“For mad scientist who keep brains in jars, here’s a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar for freshness?” Jack Handy
By Dana Zia
My mother returned from L.A. recently, with a very large box of lemons, picked fresh from her brother’s tree. They are beautiful to behold, large, glossy, organic, (if you don’t count the smog film on them) and free! My imagination began to fill full of lemony food dreams like sorbet, bars, cookies, vinaigrettes and classic lemon grilled fish. Oh but there is so much more to do with a lemon!
There is something about lemons that is so sunshine, smiles and Clark Kent. But don’t let this benign beauty fool you, they happen to be the super hero among fruit. They are good for everything. Need a face cleaner? Lemons mixed with aloe vera work great. Need an antibacterial? Lemons! Or how about a cure for scurvy? (I know that is a real problem these days.) Yes, lemons. How about need to get rid of the smell of garlic from your hands? Lemons. Scrub the toilet to clean and disinfect? Lemons once more. Okay, that’s enough; I think I’ve proved my point, that lemons are capable of leaping buildings.
Lemons, as you can expect, are blazing with nutritional goodness too. They are super charged with vitamin C and are a bonzer of an anti-inflammatory, so consequently helps battle a million different diseases. Lemons also have this readily absorbable special power compound called limonoids, that are like kryptonite to cancer cells. Limonoids actually stay in your body for up to 48 hours after eating them too. Pretty super.
Here just a few tips and trivia on this marvelous fruit.
~Bring lemons up to room temperature and roll them on a hard surface before juicing them. (You can stick them in the microwave for 20 seconds if you are in a hurry.) This will get so much more juice.
~ Rub lemons on your cutting boards to clean, deodorize and disinfect.
~You can run lemon peels through your garbage disposal to kill bad smells crawling out of there. (Makes the house smell good too!)
~A squeeze of lemon in your food will make the flavors pop. Try it in your favorite soups, salads and meats. It is a great way to reduce your salt intake.
~Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon in a cup of water to drink, first thing in the morning and it will aid in digestion and give your liver a boost.
~The aroma of lemons lifts the spirits, calms anxieties, centers the mind and helps improve the memory.
~ Squirt lemon juice on apples or avocado to keep from oxidizing
So next time you look at that garden variety lemon, remember that there lies a super hero full of surprises.
This recipe is delicious on any white fish. Hubby came home with rock fish, fresh off his fishing pole, so that is what we used. Rock fish is also called red snapper or snapper by a lot of restaurants and fish mongers. Make sure that whatever fish you use, does not smell fishy or is the least bit slimy when you buy it. Make sure and use organic lemons, particularly when using the zest.
Lemon Fennel Rock Fish with Lemon Tzatziki
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
¼ cup of lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons of fennel seeds, crushed
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
A few cranks of pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
4 nice fillets of rock fish
Mix together all the ingredients except the fish in a ziplock bag, (that doesn’t have holes, unlike yours truly). Add the fish to the marinade and set in the fridge for an hour while you prepare the tzatziki, scrub the grill and dance in the sun. When the time is up, heat up the grill or the broiler in the oven, after you have brushed the grill rack with oil. Cook the fish just long enough to find a spatula, about 6 to 8 minutes. If you are cooking on the grill, keep the lid closed. Serve with the tzatziki, a wedge of lemon, and whole wheat couscous. (Available at Manzanita Deli)
1 cup of non-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cucumber, peeled and grated
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
Spoon the yogurt into a piece of cheesecloth (you can use heavy duty paper towels for this too) and gather up into a ball. Squeeze it gently (gently!) to get rid of some of the moisture. This step can be skipped if you want; it just makes a runnier tzatziki. Scrap the yogurt into a small bowl using a rubber spatula. Add everything else to the yogurt and stir well. Serve with the fish and eat with life!