It has finally gotten hot (95 deg. F) after an unusually tame summer and I found my head resting in the open fridge door after a run. The environmental impact was not lost on me. Still feeling the guilt. But In the fridge with me was a lovely bowl of lemons. Inspiration! Need to make something with lemons.
First let me say, in case you needed more than the word lemon to motivate you, that lemons are VERY healthy. Oddly enough, the healthiest part is the peel which has more nutrients per gram than the juice. The peel contains limonene and salvestrol Q40 which research has shown to help fight cancers of the skin, colon and breast. Although we think of lemons as acidic, they actually act as an alkalizing agent once eaten. The bioflavonoids in the peel reduce oxidative stress and lower LDL cholesterol. The pith (the white soft portion of the rind right under the peel) contains hesperidin (a flavanoid) that reduces bone loss and lowers lipids. The pectin in the lemon rind provides a feeling of fullness and assists with weight loss. There are a few folks that should check with their doctor before using the peel and that would be anyone with kidney or gallbladder stones, as eating the peels can increase the oxalates in your body.
When using the lemon rind, it is important to buy organic and wash them well. I like a vinegar and cold water soak followed by a good rinse or a soak in ozonated water. You can always use a sharp knife, grater or peeler to remove the rind but my favorite way is the microplane. Mine is a Microplane brand zester and it makes quick and easy work of adding zest to any dish.
Having just come from a run, I didn’t want a fussy recipe so here is a drop dead easy lemon sorbet that is better than anything you can buy in a store. I am using a high speed blender for this with a tamper (a Vitamix). Love my Vitamix. Using a regular blender or food processor will not give you the smooth consistency of the Vitamix but it will still taste good.
Makes 3-4 servings
2 cups ice chips
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar depending on how sweet you like things and the size of your lemons
a cup of water for adjusting consistency as needed
Remove the outer yellow rind from ½ of the outer surface of each lemon as shown.
Leave the white pith in place as much as possible. Save the rind for use in other recipes. Cut the lemon into 4 to 8 pieces and remove the seeds. Add the lemons, ice and agave to the blender. Start blending and tamping the ingredients into the blades at a low speed but increase to full speed as you continue the tamping process until the consistency is smooth and thick. This took about 2 mins. in my machine. If the result is too powdery like this,
add additional water by the tablespoon, blending and tamping for 20-30 seconds until it is fully incorporated before adding any more.
This recipe can also be done sugar free by substituting stevia powder (1 ½ tsp.) for the agave. I personally like the agave better but it’s good to have options.
Scoop the sorbet out of the blender and serve immediately. Extra sorbet can be frozen but it becomes quite solid in the freezer. I pop the frozen sorbet block back into the blender and re-blend before serving.