There are three main varieties of lemon. Lisbon lemons are the most common variety, with smooth, bright yellow skin and a tangy flavour. Meyer lemons are a natural hybrid of a lemon and an orange, which produces a sweeter taste and smooth, pale orange skin. Eureka lemons have a more tart flavour, are pale green in colour with rough, bumpy skin and have a pointed end.
Choose lemons that feel heavy for their size and are brightly coloured. Avoid ones with wrinkled, bruised or brownish skin.
Lemons can last up to a week when stored at room temperature, but will last even longer if refrigerated.
Lemons are incredibly versatile and add great flavour for very few kilojoules. Squeeze the juice over salads, chicken, fish or steamed vegetables. Lemons are also terrific in desserts. Grate the zest into muffin, cake or pancake batter for a citrusy flavour. When squeezed over cut fruit and veg, the acidity of lemon juice can prevent them from oxidising (turning brown).
4 quick ways with lemons
Liven up your salads with this light lemon dressing. Combine the finely grated rind of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar in a jug and stir well.
When making a roast chicken, fill the cavity with 6 peeled garlic cloves, a lemon cut into wedges and fresh rosemary sprigs. Season with ground black pepper and olive oil. Be sure to remove the skin before serving!
Turn plain vegies into a delicious, lemony side dish. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and add 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds and 1/2 thinly sliced red onion; cook until fragrant. Pour over 500g steamed green vegies (such as broccolini, green beans and sugar snap peas) along with the juice of 1 lemon, ground black pepper and chopped fresh parsley, dill or chives.
Spread this delicious topping onto toast. Combine 250g fresh low-fat ricotta with 2 tablespoons caster sugar, the zest from 1/2 lemon and the juice of 1 lemon. You’ll have enough leftover for several morning teas or breakfasts.
Did you know? One lemon provides 50% of your RDI of vitamin C.