Food & Drink

When life gives you lemons, there's more to make than just lemonade

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