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The Zen of Lemons

 

1 lemon tree

 

Today is all about lemons – that wonderfully sour, yet strangely sweet fruit that makes so many wonderful eats and drinks like lemonade, Lemon Meringue pie, and lemon ice.

The versatile lemon is used for both culinary and non culinary purposes, and has some purported health benefits too.

For instance, lemons are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, and B-6.

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LemonAid

You can keep slices of lemon peel in a jar with soft cookies to keep them soft.

You can lighten your hair with lemon juice. The astringents in lemon juice can aid in controlling dandruff.

You can keep white veggies white by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the cooking water.

Fill a bowl with both lemons and limes for a table centerpiece. They look so bright, cherry, and pretty from the bright yellow and green, if you prick them with a fork a few times they release a delightful scent.

Fresh lemon juice is a natural antiseptic.

You can use lemons as an aid for throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, rheumatism, burns, and it may help to lower blood pressure.

Lemons score 19 on the glycemic Index. This is far below most fruits.

Lemons contain low levels of sugar which may aid in preventing diabetes.

You can add lemon juice to barbecue sauce for extra zing.

If a dish turns out hotter and spicier than expected or like you can turn down that heat by stirring in a tablespoon each of sugar and lemon (or lime) juice.

A mixture of salt and lemon juice is a good cleaner for wood chopping boards.

Lemon Facts

1 lemonFood historians say lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century A.D.

Lemon trees bloom and produce fruit year-round. Each tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.

High in vitamin C, lemons prevent scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.

The demand for lemons and their scurvy-preventing properties hit a peak during the California Gold Rush of 1849. Miners were willing to pay huge sums for a single lemon. As a result, lemon trees were planted in abundance throughout California.

During the European Renaissance, fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips.

California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire U.S. lemon crop.

Source all food factsfrom: Sunkist Kids

Featured Recipe        Lemon Chicken with Herbs

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You just knew that today’s recipe would have lemons in it, didn’t you? And this dish is full of zesty lemony flavor. If you like lemon this dish will not disappoint!

This is what you will need for 3-4 people:

3-4 chicken breasts bone-in, skin on

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

3 tablespoons unsalted butter (Use 4 if making 4 chicken breasts.)

3 tablespoons olive oil  (Use 4 if making 4 chicken breasts.)

1-2 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Heat oven to 350F.

Soften the butter.

Then zest and juice the lemon(s).

Remove leaves from thyme and oregano.

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Then add the lemon juice and the lemon zest, the olive oil, and the thyme and oregano to the soft butter. Press the garlic into the butter mixture.  Then mix well. This is best done by hand.

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Salt and pepper the chicken.

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Then rub the butter mix over the chicken breasts. This is easy is also easier if you use your hands.

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Place the chicken skin side down in a baking dish. [I had to turn the chicken over.] and cover with foil.

CLEAN UP NOTE: After you place the chicken in the oven you will have 30 minutes. There are a lot of dishes that have touched raw chicken while making this recipe. This would be a good time to wash and sterilize those dishes and utensils. If you re not sure how to do that just do a simple internet search.

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Roast for 30 minutes. Remove pan, take off foil and turn chicken over, or skin side up.

Place back in the oven and cook 30 minutes longer till nice and crisp or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees.

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NOTE: If the chicken does not brown enough, put the oven shelf on the highest oven rack and turn the oven up to 450 or even Broil for a minute or two or until browned.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes to let juices redistribute.

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Plate and pour some of the delicious lemony juices from the pan over the chicken. If you want a thicker sauce simmer it for a few minutes while the chicken is resting.

Serve with vegetable and salad of your choice.

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Bon appétit!!!
Cost

3 chicken breasts                             $6.01

¼ cup fresh lemon juice                   $0.79

1 tablespoon lemon zest                   in cost above

2 garlic cloves                                  $0.05

1 tablespoon fresh oregano               $0.38

1 tablespoon thyme leaves                $0.38

3 tablespoons unsalted butter            $0.19

3 tablespoons olive oil                       $0.69

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $8.49

Cost per person (3) = $2.83

Quote of the Day

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.

Alice May Brock

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4 comments to The Zen of Lemons

  • The price of lemons has just come down here. I bought one two weeks ago that was $2. Today I bought 2 for $1.

    Your chicken sounds like it was full of flavor and a bit of tang. Want some!

    • Roberta

      WOW!! And here I thought $0.79 was outrageous! Chicken does have a zesty tang, but off set by the herbs.

  • I love this! The zen of lemons– brilliant. I have four bushels in my garage. Using them everyday in some way or another. Lemon zest and/or lemon juice brighten up almost any recipe.

    • Roberta

      I agree about lemons – perks up the taste buds! 4 bushels….WOW! Lemons have many medicinal benefits.