I love lemons, and January is when citrus is ripe and plentiful, particularly in Arizona where much of it is grown. I came across the most beautiful locally grown Meyer lemons in Whole Foods the other day and pledged to buy as much of them as I can before they run out for the season. Just look at this one. Simply gorgeous. It’s large and juicy, and full of flavor. Lemons not only provide a good source of vitamin C, but are thought to aid in digestion and, when mixed in water, detoxification.
Lemon water, hot or cold, might be one of my favorite things; since I don’t like the taste of plain water. I know, I know, you’re thinking water doesn’t have a taste, but to me it does. But add some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a slice from a beautiful lemon and, Voila, it’s a refreshing and healthy treat.
There’s a limit on how much caffeine I can have in a day before my heart starts racing out of control. So, on cold mornings when I’ve reached my limit of coffee, I sometimes heat up a mug of water and mix in a squeeze from a fresh lemon wedge.
In the summer, when it’s a ridiculous 110 degrees in Phoenix and you sweat just walking to your car, a large iced cold glass of lemon water cools me down and keeps me hydrated. Keep in mind, I really like sour foods, but I realize many people do not. No problem. Oranges, grapefruits, and limes are all good options. But if citrus is too acidic for your taste, other great options for sprucing up your water include a slice of cucumber or watermelon.
Here are some of my favorite simple ways into incorporate lemons into daily life.
- Ina Garten’s Lemon Vinaigrette has four ingredients and is simply delicious. I like to add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to this recipe to pump up the flavor.
- When roasting a chicken, place a few lemon wedges inside the chicken or place a few lemons slices on top of the chicken while it bakes for additional flavor.
- Add lemon zest to any recipe for more intense lemon flavor, or as a garnish on top for a pop of color. Make sure you zest your lemon before you cut or squeeze it.
- Squeeze the juice, when lemons are plentiful, pour it into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer for small portions you can use at a later time.