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“New” Uses for Lemons from the Old Country: A Family Compilation


Written by Odelia Benabou, CNE graduate, writer and lemon lover extraordinaire.

Odelia here, reporting for duty on Meghan’s rad web kingdom to share some simple, back-to-basics tips about lemons!  True, lemons aren’t terribly sexy or exotic.  We squeeze their tart juice into a glass of water each morning for a revitalizing, alkalinizing and detoxifying effect.  Yawn.

But this new year, I thought it would be a nice change to chat up my folks for something decidedly less complicated than some of the strange extracts, peculiar foods and just plain bizarre beverages that we nutrition groupies often concoct for fun!  So when life hands you lemons, do any of the following:

  1.  Chopping garlic doesn’t have to be a smelly pain in the derriere.  After you are done juicing a lemon, save one half (or both) and rub your fingers along the inside.  This neutralizes the smell instantly!
  2. Dry, scaly elbows this winter?  Use those leftover juiced lemon halves and rub them over your elbows (or knees, or heels!).  The lemon juice has a natural brightening effect and the naturally occurring oil found in lemons moisturizes very well.
  3. Dark circles?  At home, dab some freshly squeezed lemon juice around your dark circles (but don’t get it on your eye balls, please!) for a brightening effect.  Make this one a daily kitchen habit!
  4. Are your fingernails yellow?  (I won’t ask about your toenails)…  We overdo it on chemical-heavy nail polishes and pay the price.  Soak your fingernails (or toenails) in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes to brighten them up and rub the juiced lemon over your cuticles to break down dead skin and keeps ‘em smooth.
  5. Love tea?  Hate the staining effect it has on your teeth?  I know, me too.  Squeeze lemon juice into your tea to help reduce staining the tooth enamel.  Saves your pretty ceramic and porcelain cups too!
  6. To exfoliate your pretty face, take a lemon wedge, dunk it in unrefined sugar crystals of your choice, and rub it gently around your face and neck a few nights a week.  Lemon is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which boosts collagen production in the skin and promotes a youthful appearance.  Plus, the gentle yet effective abrasion of the sugar helps break down dead skin.  This works particularly well for obliterating blackheads!
  7. Are you a schvitzer?  I mean, do you sweat lots?  Well, I’m no domestic goddess and using bleach freaks me out.  Try adding ½-1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the rinse cycle when washing a load of laundry.  It should help take care of those pesky sweat stains!  You’re welcome.
  8. To prepare fish for the least pungent kitchen cooking experience, rinse the fish and soak in water with freshly squeezed lemon juice for about 15 minutes.  Rinse off, pat dry and proceed with cooking.  This one is an incredible trick!  No fishy smell when you’re trying to “make love in the kitchen.”
  9. Using organic lemonsDon’t throw that rind away!  Precious flavour and antioxidants are in the rind too!  Zest the lemon rind and add to your vinaigrettes.  Adding a sweetener like raw honey or maple syrup balances out the bitterness and you get an elegant, phytonutrient-packed dressing!
  10. Kitchen disinfectant and deodorizer:  I’m sure you know this one but don’t often use it!  Clean up stains on your counters and cutting boards by squeezing/rubbing a cut lemon over it.  Let it sit for awhile and voila, stain be-gone!  Lemons also have natural anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties.  So even though you may use other cleansers to wash pots, pans, and oven dials, stovetops, etc., go around with lemon juice or just rub the lemon over those surfaces to destroy any bacteria!  Lemon scented kitchen is a bonus.
  11. Still drinking coffee, heh?  Fine.  Well to clean your coffee pot juice about two lemons and add enough water to run a cycle.  Let the mixture sit overnight and your coffee pot will be a snap to wash!
Question of the day: What are your favourite uses for lemons?

7 Responses to ““New” Uses for Lemons from the Old Country: A Family Compilation”

  1. Joanne said…
    Wonderfully written, Odelia!! So glad to see your post. Can't think of any other uses for lemons. I think you covered it all. Job well done.
  2. via @meghantelpner
  3. Shannon said…
    I freeze my juiced lemon halfs and use them to clean my garbage disposal (no green bin in my area). Cleans the blades and the sink smells lemony fresh!
  4. Does the tip about putting lemon in tea work for coffee as well? Also, how much should we squeeze in, and does it change the taste? Thanks for sharing this info!
  5. Lemons are alkalizing & generally amazing. 10+ uses for lemons - thanks! RT @meghantelpner
  6. Heather said…
    Does freezing lemon juice reduce its benefits for that daily morning lemon drink? I find it so handy to pre-squeeze and freeze the juice into an ice cube tray, but there's no point if it's just going to kill the important enzymes or whatever makes it so good for me! Thanks.

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