10 WAYS LEMONS CAN TOTALLY SAVE YOUR SANITY
Behold the lemon! While there are many beloved members of the citrus family, this bright and tangy favorite reigns supreme as the multi-tasking problem solver that’s affordable and easy to find. No matter what task you plan to tackle, chances are there is a way to incorporate a lemon to make it less stressful if not more efficient. Lemon and vinegar? Effective. Lemon and sugar? Delicious. Lemon and salt? Effective AND delicious. Lemon, sugar, salt and a little bit of seltzer? You’re just a few shots of gin away from a glorious summer cocktail. In perfect world you could have MyClean clean for you every day, but in the meantime here are some of our favorite ways that lemons delight, de-stress, and deepen our appreciation of life.
1. Clear Your Mind
All citrus oils are known for boosting energy, but lemon specifically is known to support concentration by soothing emotions. According to HowStuffWorks.com, lemon essential oil is circulated through the air system in offices in Japan in order to increase productivity by minimizing mistakes. So if you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed try keeping a naturally lemon scented product, or even pure lemon oil nearby.
2. Boost Your Summer Highlights
Lemon juice accelerates the natural lightening power of sunlight and it works wonders on lightening hair. Just a little squeeze whenever you know you’ll be out in the sun and you’ll see subtle highlights building. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
3. Brighten Up a Creamy Dessert
There are a lot of great lemon recipes out there, but this Lemon Tart with a Chocolate-Almond crust from former Chanterelle pastry chef Kate Zuckerman is both impressive and easy to prepare with the right tools and ingredients. And the crust dough can also be used to make cookies! Orignally posted on Foodandwine.com ( http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lemon-tart-with-chocolate-almond-crust)
Active: 45 MIN
Total Time: 4 HR
Servings: MAKES ONE 11-INCH TART
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour (see Note)
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
How to make this recipe?
In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, cocoa and salt; pulse to blend. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg; process until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic, flatten into a disk and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out to a 14-inch round 1/4 inch thick. Fit the pastry into the tart pan. Run the rolling pin across the rim of the pan to cut off any overhanging dough. Patch any tears in the pastry with scraps. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust is nearly dry. Remove the foil and bake the crust for 15 minutes longer, or until firm. Let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 300°.
Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the lemon juice and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg and the remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar. Whisk half of the hot lemon syrup into the egg mixture; add the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the curd just comes to a boil, about 3 minutes; it should be the consistency of sour cream. Strain the curd through the fine sieve and let cool to room temperature, then whisk in the softened butter until the curd is light and fluffy.
Pour the curd into the crust and bake for 20 minutes, or just until set. Cool the tart on a wire rack, then refrigerate until chilled. Unmold the tart and garnish it with chocolate shavings. Transfer the tart to a large plate and serve.
The baked tart can be refrigerated overnight.
Almond flour is available at specialty markets. Or finely grind 3/4 cup (3 ounces) of blanched almonds.
5.Make A Simple Savory Sauce
Lemon parsley butter. There’s really no recipe for this because it depends on which ingredients appeal to you most but this is a winning combination both hot as a sauce and cold/creamy as a spread. All you really need is a knife, a cutting board, a zester or grater, and a fork or spoon for mixing. For added ease you can sprinkle coarse salt on the cutting board before chopping the parsley. We like to grate the lemon zest directly onto the pile of parsley and then chop it all together before incorporating the butter. Garlic also goes well with this mixture, though we suggest making sure that the garlic is very very fresh.
6. Cut Your Skincare Costs
Lemon juice is antibacterial and thus can help prevent acne. Either dip a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice and dab it onto your skin, or use a freshly sliced wedge to rub it directly on your face, focusing on areas where you tend to see blackheads and blemishes. Just try to avoid the eye area!
7. Treat Yourself With Natural Candy
Making candied lemon peels is easy! If you do find yourself with leftover lemon peels this is a delicious and decorative way to use them. This recipe is from allrecipes.com
You’ll just need 3 lemons, 8 cups of water, and 2 cups of white sugar.
Cut lemons into slices about 1/4 inch thick and remove the fruit pulp. Cut the rings in half so the peels are in long strips.
Bring water and lemon peel to a boil in a small pan. Drain water, and repeat with fresh cold water. Repeat the boiling step three times (see Editor’s Note). Drain and set peels aside.
Combine 2 cups fresh water with 2 cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir in citrus peels; simmer until the white pith is translucent. Store peels in syrup, refrigerated, to keep them soft, or allow them to dry. Toss dry candied peels in additional sugar and store airtight at room temperature.
8. Mix Up A Refreshing Summer Cocktail
Many cocktails use lemon accents but one of our favorites puts lemon juice front and center, and that is the French75.
This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of gin, 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of simple sugar over ice and topped with champagne. Shake the gin, sugar and lemon with ice, strain/pour over ice, and top with champagne. Pretty simple!
Since this cocktail originated in France it does normally call for champagne specifically, but if you want to use prosecco or sparkling wine we promise we won’t tell. As this is very similar to a Tom Collins (which uses seltzer instead of champagne) it is often served in a Collins glass. Champagne flutes are also common, but it’s pretty hard to go wrong with this recipe. Triple the recipe and put it in a plastic Mets cup if you want. Whatever makes you happy!
9. Sooth Your Tummy
Lemon, ginger, honey, and mint. When combined with hot water these simple ingredients boost energy, digestion, and general wellness. Hot or cold it is a flavorful, palette cleansing combination that will help you unwind and resist the urge for less healthy options.
10. Create a Stunning Visual
See every other picture in this post. Don’t you just feel better? When in doubt put a lemon on it!
11. Clean and Disinfect Your Home
Lemon is a natural disinfectant and as discussed earlier it’s scent alone inspires feelings of organization and cleanliness. Using lemon juice and baking soda or lemon juice and vinegar as a natural cleaner is a well known trick but here’s another way to use lemons while cleaning in the kitchen:
Cooking would be so much more pleasant were it not for the many dishes it creates. Say you’re making crispy pan fried pork chops with caramelized onions, a side of stir fried veggies and pasta with a lemon butter garlic sauce. Save your lemon halves! You can cut down on pans and trips back and forth to the sink just by sprinkling some course salt on any stuck-on residue and rubbing the area with a lemon. Wipe away any unwanted loose debris with a wet cloth and you’ll find that pan is good to go for another part of the dish. This works on other surfaces as well when you’re trying to avoid using soap and would rather not incorporate vinegar. We do recommend wiping down the area with a clean, wet cloth to avoid any stickiness.