Try drinking a mug of warm water in the morning with the juice of one-half lemon squeezed into the water. ***Be sure to scrub the outside of the lemon before using and try to use organic if at all possible.
Why is this a good idea...?
Reasons to Drink Warm Water with Lemon
Boost your immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Click here for more information on the benefits of Vitamin C. Click here for more information on the benefits of Potassium.
Balance your PH
Lemons are incredibly alkaline. Why are alkaline foods good for us?
Replenishes Vitamin C, which is depleted when you are stressed. Read this article about how Vitamin C fights stress.
Help with Weight Loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also improves your body's ability to absorb nutrients, like calcium. Lemons boost your body's ability to metabolize fat. (Woo hoo!)
The warm water stimulates the intestinal walls. Lemons are high in minerals and vitamins to help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.
Acts as a Gentle, Natural Diuretic
Lemons increase the rate of urination.
Helps to Clear Skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and lemon water purges toxins from the blood.
It cleans the palate on the way down and helps gently flush your kidneys and liver of wastes and toxins. It can also help cleanse your lymphatic system.
And Finally, It Tastes Good
If you're looking for something warm to drink in the morning, try a cup of warm lemon water with a little honey mixed in -- it's really delicious and a tolerable substitute for coffee (if you're trying to avoid coffee, that is).
Ok, so now you're drinking warm lemon water in the mornings... What in the world do you do with all these lemon rinds? Well, this is the fun part!
Uses for Lemon Rinds
First and Foremost - Zest!
Lemon zest is awesome in so many recipes. Get yourself a cheap zester like this (it will make your life easier) and zest your lemons before cutting and squeezing. You can use it fresh, dried, or frozen. To dry it, simply spread on a towel, let dry, and then store in a little jar. To freeze, simply store in a freezer-safe container. ***Did you know the zest is also called "flavedo"?
Make Lemon Extract Powder
Dry your zests (or you can cut strips excluding white pith), then pulverize to a powder in a blender or Magic Bullet. Use in place of zest or extract in recipes.
Make Lemon Pepper
Mix Lemon Extract powder (above) with black pepper. Store in a little jar or recycled spice container. Use it on fish, chicken, asparagus, etc.
Make Candied Lemon Peel
Cut strips of peel (excluding pith) using a vegetable peeler or knife. You can use twists in cocktails, water, or as a garnish anywhere. Freeze to use when needed.
Use in Your Beauty Regimen
Lighten age spots (apply a small piece of peel and leave on for an hour), use as a tonic (lightly rub peels on your skin being careful around your eyes, then rinse), make a sugar scrub (chop peel, mix with olive oil and sugar and massage your skin), infuse your bath water with citrus peels.
Flavor Roasted Chicken or Turkey
Put peel inside chicken (or turkey) and roast. Check out this recipe for the Perfect Roast Chicken.
Make Lemon Brandy - Yes!!
Cut lemon peel into small pieces (excluding pith), add to a good-quality brandy in a covered container and allow to steep for 3-4 weeks, then use as desired.
Add Peels to Tea
Add citrus peel to the leaves while the tea is brewing or add a few strips of zest to the brewed tea.
Make Citrus Olive Oil
Pound peel in a morter and pestle with olive oil. Then add to a jar with more olive oil and let rest for six hours. Strain into a clean jar and use or decorate and give away as gifts.
Make Marmalade, Chutney, or Jam
Try this chutney recipe, which sounds fabulous. Try substituting coconut sugar for the brown sugar. Here is an interesting video, a good start for a lemon marmalade using peels. I wonder if there's a way to make marmalade without all that refined sugar? I bet there is!
Use as Kindling
Any type of citrus peel makes a great kindling for your fireplace. Also, a citrus rind tossed into a burning fireplace will freshen up the air. I wonder if you could add it to your smoker? Hm... will have to get husband to try that out....
Keep Insects Out
Chop the peels and place them along thresholds, windowsills, or other cracks where ants may be entering.
Make Sachets with Dried Peels - Great for Gifts!
Use to freshen sock drawers, garbage bins, closets, place under the seat of your car, etc. Buy sachets like these or make your own out of a piece of cloth and a ribbon. Fill with dried lemon peel and you could add other items like lavender, mint, rose petals, etc. Infuse with essential oils, wrap with a pretty bow. The possibilities are endless.
Use the citrus rind to clean pans (clean a blackened pan by allowing water with citrus rinds to boil in it), clean greasy messes (rub with rinds), clean coffee pots (fill with ice, salt, & lemon rinds, swirl and rinse) and tea kettles (fill with water and lemon peels, boil, turn off heat and let sit for an hour, then rinse), and freshen cutting boards (rub the rind all over the board).
Deoderize the Garbage Disposal
Throw any remaining peels (cut up) down the garbage disposal. Lemons are anti-bacterial and the fresh citrus smell will permeate your entire kitchen.
Use in the Garden
Compost (chop them up a bit first) or place around the garden to keep cats from digging in the garden and/ or using the area for their "bathroom". Make a suet bowl to feed birds by filling the citrus rind from one-half lemon with a suet-birdseed mixture and tying it to a tree.
And, finally, what about the pith... Is there anything you can do with the pith of a lemon? Try the following:
- Make homemade citrus pectin by chopping the pith (1/2 lb), combining with a little lemon juice (1/4 cup), and letting stand for two hours. Then add 2 cups water and let stand another hour. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth. The pectin will keep in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for six months. You can find detailed instructions with pictures here.
- Eat the pith! The pith contains bioflavonoids that aid the elasticity of blood vessels and capillaries, to fight allergies, inflammations, and even cancer.
- Use the pith to clean your nails by pressing tips into the pith. Ok, I admit this is a bit of a stretch, but I would imagine it works well and possibly even feels nice. :)
To isolate the pith, cut your peel into chunks and remove the
inner membranes and remaining liths (segments) and any pulp by
scraping with a knife and then pulling from the pith.
I hope you'll try adding a warm glass of water with lemon to your morning routine and, if you do, please consider one of these fabulous options for reusing, recycling, and/ or "upcycling" your rind. If you have other great ideas for leftover lemon peel, please leave in the comments!
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