Through the Fire
Be happy and make something delicious with them!
In Central Coastal California, we are blessed with an abundance of lemons and most especially Meyer Lemons, a delicious cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are a bit sweeter and less acidic than the more common Eureka lemons. They contain the same nutritional properties – lots of vitamin C most prominently.
For years I had a beautiful productive Meyer Lemon tree in my front yard. It died a few years ago. I finally just replaced it and am so looking forward to my first crop next winter. Of course, I appreciated each and every lemon I got from that tree but now having to buy all my lemons, I appreciate their goodness even more.
People from all nutritional avenues, from Paleo to Vegan and everything in-between are touting the importance of drinking lemon water every day, claiming benefits from helping one lose weight, to beautiful skin, to the importance of alkalinizing your body. According to some, it is pretty much the miracle cure-all. Is this hype ? Lemon Water as the newest snake oil ? or, is it actually good for us. The good news is that it is good for us. The not as good news is that it doesn’t cure everything nor will it help you find true everlasting love.
I drink a mug of warm water with the juice of a lemon, a tsp. of ghee or coconut oil, and a combination of fresh grated ginger, cayenne pepper, and ground coriander almost every morning. I think the warm temperature of the water is important. It feels good to warm up our system. The warmth can relax the tongue and throat muscles a bit. Energetically, cold water is very yin and I think it’s good to start the day with some balance. The lemon, first thing in the morning, wakes up our digestive system, and gets our saliva going.It helps our liver with bile production and our stomach with stomach acid production. I find the smell helps wake me up in a non caffeinated way. You can do yourself a lot of good with just the lemon and the water. I add the other ingredients for more digestive boost, some lubrication from the ghee.
The most important part of all of this is hydration. We are usually thirsty when we wake up and first thing in the morning is a really good time to get going on getting well hydrated. I try to drink a glass of water in the bathroom while I’m doing my other morning activities. Then, to the kitchen for a large mug of lemon, etc. water. So, there I’ve got a really good start on the couple of quarts of water I’m ideally drinking that day. Honestly, lately, being that hydrated has been a struggle for me. As it’s warming up outside, I will renew my efforts. My skin will thank me, my digestion will thank me, my muscles will thank me. Another thing many people have mentioned to me is that they don’t really enjoy the taste of water. It doesn’t really have any taste which is the problem for some. So, adding lemon or pieces of some other fruit might help you get more fluids in.
One of the miracle claims of lemon water are that it will help you lose weight. The grain of truth in this is back to the hydration. Often we think we are hungry when really, we are thirsty. I haven’t found any evidence that the lemon itself has any weight reducing properties. Read this article for more information.
One of my favorite dessert items to make from lemons is curd. Curd has the texture of pudding and is typically made from citrus fruit, sugar, and eggs. It can be made from other fruits as well. It’s delicious on its own, as a pie filling, in between layers of cake, and on and on.
Here is a healthier version.
makes 1 – 1 1/2 cups
3 eggs ( of course you know to use eggs from pasture raised chicken. Aside from all the other
reasons for this, it will give a really beautiful color to the mixture!)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest ( use Meyer lemons if you have, if not that’s ok. If you really love lemon, use a bit more)
1/4 cup honey ( buy local from the beekeeper if you can as honey is often adulterated)
1/2c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tablespoons of coconut oil, butter, or ghee ( I usually use butter)
In a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan, whisk together the first three ingredients until well incorporated and light colored. Place pan on the stove at medium heat. Add the lemon juice, give a stir and then add the the chosen fat, a teaspoon full at a time, whisking until it is all melted. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens and you start to see a few bubbles popping at the surface. Remove from heat, and scrape into a fine sieve set over a bowl. Strain the curd, gently stirring through the sieve. Refrigerate for several hours to thicken. Stir once in a while. It can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator but I am betting it won’t last that long!
I sometimes use a little less honey and add some drops of stevia. I also recommend doubling the recipe. Sometimes, I strain it and sometimes I don’t.
What to do with this deliciousness ? How about spooning some on some warm gingerbread ? Use it instead of frosting in between layers of your favorite vanilla cake. It makes a lovely tart filling. Top with whipped cream. Be really decadent and have a spoonful on a piece of toast. Mix it in with your yoghurt.
Here are some links to recipes. And don’t forget to look on Pinterest! Here’s a place to start for that.
Let me know if you make any of these. I’m off to the store to get more lemons. I found too many good recipes and now I’m craving lemon.