Versatile Lemons Scream Summer
With the hot days of summer, I can’t think of a more refreshing fruit than the happy, yellow lemon!
The lemon’s claim to nutritional benefits is its high amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, can help improve iron absorption and help maintain your bones, skin and blood vessels.
Add a fresh lemon slice to a refreshing glass of water to give it a zing. Add a splash of lemon to your scrambled eggs and other egg dishes to bring out their favor. Squeeze lemon over cooked spinach, broccoli and asparagus for an instant flavor boost. Enhance seafood with a squeeze of fresh lemon or stuff a chicken (before baking) with a slices of lemon and onion for “lemon chicken”.
During the heat of summer spend the afternoon in your favorite lounge chair with a frosty glass of lemonade by your side and book in hand (visit the book review section for my favorite reads).
Squeeze your own lemonade or purchase your favorite brand and give it these nutritional upgrades:
Add a mix of fresh or frozen berries to your glass. Berries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. If fresh berries aren’t available, buy a frozen berry mix. Mix frozen fruits to your lemonade in your blender and you’ll have a refreshing “slushy”
Give your lemonade (or berry lemonade) even more flavor by adding one or two torn fresh basil leaves to your glass. Basil is considered to be an anti-inflammatory, provides skin benefits and aids in digestion.
They say “it’s five O’Clock somewhere” – give your berry lemonade a cocktail vibe by adding a dash of seltzer and a splash (or two) of vodka.
IN ICE CUBE TRAYS:
– freeze lemonade or lemon juice and add the cubes into your water, iced tea or cocktails
– freeze lemonade or lemon juice with a fresh sprig of mint; these cubes will give your iced tea or water a fresh dash of natural flavor
– freeze lemon slices or wedges and use in summer drinks and cocktails — the frozen lemons will keep your drinks chilled (you can also freeze lemon slices in water)
EASY SMOKED SALMON APPETIZER perfect with your summer drinks:
1 teas. lemon juice
4 oz. of smoked salmon
3 oz. of cream cheese (or light cream cheese)
1 teas. dill
Dash of black pepper
2 table. Mayo
1 table. diced red onion (other onions work, too, but red onion gives it a stronger boost)
Optional: 1 table. capers. Blend ingredients and chill.
SMOKED TROUT APPETIZER:
Same recipe as above, but add a dash of Worcester, leave out the dill and capers, then add 2 tablespoons of crushed almonds or pecans.
Serve on crackers, toast or bagels.
EASY CHIP DIP:
2 teas. lemon juice
8 oz. sour cream (or light sour cream)
2 teas. dill
2 table. finely shredded carrots
Black pepper to taste
2 table. grated onion (spring or red are best)
Blend ingredients and chill. Great as a potato chip dip or on crackers.
The above are base recipes. Add more or less of any of the ingredients to your liking. If you love the flavor of fish, cut back on the cream cheese in the salmon and trout appetizers.
My personal favorite lemonade: Trader Joe’s lemonade: not too tart, not too sweet; no mixing, no fuss — ready to pour and enjoy or to add your own twist!
So go ahead get lemon happy – be mellow yellow and make Donavan proud!
Note: Lemons are highly acidic, so like everything else in life, enjoy lemons in moderation.