When Life Gives You Lemons…
My brother and his family live in Arizona and recently my son, along with other family members, went to visit them. Upon returning home, they brought to me lemons from my brother’s tree. I should probably state that my husband and I love lemons therefore, I was ecstatic over these organic lemons. I immediately washed them and began juicing them. There were at least 24 huge lemons. As my son, daughter and daughter-in-law helped with the juicing process, we discussed all the things we could make with the delicious lemon juice, pulp and seeds.
I decided we better keep some of the lemons to make some Honey Lemon Cough Syrup. With this changing Midwest weather, we never know when someone will be battling the common cold. My daughter, Go2GFGirl, spoke up and claimed some of the lemon juice for making lemon curd, lemon meringue pies and gluten-free lemon bars. There are so many health benefits to lemons that I like to keep lemon juice around the house at all times and these lemons have so much flavor I know we will get plenty of use out of them.
We don’t like to waste anything at our house, so I set the peels/pulp from the juicer aside to dehydrate. My son Taylor, the one who brought the lemons, asked what my plans were for the dehydrated lemon peels/pulp. I explained that I will dehydrate them and put the dried peels/pulp in a grinder to make powder. Once I have the powder, I will encapsulate it for vitamin C capsules. I discovered several years ago that the peels from citrus fruits are higher in concentration of vitamin C. The average lemon peel has 129 mg of vitamin C, but if you are just consuming the fruit, you are only getting 71 mg per 100 grams. When consuming the dehydrated peel and pulp, you intake over double the amount of vitamin C.
Taylor loves to cook and his brain instantly went to what type of seasoning he could create with the dried lemon pulp. We decided to set some aside for him to make some lemon pepper seasoning and to create other seasonings as well. You can find an easy lemon pepper seasoning recipe here.
After we filled the dehydrator, I still had a small bowl of peels/pulp left over. With my waste-not want-not attitude, I placed the leftover pulp in a mason jar and filled it with olive oil. I then placed a paper towel over the top and screwed the ring on the jar to secure it. I will let it infuse for 30 days. This oil will be great for making homemade salves and lip balms.
Last, but not least, I saved the seeds to start lemon trees. I will first place the seeds in pots and nurture them. Currently I have one dwarf lemon tree in a very big pot that produces several lemons a year for me. It was bought as a sapling and is 3 years old now. I place it outside every spring after the last frost and bring it in every autumn before the first frost. With my new seedlings I will be able to share these lemons trees with my friends and family.
As you can imagine, not only did we accomplish a lot from these 24 lemons, but my house smelled fresh, clean and delightful. My suggestion to you is: if life hands you lemons…don’t waste any of them.