Lemon, a fruit that will give your dish a unique taste. Find out where you can use it in the kitchen!

Lemon is a beneficial fruit for our body and you can use it in different ways.

Do you know how to store it properly?

What are its health benefits?

And what vitamins does it contain?

All this and much more in our article!

Lemon, sour goodness full of vitamins

Lemons are the edible fruits of a small tree or sprawling shrub from the family Rutaceae. These fruits are bright yellow, oval in shape and are popular all over the world for their characteristic complex sour taste. They are used to add brightness and depth to all kinds of sweet and savory foods and drinks.

One whole fresh lemon and one halved.

Health benefits of lemon consumption

Eating lemons has many health benefits, such as:

They support heart health

Heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Eating fruits high in vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Low blood levels of vitamin C are also associated with an increased risk of stroke, especially in people who are overweight or have high blood pressure.

Consuming isolated fiber from citrus fruits has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemons can protect bad cholesterol particles from oxidation.

They reduce the risk of kidney stones

The citric acid in lemons can reduce the risk of kidney stones.

They help against anemia

Anemia is often caused by iron deficiency and is most common in premenopausal women. Lemons contain small amounts of iron, but they are also a great source of vitamin C and citric acid, which can increase the absorption of iron from other foods. Thanks to this, they help prevent anemia.

They reduce the risk of cancer

Lemons can reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including breast cancer. This is thought to be caused by plant compounds such as hesperidin and d-limonene.

Lemons are generally well tolerated, but citrus fruits can cause allergic reactions in a small number of people. They can also cause contact allergy and skin irritation in people with dermatitis. As they are quite acidic, their frequent consumption can harm the health of the teeth if the tooth enamel is damaged.

Can lemon help us lose weight?

Lemons are often promoted as a weight loss food, and there are several theories as to why this is so. One common theory is that the soluble pectin fiber they contain expands in our stomachs, helping us feel fuller for longer.

However, lemon juice does not contain any pectin, so you will not be as full after consuming it as if you consumed a whole lemon. Another theory suggests that drinking hot water with lemon will help us lose weight. However, drinking water is known to temporarily increase the number of calories burned, so the water itself may help with weight loss, not the lemon.

Other theories suggest that plant compounds in lemons help with weight loss. Research shows that the plant compounds in lemon extracts can actually help prevent or reduce weight gain in a number of ways.

Nutritional values of lemon

In the following table, see a comparison of the nutritional values of lemon peel, lemon without peel and lemon juice in 100 grams.

Nutritional values Lemon, peeled, fresh
Lemon peel
Lemon juice
Energy 29 kcal 47 kcal 22 kcal
Fats 0.3 g 0.3 g 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 9.3 g 16 g 6.9 g
Sugars 2.5 g 4.2 g 2.5 g
Fiber 2.8 g 11 g 0.3 g
Proteins 1.1 g 1.5 g 0.4 g

Vitamins and minerals in lemon

Also look at the amount of minerals and vitamins that 100 grams of lemon peel, lemon without peel and lemon juice contains.

Vitamins and minerals Lemon, peeled, fresh
Lemon peel
Lemon juice
Vitamin A 1.00 mcg 3.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.040 mg 0.060 mg 0.024 mg
Vitamin B2 0.020 mg 0.080 mg 0.015 mg
Vitamin B3 0.100 mg 0.400 mg 0.091 mg
Vitamin B5 0.190 mg 0.319 mg 0.131 mg
Vitamin B6 0.080 mg 0.172 mg 0.046 mg
Vitamin B9 11.00 mcg 13.00 mcg 20.00 mcg
Vitamin C 53.0 mg 129.0 mg 38.7 mg
Vitamin E 0.15 mg 0.25 mg 0.15 mg
Vitamin K 0.0 mcg 0.0 mcg 0.0 mcg
Calcium 26.00 mg 134.00 mg 6.00 mg
Copper 0.04 mg 0.09 mg 0.02 mg
Iron 0.60 mg 0.80 mg 0.08 mg
Magnesium 8.00 mg 15.00 mg 6.00 mg
Phosphorus 16.00 mg 12.00 mg 8.00 mg
Potassium 138.00 mg 160.00 mg 103.00 mg
Selenium 0.40 mcg 0.70 mcg 0.10 mcg
Sodium 2.00 mg 6.00 mg 1.00 mg
Zinc 0.06 mg 0.25 mg 0.05 mg

How to choose good lemons and how to store them?

Lemons can be found in almost every grocery store all year round. They are in season between fall and early summer depending on location. Look for lemons that are heavy for their size . Smaller lemons tend to be juicier, larger lemons contain more pith. Avoid various cuts or spots that could lead to rot or mold.

Lemons will be at their juiciest when stored at room temperature . If you plan to keep them for more than a few days, store them in a plastic ziplock bag in the refrigerator. Lemons will keep for up to a month this way, but for best results, let them come to room temperature before juicing.

Lemon juice can be frozen for later use. Simply freeze it in an airtight container or ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer from the molds to a zip lock bag and defrost a cube or two at a time. Even lemon peel can be frozen (large pieces of peel work best), but don’t freeze whole lemons.

Another popular way of storing these fruits is their canning . Mix the sliced lemons with salt and sugar in a glass and let sit until soft. They last at least six months in the fridge and processed in this way are a popular ingredient in Moroccan cuisine. You can combine them, for example, with poultry.

How to use lemons in the kitchen?

Wash and dry the lemons before use to remove the outer layer of wax that is usually sprayed on lemons.

You can then use them in a long list of sweet and savory dishes, from pasta and soups to cakes, muffins and shakes. In terms of salty foods, lemon goes well with ingredients such as garlic, capers, parmesan, parsley, butter and all kinds of starches.

It is a must in combination with seafood and a key ingredient in salad dressings and toppings. For example, you can add juice to hummus, crust to rice, slices to baked fish and half a lemon to the cavity of the chicken.

Collage of recipes with lemon - baked chicken served on a plate with lemon wedges, sliced chicken with a fork placed next to it, baked potatoes served on a plate with garlic and a lemon wedge, cake with lemon glaze.

Many people drink lemon water – either hot or cold – several times a day. It is usually prepared by adding the freshly squeezed juice of 1/2-1 lemon to a cup of water. Drinking water with freshly squeezed lemon may have some health benefits.

You get lemon zest from a lemon by grating it on an extra fine grater. Be careful to remove only the outer layer and not the bitter white pith. However, you can add it to marmalade, for example. You can also remove the skin with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler and use it whole or chopped. For example, it can be candied. It is also used to make the classic Ita liquor limoncello.

You can also juice a lemon by cutting it in half with the stem end on one side and the pointy end on the other (through the segments). Use a classic or citrus juicer to extract the juice, or simply squeeze it by hand. Note that you also get some pith and seeds this way, so you may need to strain the juice.

Lemon juice can be used in many pastries and desserts, savory dishes such as various poultry, fish and vegetable dishes and also in beverages. Lemonade, made from lemon, sugar and water, is a popular drink in warm weather, and the juice itself is commonly added to tea.

A hand squeezing a lemon into a glass and a board with fresh lemons placed next to it.

Wedges and slices are often served with seafood and as a garnish for drinks.

More tips on how to use lemon

  • Cook vegetables (such as zucchini, broccoli, squash) and squeeze lemon juice over them to add flavor.
  • Just before serving , flavor the fish, shrimp or chicken with lemon juice.
  • Use lemon juice and zest to complement blueberries in pies and pancakes .
  • Add half a lemon to the bone broth as an acid to extract all the minerals from the bones.
  • Add lemon slices to your iced tea .
  • Use lemon juice to revive a wilted salad . Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then add the soaked salad and refrigerate for 1 hour. Dry the salad before serving.
  • Add a little lemon juice to sliced avocado or apples to prevent them from browning.
  • Make a lemon bun .
  • Prepare the hollandaise sauce for the eggs benedict.
  • Sprinkle the sliced Brussels sprouts with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • While baking the chicken, squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into the cavity and place the remaining empty lemon inside.
  • Make an easy lemon-butter sauce to serve with pork or chicken.
  • When cooking cabbage, add a few slices of lemon to the pot to reduce the smell of cabbage .
  • Prepare a simple dressing of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, pressed garlic and salt.
  • Bake the best lemon cookies.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon to the pudding .

If you have some leaves on the lemons , don’t throw them away! You can use them in the following ways:

  • put them in oil or vinegar to give them a fresh citrus flavor
  • add them to soups or stews
  • make a tea out of them
  • place them in the foil packet with the fish/seafood
A hand holding a lemon leaf, which it places in a bowl of dough, and a bowl full of lemon leaves placed next to it.

Growing lemons

As a cultivated tree, lemon trees are now grown to a limited extent in most tropical and subtropical countries where they have optimal conditions – light, heat and moisture. The relatively cool, uneven climatic zones of coastal Italy and California are also favorable for lemon cultivation. They are believed to have originated in India, northern Burma and China, which continues to be one of the largest exporters of lemons.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)