Winter is the season for citrus. Even for folks living in the great white north, citrus fruits are usually easier to find and less expensive this time of year. Lemons are among some of the most versatile foods on earth. Full of bitter and tart flavor lemons lend themselves well to sweet and savory dishes. Lemons also have a place in our home remedy arsenal. Make the most of this precious time of year with these 25 ways to use lemons.
The tartness of lemons shines through even sugary dishes and lends a bright, sunny flavor to many desserts. Lemon sweet treats can range from the humble to the fancy.
- Bundt cakes are always so beautiful simply because of the pan, which means they need very little else for company. Serve up a Meyer lemon bundt cake for something bright, beautiful, and flavorful, even in a blizzard!
- Lemon mascarpone tarts are delicious and appealing to the eye. If you happen to live in a warmer climate, topping them with fresh berries will bring out all the best flavors of the lemons and the berries.
- One can never go wrong with cookies, next time you’re in the mood to make cookies try homemade lemon shortbread cookies.
- Lemon bars are an eternally popular citrus dessert, and much easier to make than they appear.
- A layer cake is great for birthdays or when a dessert to impress is needed. Use frozen raspberries and fresh lemons for this gorgeous lemon raspberry cake.
Lemon pairs well with a number of savory dishes. It’s delightful in salad dressings, soups, roasted with meats, and cooked with grains.
- Combine herbs and lemon for a savory and crunchy homemade cracker.
- Roast chicken, vegetables, and lemons all together for a one pot meal.
- Fish and lemons are a classic combination, keep it budget friendly with tuna patties.
- Lemon goes well into sauces and dressing. Combine them with some herbs and pour over some turkey meatballs.
- Mix zest and juice into egg salad for a sunny sandwich filling.
Be sure to take advantage of their season and save some for later, too. Lemons can easily be preserved in a number of tasty fashions.
- Dehydrate slices and zest for use in cooking, baking, and drinking.
- Rub quartered slices with salt and let sit for an easy and tasty preservation method that is great with chicken later.
- Slather scones and biscuits all year long with tasty home-canned lemon curd.
- Freeze the lemons (you can freeze them whole) and their juice for use all year long.
- Use the whole lemon for this easy and tasty honey-sweetened jam.
- Lavender preserved lemons are unique and are sure to surprise your taste buds.
The tart and sour flavor of lemons make it perfect for a number of different drinks that can be the highlight of parties for kids or adults:
- Ferment it for a bubbly probiotic lemonade that you can feel good about serving.
- Stick those lemons in some vodka and let it infuse for a homemade limoncello.
- Combine lavender flowers with lemons for a tasty twist on traditional lemonade.
- Add some lemon juice to chamomile tea and some whiskey for a hot toddy.
- Make a tropical drink even the kids can enjoy with a coconut lemon smoothie.
Lemon seems to be full of home remedies used by many even folks who wouldn’t normally say they use herbs or natural healing.
- Infuse lemons with herbs in honey for a soothing cough syrup.
- Infuse lemons all by themselves into honey for an herbal tea sweetener that can soothe sore throats.
- Put lemon honey on your face as a mask that can tighten skin and fade scars.
- Refresh tired and dry feet with a salt scrub that continues lemon zest.
- Toss a few slices into a bath to help balance skin ph.
Tips for using all of the lemon
The whole lemon is edible and useful for food, skincare, and even cleaning the home. There is no need to toss any of it. Here are some tips for using the whole lemon.
Use a citrus zester to zest the lemons before juicing them. The lemon zest can be dehydrated and used throughout the year.
If you have a lot of lemons, a citrus juicer can help you quickly juice them. There are table top citrus juicers, hand held juicers, and even a citrus juicer attachment for your KitchenAid mixer.
Lemon peels are not good for the compost pile but once the zest and juice has been removed, the left over pith and seeds are safe to put in the pile. You might also consider saving the pith and seeds to make homemade pectin for your summer jelly making.
Make the most of this citrus season by bringing lemons into the kitchen and keeping them in the pantry for the next season as well.
What are some of your favorite ways to use lemons?