4 Ways to Use Lemons

By Dana Raidt | Last Updated: July 23, 2015

I always grab a few lemons when I’m grocery shopping, and inevitably a half or whole one ends up sad and shriveled, forgotten in the fridge or fruit bowl. Of course if I don’t buy them, I’ll probably end up needing them—you just never know when a recipe is going to call for a squeeze of lemon juice or a teaspoon of lemon zest. Lemons are great to have around, even if it’s just to throw into water or a cocktail, or brighten up pastas or vinaigrettes. So, in the spirit of ending Lemon Neglect, we’ve rounded up 4 genius ways to use them.

Lemonade

3f144ce5b6a6eea69c52c41bb0ca6988

You knew were going to go there. It’s the oldest saying in the book, but it’s true—in life and in the kitchen. A lightly sweetened lemonade is a great way to use up lemons, and it sure hits the spot on a hot day. If you’re looking for something with added health benefits, Hello Natural has a great recipe for a tangy Lacto-Fermented Probiotic Lemonade. And if lemonade just isn’t your thing, extra lemons are the perfect addition to homemade Gatorade or infused water; the juice has vitamin C and helps balance your pH level. I keep a pitcher of lemon-mint-cucumber water in my fridge at all times!

Gremolata

Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks Recipe

I have Ina Garten to thank for my gremolata obsession. At a loss for what to do with a boatload of green beans last fall, I stumbled upon her Green Beans Gremolata recipe and ended up eating about half the garlicky, lemony mixture with a spoon before the beans were done blanching. You can adjust the ratios in your gremolata to suit your needs; use it as a dip or topping (like for the lemony Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks pictured above), adding a little olive oil if you like it thinner. Or, you know, just eat it with a spoon!

Roast Them

Roasted Broccoli and Lemon Pasta Recipe

Roasting lemons lightly caramelizes them, making their trademark tartness a little more mellow–and yes, you can eat the whole thing, rind and all. They’d make a great addition to any vegetable side dish, pasta and even as a topping for pizza. Try it out in this Roasted Broccoli and Lemon Pasta recipe pictured above, or even on a gremolata-inspired pizza!

Around the house

8e68c3aaa224929d8de8e6678c5b60c7

Lemons have lots of great non-food uses, too. Use the cut side of a lemon to rub salt onto a wooden cutting board to freshen and clean, or use lemon juice in a DIY bug repellant spray or brightening skin mask.

About Dana Raidt

Dana Raidt is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor with a passion for music, a penchant for thrift-store shopping and a never-ending recipe repertoire.

Read more from Dana Raidt

Like what you see? Share it!

Comments

Ha ha – I too am guilty of “lemon neglect” – which includes the forgotten shriveled lemon in the produce drawer and the half of lemon in the zip loc baggie that’s beginning to turn interesting colors. My husband accuses me of killing produce when I treat fruits and veggies so poorly.

Thanks for sharing some great suggestions to put an end to this calamity. I also like to add lemon juice to smoothies, bean spreads and salad dressings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *