Hi, Rebecca here.
Following on from my last post, I’m moving onto lemons, one of my favorite fruits and oils; so let’s not be bashful about it,…………..lemons are great!
They have been known for centuries for their medicinal properties as anti-bacterial, immune boosters and liver cleansers as well as providing a natural tonic and brightener for your skin.
I try to have hot water and lemon some mornings (when I don’t feel I absolutely need a coffee!) as a good internal body cleanser start to the day.
Additionally, there are many uses for lemon around the house. So let's move on and I'll mention just a few for you to try.
A few drops of lemon juice into a homemade multi-purpose cleaner (more on this later) really provides a fresh scent around the place whatever time of year, or why not make a really simple lemon infused oil for salads, fish, etc.
You might have even seen lemon oil for sale but it’s usually so expensive, and not even organic lemon oil, why not save some money and make your own in less than 15 minutes!
You simply peel the lemons with an ordinary peeler (organic lemons if possible) - careful not to include the white pith underneath, toss into a saucepan and add oil such as avocado (which takes heat better than olive oil), cover the lemons and bring to the boil on a light simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool before straining into a jar or bottle. You can store it in fridge; that’s it, simple.
You can also do the same with basil or chili. We grew and dried our own chilies for this last year; leaving some chilies in the oil with seeds in makes it increasingly hotter and tastes great on pizza!
One of my favorite cakes which contains fresh lemon is Lemon Drizzle Cake made in a loaf tin, which the UK’s Mary Berry has a version as does chef Gordon Ramsay’s wife, Tana; both are about the same. It’s really quick and impressive and very moreish indeed, nice with an English cup of tea. It’s really easy (nothing I do is very hard but it still has to be beautiful and smell and taste good).
You will need:
For the drizzle topping:
Method: Heat oven to 180C/355F. Beat together unsalted butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the 4 eggs one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in all the flour then add the lemon zest. Mix well until combined.
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper, spoon in mixture and level with spatula or spoon. Bake 40-45m until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Whilst cake is cooling in tin, mix sugar and lemon juice in small bowl, prick warm cake with fork and pour over drizzle topping. Can keep in tin for 3-4 days or freeze for a month. That’s it!
And, whilst the lemon cake is cooking away (or the coconut cookies from the last blog), why not whip up a quick lemon body scrub? It’s made with Epsom salts and couldn’t be simpler.
Mix ingredients together and pour into a tin or jar to keep in the bathroom. Use as a body or foot scrub. I try to do this weekly on my feet. Make sure you clean the bath a bit afterwards, as it does leave it a bit slippery otherwise!
N.B. Note Lemon essential oil cold expressed (from the peel) will make your skin temporarily more photo sensitive, distilled Lemon essential oil will not (source: National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy).
I have seen it listed in cold sore pharmacy products under its Latin name ‘Melissa officinalis’, it is an expensive oil as it takes so many leaves to make a small amount and whilst I would have found lemongrass overpowering in Europe, I find that I am almost as happy with that here in the Florida as a replacement oil at a fraction of the cost.
Alternatively, lemon balm is easy to grow in the garden as a European perennial and a much cheaper way to use in your products. You could always make lye soap with lemon balm tea or by infusing lemon balm leaf in your oils.
Have a great weekend,
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