Monday, April 21, 2014

When life gives you lemons...use them in every way possible!

Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was a protective measure against different poisons and ailments. As more and more research is done, we are discovering lemons are full of vitamins, are antibacterial/antiviral agents, immunity boosters; aid in weight loss, digestion and cleanse your liver.

Lemons are pretty amazing little things. Not only do they heighten the flavour of so many different dishes but they also have so many other uses and properties. I love using the juice, pulp and zest to perk up something simple like a slice of papaya or avocado (add some salt and pepper and this is an awesome sweet, tangy and savoury snack! Not to mention, it's healthy!) I also love freshly squeezed lemon juice on anything that was grilled: veggies, shrimp, chicken or tofu. Nothing beats fresh lemon.

One of my favourite things to do with lemon is to use it to flavour my water. Flavoured water is one of the best things ever invented, if you ask me and I'm also looking for fun new combos. While lemon is a pretty traditional addition to water, it is also a great thing to have first thing in the morning. The combination of water (room temperature) and lemon is a great way to cleanse when you first wake up and aides in digestion. Not to mention lemon has the same amount of Vitamin C as oranges and we all know how important it is to take your vitamins. (You can also add some chia seeds to your water in the morning and get an extra kick with the added protein). I also love drinking hot water with lemon and honey when I have a sore throat or just to have a natural caffeine-free hot beverage.

What else can you use lemon for? Ever taken a beautiful white shirt out of the wash and noticed a rust spot on your favourite go-to? This happened to me with my favourite white linen dress. I was desperate to fix it and my dry cleaner basically said it was a no-go.

I did some research and found out that lemon had lightening properties. I figured the dress was ruined anyway so thought I'd try it out. I dabbed on some lemon juice and presto. It was a miracle and the rust stain was lifted (if you want to read how I fixed my dress scroll to the bottom of this post.)

I also use lemon juice often in my cooking and I recently discovered that the leftover lemon halves are super useful for cleaning! You can rub the lemon half directly onto your counter or stove top and then wipe away with a damp cloth. It lifts stains that my regular cleaner does not, it's natural and leaves your place smelling super fresh.

Rust stains: If your white clothing has a rust stain on it, squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl and dilute it with a teaspoon of water. Then dip a q-tip into the lemon mixture and apply it only to the rust stain. Try not to get it on any other part of your white clothing as it will act as bleach and leave behind some yellowing. Leave it in the sun for a few hours and the sun coupled with the lemon will act as a bleaching agent to get the stain out. I made the mistake of going a little crazy with the lemon juice and was left with yellow stains on my dress afterwards but my dry cleaner was able to get those out without much of a problem and no sign of the rust stain.

So in short...lemons are magical. Hope you enjoy these little yellow guys as much as I do.

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