Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Amazing Lemons

Remember I mentioned some blogs back I always wished I had a lemon tree?

The lemon is such a useful fruit.

I like to always have a couple at home so that I can have some lemon juice in my tea or to go with honey.

And I usually end up using the whole fruit, including the skin of the lemon.

The peel of the lemon contains two top layers; the zest, and the pith. The zest is the oil rich outer skin of a lemon and is yellow and textured. The volatile oils in the zest make it extremely flavorful. The pith is the white part below the zest and taste bitter.

Lemon zest can be used to add a lemony flavor to baked goodies. The natural oils in the zest is released through the baking process, infusing the food with flavor. Lemon zest can also be used as a food seasoning, for example, in a baked chicken or a salad dressing, or it can be added to various mixed drinks and beverages. Lemon zest blended with lemon juice, sugar syrup and plenty of ice makes a super refreshing drink.

But there are lots that you can do with a lemon, besides using it for cooking or in a drink.

After I squeeze out the juice of a lemon, I will usually make use of the lemon to do some cleaning.

Popping the cut and juiced lemon into the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds can help get rid of strange smells in the microwave. I'd then use the lemon to rub my stainless steel pots or kitchen sink to give them a good shine. You can also use them to scrub your bathroom tiles and sink. Sometimes, I'd throw the lemon whilst it is hot into an empty garbage bin to get rid of strange smells in the bin.

Lemon zest and hot water can be used to remove coffee/ tea stains from mugs. Just put the lemon zest in the mugs and fill up with hot water. Wash the mugs, with some salt for stubborn stains, after 2-3 hours.

I know of people who use lemons in the bathroom to whiten their teeth (lemon plus baking soda), clean their elbows (rub and wash off) and also use it as a facial mask (lemon with honey).

I usually prefer using lemons to clean my house though. It's green and makes your house smells great.

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