Thank goodness citrus ripens in the winter, because after months of the chilly blues, we need that tangy pick-me-up. Today we celebrate the exotic Meyer lemon, revving up our chilled taste buds with a more fragrant, less acidic flavor than the more common Eureka and Lisbon lemons, and packing a brilliant vitamin C punch.
And just how much vitamin C does that punch contain? Lemons have the highest vitamin C content of any citrus fruit, and the Meyer lemon will provide 187% of the recommended daily value in one cup of freshly squeezed juice. Granted, you probably won’t knock back a glass of straight lemon juice, but there are plenty ways to get your lemon on without harshly puckering up.
The most obvious use for lemons is to make lemonade. Skip the sugar and sweeten with healthier agave syrup instead. Besides being used to flavor pastries, sorbets and deserts, a squeeze of lemon juice will keep your fruit salad or guacamole from developing a brownish tint from oxidization. Add a bit of lemon juice to the water when boiling veggies like turnips, cauliflower and potatoes, to keep them brightly white.
Meyers are native to China and are actually a cross between a lemon and an orange, which is what makes them thin-skinned and a bit sweeter. Frank Meyer introduced them to the United States in 1908, giving them their name. In aromatherapy, lemon scent is used to lift the mood – and you have to admit, it does!
I’d like to think that lemons – especially the fragrant Meyer – are like drops of sunshine in the middle of dreary winter. Check back next Friday for an original recipe using the Meyer lemon by Vanessa Barrington, EcoSalon’s resident chef writer.