Ah, the lemon. People talk about life giving you lemons like it’s a bad thing, but there are a million things you can do with them, so you should really be grateful to life! Making lemonade is only scratching the surface of everything lemons are good for since they’re versatile ingredients for both cooking and cleaning, which should make them a staple of your kitchen if they aren’t already.
But, why are lemons good for cleaning, we hear you ask? You’ll have to see for yourself. Below, we’ll tell you the best ways to exploit the cleaning and cooking properties of these zesty kitchen helpers. Maybe they’re not something that you’ll bite into on a daily basis, but they’ll turn into a staple of your grocery list from now on. Let’s check it out!
Before dabbing into the delicious world of lemon-based recipes and cooking tips, let’s see how to kick your cleaning game up a notch with these multi-talent
ed citrus wonders.
Refresh your sink: Who doesn’t hate the scent of yesterday’s leftover floating in kitchen sink water? The solution is simple; cut half of a lemon into smaller pieces and throw them down the sink drain while the water is running, and turn your disposal on. Let it run for a couple of minutes or until the disposal goes quiet.
Make a natural surface cleaner: All-natural and very effective, this lemon-infused vinegar cleaner is a true game changer. To make it, just peel 5 large lemons (save the flesh for later use) and put the peels in a mason jar, and fill with white vinegar. You can put in some scented herbs as well to make the concoction smell great, but it’s optional. Secure the lid and let the mix stand for two whole weeks, then strain the vinegar into a spray bottle. This will get rid of all but the hardiest of stains, helping you avoid noxious harsh chemicals every day.
Refresh your sink: A cutting board comes in contact with many foods and smells all week, and lemon can help you keep it fresh and clean. Just sprinkle some coarse salt over the board and scrub the surface with half a lemon. Let the board sit flat on the counter for a couple of minutes and then wipe everything off with a damp towel.
Clean your kitchen air: Kitchens, especially busy ones, are the repository of hundreds of different odors every week, so it’s a good idea to freshen it up a bit once in a while, and the process couldn’t be any simpler. Just heat your oven about 300 degrees F and let a whole lemon sit on the rack, then “cook” for 15 minutes before turning the oven off. Let the lemon cool before removing, and enjoy the fresh smell.
There are many recipes that truly bring out the best out of lemons, but you can also use their sweet, tangy flavor for smaller-yet-significant roles in other dishes.
Use your excess lemons for marmalade: If you take our advice to stock up on lemons every time you shop for groceries, you’ll probably have some unused ones getting old after a couple of weeks. These are perfect for making lemon marmalade, with can then be used in steamed puddings and cakes, or simply enjoyed slathered on some toast.
Make lemon preserves: If lemon marmalade is not your favorite, how about bottling up the lemons to use them well beyond their time? It’s all a simple process of using salt and boiling water, then sealing them in a jar.
Spruce up your leftovers: Is the flavor gone from your leftovers? Add a (literal) twist of lemony goodness to them and transform a boring weekday-meal into something completely new.
Preserve your fruits and veggies: Lemon juice can help you prevent cut fruit and vegetables, like avocado and apples, from oxidizing (turning brown) for far longer than usual. It can also crisp up greens if you soak them in a cold lemon-water mix.
Chicken and lemon make for a tasty pair: Lemon and chicken are one of those natural, delicious pairings that just make sense. If you’re trying to eat healthily, get some lean proteins without sacrificing taste, or simply want ideas for dinner, lemon and chicken combinations abound; lemon chicken with olives, rosemary lemon chicken, butterflied lemon chicken, pan-roasted lemon chicken. You name it!
This list could be several-pages-long if we listed all the nifty little things you can do with lemons around the house, but the ones listed above are some of the most convenient and easy to pick up. If you only want to adopt them into your cooking and not so much on the cleaning, you can definitely eave that part to the professionals and keep sipping on sweet, zesty lemonade all spring long.