Why lemons are the most useful fruit … in your home
Lemons are colourful, cheery and are great to have in the home as we move from winter to spring. Their bright yellow hue suggests sunny days and jonquils. But aside from looking lovely, lemons are probably the most useful fruit to have on hand, with uses which extend way beyond the culinary. Read on to find out more.
As a tenderiser
The acidity of lemons acts as a great tenderiser for all sorts of meat. Make a marinade with the juice of a lemon, two tablespoons of olive oil, some crushed garlic and herbs and let the meat sit for at least an hour. The cooked meat will be tender and flavoursome.
Great with fish!
Lemons and fish just go together, and a squeeze of lemon juice is often all a fillet of fish, a natural oyster, an octopus leg, or a plate of prawns needs.
As an acidulator
There are certain fruits and vegetables which tend to turn brown as soon as they’re cut or peeled and exposed to the air – such as avocados, apples, pears and potatoes. This can be prevented by keeping them in acidulated water while you are preparing the rest of the meal. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice per one cup of water and pour this over the fruit or vegetable in a bowl. This can be kept it in the fridge for up to 3 hours.
To brighten any meal
Sometimes a dish needs a little something, but before you reach for extra salt, try a squeeze of lemon. Often this will give the meal the added brightness it needs and helps you lower your salt intake.
As a cleaner
Lemons are an excellent antibacterial cleaner. Lemon juice is great for cleaning cutting boards, windows and stovetops. To clean a cutting board cut a lemon in half and use it to scrub the board with a little salt. For other cleaning, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water and use in a spray bottle. Avoid using on stone or marble bench tops as the acid may etch the stone.
As a stain remover
Mix lemon juice and salt into a paste and let this sit on a stain for 20 minutes or so, then rinse. This is particularly effective on rust stains.
As a microwave cleaner
Chop up a lemon, sit in a bowl of water and heat on high for 3-5 minutes. The steam will penetrate all the nooks and crannies of the microwave’s interior. Once cool, wipe the interior with a cloth.