I travel to Arizona annually in Winter to visit my aging parent who lives in the sun all winter long. After 3 years, the abundant citrus still amazes me. Growing up here in Western Washington I’m familiar with abundant apples, pears, and blackberries. But citrus has always been a store bought fruit. But now that I travel to the great SouthWest I pick fresh citrus and pack it home in every crevice of our carry on luggage  and backpacks until I think we can’t carry any more. We typically bring home around 80 pounds! (For free, we never check luggage).

They carry different values for me. Grapefruit; I love it, but not everybody does and it’s mostly only good eaten raw and completely peeled, down to the flesh only. Orange; great eaten raw, the peel is good zested in certain recipes, and everyone will eat them. Lemon; my favorite citrus to squirrel away in my suitcase. Why? Because it’s so versatile. You can use the peels, zested in many things; chutney, jams, sauces, pie crusts, etc. You can add a slice to your water, tea, or squeeze a wedge over your salad. You can bake your fish in lemon rings. You can drizzle fresh juice over your brussels sprouts or asparagus before you roast them. They balance any fresh juice you may be making in your juicer. Lemon juice can keep your sliced apples and bananas white and not brown, so add it to your fruit salad. Baked, lemon juice is good in bars, breads, cookies, and frostings. Use lemon juice in guacamole, dips, pesto and with starches. Heck, you can ever use lemon juice to clean your house.

When I asked someone if they were taking home lemons from AZ they said “oh, I can’t think of anything to do with them other than lemonade”  What!? I feel just the opposite, they are great in everything… And rich in vitamin C, they are good for your body.

Even when I don’t have a 30 pound lower fridge bin of fresh lemons to liberally utilize in my kitchen, I buy lemons year round to have on hand. It’s one of the things I always have, along with garlic and carrots.

If you have lemons and don’t know what to do with them, just start experimenting or at least adding a slice to your tea or water every morning.

If you want to geek out over lemons and read all about them, check this website out: LEMON FACTS.