Lemons get a bad rap in popular culture. The word “lemon” is used when describing a bad car, bad luck in life or generally any “sour” thing that can come your way. It’s time we change that because lemons really are an all-purpose fruit. Lemons are delicious in foods, delightful in drinks and can even be used to clean your house and clear your face! Has a strawberry ever done that? Here’s how to use these little yellow helpers in five fun, unexpected ways.
1. In Your Drink
Let’s start with the classic; lemonade! Lemonade is always a crowd pleaser and a great addition to any brunch, lunch or cookout. Our favorite lemonade recipe uses a 1:1:5 ratio of lemon juice to sugar to water. Instead of just adding in sugar, make your own simple syrup by bringing 8 cups of water to a boil on the stove, add in 1¾ cups of sugar and stir until it dissolves. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, let the syrup cool and place in the fridge. When the syrup is chilled, add in the lemon juice, ice to replace the evaporated water, and enjoy!
For more fun twists (pun intended), add in a little ginger, jalapeño or lavender to your mix for an extra pop. You can even add in a little cranberry juice to make it pink!
2. In Your Food
Using lemons can add a little bit of zest (literally and figuratively) to any meal. Here are some of our favorite delicious recipes you can try at home.
3. On Your Face
Lemons are a great smelling, natural beauty product. You can mix lemon juice with almond or coconut oil in a spray bottle to apply to your hair to lighten it in the sun, apply lemon juice to your face with a cotton swab to lighten age spots or mix in some lemon juice with coconut oil to apply all over as a brightening moisturizer. You can even make a lemonade-style exfoliator by mixing together lemon juice, sugar, honey and olive oil. But do be aware that lemons make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, so be sure to do these treatments at night or before applying sunscreen.
4. To Clean Your House
Lemon juice is a great way to safely and naturally clean your entire house. Using lemon-based cleaning products ensures your kids and pets are less likely to be exposed to the harsh chemicals of many popular cleaners. Use it to clean your microwave by microwaving a bowl or water and lemon slices to loosen any grease and stains you’ll be able to easily wipe off. Or combine water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and lemon essential oil for an all-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaner.
5. Just For Fun
If you don’t want to use lemons in your food, drinks, on your face, or to clean you house (or you did all those things and have extra left over), you can still have fun with lemons. Make your own magic ink by dipping a cotton swab in a mixture of lemon juice and water, write you secret message and let the “ink” dry completely. Once the lemon juice is dry, reveal your secret message by heating up the paper over a light bulb. It’s a great science project for kids, or a cool trick to add to any activity for the whole family like a homemade scavenger hunt or escape room.
No matter how you use lemons, it’s sure to be a hit.