We both LOVE lemons. Laura has a tree in her backyard that produces 9 out of 12 months of the year and Stella buys a bag of them on a weekly basis. Beyond just inclusion in dinners, dressings, and desserts (hi, lemon bars in our lives always), we’ve loved figuring out and learning about new ways to use lemons for a natural cleaning agent and as a DIY spa ingredient! We are so obsessed with lemon everything that we decided we have to write a post about all of the amazing ways we use them!
Here it goes…
Lemon Cayenne Water
There are quite a few health benefits associated with lemon cayenne water including a faster metabolism, stimulates circulation, and assists with digestion. With such an easy recipe (we like 1 lemon, squeezed, + 1 tsp of cayenne pepper per mason jar of water), it’s a great habit to get into downing some of this “juice” on a regular basis!
We love the cayenne pepper from Penzeys Spices. You might not think that the type of cayenne makes a difference, but once you’ve tried a few you’ll see how different they can each taste!
Twists, slices, and peel pieces all make for beautiful cocktail garnishes, and all come from our friend the lemon!
Recipes we love to include a lemon garnish on:
Add Lemon Zest to Your Favorite Recipes
Lemon zest is delicious and so underused. We love to add it to roasted veggies or put it in spaghetti sauce (seriously, try it, it’s delicious).
Lemon zest is also a great addition to most baked goods to add just the slightest “zing!” We’ve thrown a small amount into muffins, cookies, pie crusts, and pastry, all with great results!
Cleaning Around The House
Lemon is a great all-natural disinfectant and also shares some similarities with bleach. A slew of ways we’ve cleaned up around the house with the help of some lemon:
- Place half a lemon or slices near compost or inside fridges and sinks to remove odors
- Mix with white vinegar and water as a natural cleaner to remove sticky residue on surfaces
- Use lemon juice to remove soap scum or lime stains from bathtubs
- Substitute lemon juice in place of bleach in the laundry
- Spray or squeeze lemon juice as a natural weed killer
- After you’ve squeezed a lemon for cooking, throw it into your garbage disposal to freshen it up! (only use ~once per month to avoid clogs)
- Rub half of a lemon and a bit of salt on a stained cutting board or butcher block to lift away stains and residue
- Mix salt and lemon juice as a natural stainless steel cleaner
DIY Spa Things
Beyond around the house, lemons can also come quite in handy for spa days! These are our favorite ways to use lemon to pamper:
- As a scent in this Citrus Exfoliating Scrub
- Use as hair highlighter
- Use as nail whitener
- 1/3 of this Blackhead Banisher
Easy Salad Dressing
When you actually take the time to look at the back of pre-packaged salad dressing, it is overwhelming to see how many ingredients there are in a bottle and disheartening to see so few that you recognize. Our solution, make your own!
The simplest version that we love is olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice!
We also love these recipes from fellow bloggers:
- Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing
- Cesar Brussels Sprouts Salad (dressing uses lemon juice and zest!)
- Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
- Lemon Mustard Dressing
- Creamy Yogurt Honey Lemon Dressing
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own juice if you have the right tools. The initial purchase is sizable (Stella owns this one, currently on sale for $119!) but if you are big into juice, the savings are immediate! If you are primarily a citrus juicer, you can get a cheaper option like this one (currently on sale for $49.87) that does citrus only vs. veggies and citrus.
The best part about adding lemons to your juice is that you can throw them in whole! That’s right, no pealing or cutting, just throw it in!
A few of our favorite combinations:
- Cucumber, Apple, Lemon
- Carrot, Apple, Lemon
- Apple, Orange, Lemon
Flavor Your Water
We’re all about the hydration game, but sometimes regular plain water can get a bit monotonous… Here’s where lemon (and a slew of other fruits and veggies!) can shake things up.
We love having a tupperware of slices in the fridge for easy access to add to water (cold or hot!) in the house, at the office, or on the go!
As a Centerpiece
Flowers in glass vases are such a standard in our world, but we love adding things to spice up bouquets. Lemons as vase filler are great for extra tall or wide glass arrangements!
Beyond floral centerpieces, lemons are also great bowl-fillers for table centerpieces and add a nice pop of color as fruit bowl additions.
Anyone else totally lemon-obsessed? Let us know how you use them in the comments!