Lemons are a great ingredient to experiment with and it has a plethora of benefits

When life gives you lemons…

 

It’s light, it’s refreshing and nothing can beat the feeling of drinking a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Lemons are a great ingredient to experiment with and it has a plethora of benefits. Not only does it work as a detox (drinking a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and honey every day is known to detox the body), it is packed with vitamins, especially Vitamin C, which is known to have many health benefits. Lemon can be incorporated into facial packs for glowing skin or even hair masks for healthy hair. Here are a few things you can do with lemon…
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Ingredients

1 ½ cups of cooked rice
3 to 5 tbsps of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsps oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
1 tbsp Bengal gram dal
10-12 curry leaves
2 green chillies chopped
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ cup peanuts (optional)
Salt to taste

Method:

In a kadai, heat oil and add the mustard seeds and both the dals. When the seeds begin to sputter, add the asafoetida, chopped green chillies and curry leaves and fry till the daal turns completely brown.

If you are using peanuts, add them at this stage and cook till they turn brown as well. Then add the cooked rice and fry until the rice doesn’t clump Add the turmeric powder and salt and remove from heat. Once the rice has cooled down sufficiently (preferably to room temperature), sprinkle the lime juice on top and mix well.

Tip: Adding the lemon when the rice is hot will make your lemon rice very bitter. So, ensure the rice is cool enough before you add the lemon juice.
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Lemon in Tea
Having black tea is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Although traditionally tea is made using sweetner and milk, replacing it with citrus fruits like lemon can increase the nutrition-boosting potential of tea. A study suggests that caseins found in milk reduced the effects of the antioxidants.

Milk binds with the antioxidants found in black tea, which prevents them from being absorbed. Lemon makes milk curdle, which helps you avoid adding milk to your tea. Without milk, lemon seems to maximize the health benefits of drinking black tea. Adding lemon to hot black tea also prevents nasal congestion, helps control blood sugar and also lowers the cholesterol levels.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

4 large eggs (or 5 medium-sized eggs), separated
Use lemon for skin and hair
1 cup powdered white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Zest and juice of 4 lemons
175 grams of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Method:

Beat the egg whites, but it shouldn’t reach the ‘soft peaks’ stage. In a large saucepan, boil water over medium heat. The pan should be large enough to hold a stainless steel bowl, so that it floats above the water and doesn’t sit on the bottom of the pan. Place a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir continuously till they are blended. Beat the egg whites once more and gently fold into the lemon-sugar mixture.

Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the boiler and add the cut butter, till it melts and blends into the mixture. Transfer to a container and let it cool at room temperature. This can be used as topping for dessert or can be had as a spread with bread.
Tip: Place a piece of plastic directly on the mixture while it is cooling to avoid the mix from curdling too much.
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Lemon Mint Cooler

Ingredients
21/2 cups of water
½ cup freshly chopped mint leaves
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup sugar
Lemon slices (for garnish)
Ice

Method: In a blender, blend together lemon juice, sugar, water and mint leaves with a little bit of ice.
Pour out into tall glasses, add more ice if needed
Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves

Tip: You could use club soda instead of water
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Greek Salad With Zesty Lemon Dressing

Ingredients
1 lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red/yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber (medium sized) diced
10-15 black olives (halved)
½ cup feta cheese, roughly broken down
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For the dressing:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Juice from 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
Salt to taste
Pinch of black pepper

Method:

Mix together all the ingredients (except the feta cheese) in a big bowl and refrigerate to keep the salad crispy
Add the dressing and feta just before serving

Tip: To make the lettuce extra crispy, store it in the fridge for a while, before mixing it with the salad.
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Lemon scrub for the skin
What you need: Juice from ½ a lemon, freshly squeezed
½ cup of sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil

To make the scrub:
Mix the lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Then, add the honey and whisk till all the ingredients bind together. The consistency should be medium or thick. Combine the sugar and mix. This can be used as both a body and face scrub.

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Lemon mask for the hair
What you need:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup coconut or almond oil
2 tbsp honey
Juice and pulp of 1 lemon

To make the scrub:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply on to hair and scalp, making sure you cover the roots as well as the ends of the hair thoroughly. Tie up your hair and leave this on for about half an hour. Wash off as usual with a mild shampoo and conditioner. Do this at least once a week for lustrous silky hair.

 

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