You know lemons give a delicious citrus flavor to everything from salad dressings to cocktails. And you may have heard of their impressive health benefits: lemons have antibacterial properties and can boost your immune system. Lemons also offer a healthy dose of vitamin C and other antioxidants that can fight free radicals and help you look and feel younger.
But lemons also have unexpected uses.
Here are seven ways this handy fruit can solve your toughest kitchen dilemmas and help improve your meals.
1. Lemon juice prevents your fruits and vegetables from browning
A few squeezes of juice can do wonders for raw avocados, apples, bananas, and peeled potatoes, because lemon juice is just acidic enough to prevent browning-causing oxidation. Try this trick the next time you’re making meals ahead or when you have a platter of sliced fresh fruit.
2. Lemon juice helps you avoid sticky rice
Do you have a sticky rice problem? You’re in luck: adding a few drops of lemon juice to your cooking water helps prevent the rice from sticking.
3. Lemon zest keeps brown sugar soft, so you don’t have to sift it
The juice is not the only useful part of the lemon. Its super chewy and flavorful bark can also work wonders in the kitchen. Add a slice of the skin (minus the pulp) to your can of brown sugar to keep it from clumping and hardening. So you won’t have to sift it the next time you bake.
4. Lemon juice makes your lettuce even crispier
No need to throw away that soft lettuce! A little lemon juice and water can help bring your leaves back to life. To make soft leaves crispy, soak them in a bowl of cold water and half a cup of lemon juice, then put them in the fridge for about an hour. The leaves will come out revived and ready to eat.
5. Lemon juice helps you cook hard-boiled eggs to perfection
Even if you’re pretty good at cooking hard-boiled eggs, try brushing the eggshells with lemon juice before adding them to the pan for added assurance. The lemon juice prevents the shells from cracking during cooking and makes it easier to lift the eggs once they are ready to eat.
6. Lemon juice tenderizes the meat and makes it even tastier
Lemon juice is an excellent meat tenderizer. Its acidity gently breaks down the protein fibers in meat, making it deliciously tender on the fork. Taste the difference when cooking your next steak.
7. Lemon juice enhances the flavor of your food, no need to add salt
A little lemon can totally transform a meal, brightening up creamy dishes and balancing the flavor of seafood. Lemon is also a great sodium-free salt substitute. It’s perfect for people with high blood pressure and anyone looking to cook healthier meals without sacrificing flavor. Squeeze lemons over baked fish or grilled steak.