Lemons have very little sugar, no fat and only a trace of protein, but they are high in vitamin C. One ounce of lemon juice -- the yield of an average size lemon -- has 15 milligrams of vitamin C, 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
When shopping for lemons, look for thin-skinned ones that feel heavy for their size. Deeply colored lemons have a better flavor.
There are so many uses for this citrus fruit:
Air freshener: Simmer a half dozen lemon slices and a handful of cloves in a pan of water. It's especially good for removing food odors.
Vegetable enhancer: Toss a lemon peel in with vegetables when roasting. Squeeze lemon over fennel, apple or avocado to help maintain their color.
Copper polisher: Dip half a lemon in a small dish of coarse salt and rub it over tarnished copper.
Linen whitener: Fill a large pot with water, add a few lemon slices and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add linens, and let soak for up to an hour. Remove and launder as usual.
Household cleanser: Mix half a cup of baking soda with enough liquid dish soap to make a paste. Spread it on half a lemon and use it to scrub basins, bathtubs and stainless steel sinks.
Stain remover: To remove berry, coffee and tea stains from clothing, soak soiled areas in lemon juice for about an hour. If some of the stain remains, dampen the area, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water, and scrub gently.
Since many Southerners love lemon things, let's shop for them, freshen up with them, clean with them and prepare food using them.
Port Royal resident Ervena Faulkner is a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.