We all know that adage, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” The idea is that when you find yourself in a position that is challenging or unpleasant, make something good from it. We also call a chronically faulty car “a lemon.” Why the bad rap? In reality, lemons are a useful, delicious and beautiful addition to almost any natural lifestyle.
- Lemons are full of Vitamin C, making them a powerful – and delicious – antioxidant. Squeezed over vegetables, chicken or fish, they add a boost of flavor along with their antioxidant protection. Lemons also make a great addition to homemade salad dressing. Substitute half (or more) of the vinegar in your favorite vinaigrette with fresh lemon juice and see how it wakes up the flavors. Perhaps my favorite use for lemons in the kitchen is in water. Slicing a lemon or two and adding them to a large pitcher of water is an easy and enticing way to drink more water. Plus, you’ll feel like you’re at the spa!
- Lemons are also extremely useful as a green cleaning option. Because of their natural acidity, they effectively cut grease and grime. Try adding a bit to your dishwashing liquid soap when hand washing greasy pots and pans. You can do the same in your dishwasher detergent to boost its grease-fighting power.
- If you’re not a fan of bleach, lemons can be great alternative for whitening and stain removal. When washing whites such as sheets, add a half cup to the rinse cycle of your washing machine, then hang outside in the sun to dry and you’ll see the difference. Lemons are also great for removing stains on countertops, microwaves and sinks. Squirt a little lemon juice on the stain, allow to sit before rubbing off. Add a little baking soda for even more cleaning power. Just remember, although lemons are thought to have anti-microbial benefits, they won’t replace the disinfecting properties of bleach.
- One of the best things about lemons is their fresh smell. It’s no wonder so many of the world’s most popular scents are categorized as “citrus.” You can keep your refrigerator smelling clean and fresh just by keeping a half a lemon in it. After cutting strong smelling foods like garlic and fish, rub lemon over your hands and rinse. Toss some lemon peel from used lemons in the garbage disposal to keep it deodorized.
- As pretty as they are useful, lemons are also a great décor booster. A large bowlful of lemons makes a gorgeous, easy centerpiece that can also be used.