Varieties: Lemons are not sold by variety and are available all year round, but they are most plentiful in the winter months. They are oval-shaped, have smooth or slightly bumpy yellow skin and a tart taste.
Buying: Choose brightly coloured lemons that are plump and feel heavy for their size.
Storing: Lemons will stay fresh at room temperature for about a week, and can last in the fridge for up to another week.
Preparing: Lemon juice and zest enhance both sweet and savoury dishes. Squeeze a lemon over salads, into pasta sauces or into sparkling water for a refreshing drink. Add the zest to meat marinades or reduced-fat cream cheese to make cake frosting.
4 quick ways with lemons
A citrus dressing brightens up any salad: in a jug, combine the juice from 1 lemon with 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon each of chopped chives, thyme and basil. Stir well.
Lemon ricotta crepes are a delicious way to start a Sunday. Whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup skim milk and the zest from 1/2 lemon until smooth. Let batter stand for about 10 minutes. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into a lightly oiled pan over medium heat and swirl to make a very thin pancake. Cook for about 1 minute, flip and cook until just browned. For a topping, combine 250g fresh low-fat ricotta, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, the zest of 1/2 lemon and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix well and spoon over crepes.
Lemon sauces are a simple yet delicious way to enhance fish and chicken dishes. Melt 1 tablespoon reduced-fat spread in a small saucepan. Add the juice and zest from 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 tablespoon capers. Simmer for 1 minute, stir in 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and spoon over the meat.
Don’t toss out old lemons. Zest them and store the zest in a plastic bag in the freezer. Then juice the lemons, pour it into ice trays and freeze.
Did you know? Lemons are high in antioxidants. Adding lemon juice to your meal has been shown to lower the overall GI of your food.