a garnish for food and drinks. Lemon zest, the grated outer rind of the fruit, is used to add flavor to baked goods, puddings, rice, and other dishes.

Although lemons and limes may not be what you would choose for an afternoon snack, we consider them as powerhouses when we want to bring out the flavor of other foods. While both are available throughout the year, lemons are in the peak of their season around May through August while limes are at their peak from May through October.

One of the tricks to finding a good quality lemon is to find one that is rather thin-skinned since those with thicker peels will have less flesh and therefore be less juicy. Therefore, choose lemons that are heavy for their size and that feature peels that have a finely grained texture. They should be fully yellow in color as those that have green tinges will be more acidic due to the fact that they have not fully ripened. Signs of over mature fruit include wrinkling, soft or hard patches and dull coloring. Fresh lemons are available all year round.

Lemons will stay fresh at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight, for about one week. If you will not be using them within this time period, you can store the lemons in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for about four weeks.

Lemon juice and zest can also be stored for later use. Place freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays until frozen, subsequently storing them in plastic bags in the freezer. Dried lemon zest should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight glass container.

Fight those troublesome set-in stains by rubbing them with lemon juice (vinegar works well, also) before you toss the clothing in the wash.

Carol Hosbrook-Cole recently shared a program on lemons and she added, “Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, which is in the form of citric acid. It has been proven to improve the absorption of calcium by the digestive system.” She shared, “They contain unique flavonoids and are high in antioxidants which can combat free radicals and cancer cells. Lemon’s antioxidants also help with providing vascular protection and boosting the immunity.”

So many uses for such a great fruit.

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By Charlene Thornhill

Along the Garden Path

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