When using lemons for cooking and in beverages, of course any lemon will do. I have recently tried a Meyer lemon for the first time and I am hooked. The lemon has a gorgeous deep yellow color with a hint of orange. When you slice into one you will notice the skin is thick and the inside is bright, juicy, and fragrant. The taste is still quite tart, but a bit sweeter than a regular lemon.
Meyer lemon’s are traced back to China and believed to be a cross between a lemon and some type of mandarin or orange. According to en.wikipedia.org, “the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, and employee of the United states Department of Agriculture” brought back a sample of the plant when he returned from a trip to China. Therefore, it has been named the Meyer lemon.
Depending on which nutrition chart you look at or even the size of the lemon, the nutritional value varies. On the average one lemon has 20 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and only 10 grams of carbohydrates. They are also packed with vitamin C, about 7 mg per tablespoon.
Lemons are not only for cooking and drinking, they can be used in many ways around the house in place of ordinary cleaning products. There has been mention that lemons have an anti-bacterial effect. Check out www.greenlivingtips.com for some great ideas.
The Meyer lemon is in season right now and is at the peak of flavor. I purchased mine at the Costco in Coeur d’Alene last week. If you prefer organic lemons they are available at Pilgrims Market in Coeur d’Alene.
In order to get the most juice out of your lemon, before you slice it in half, roll it around on the cutting board with the palm of your hand. Among the many wonderful recipes involving lemons, I have two easy favorites to share with you.
The first one,squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass of ice (make sure to remove the seeds first). Add your favorite sparkling water and stir. This drink is so delightful and refreshing. It is very good for you not only because of the nutrients, but the lemon water has a cleansing effect on the body.
My other favorite lemon idea is to make vinaigrette dressing from lemons. You just add the lemon juice instead of vinegar to your favorite recipe. My favorite is from Ina Garten on foodnetwork.com.
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- ½ cup good olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yield: 6 servings