Two great tastes that taste great together! That’s what lemon and honey are. But they don’t just taste great together, they also heal and protect your body together.
In Arizona we have a lot of citrus trees, and my number one fruit tree of choice, if I had to choose only one, would be a lemon tree. These trees provide an abundance of fruit almost year round, and what a powerhouse for health they are! Pop a beehive under it and you also get some incredible lemon blossom honey.
Health Benefits of Lemon Peel
Every part of a lemon is good for you and useful. Obviously the juice is full of Vitamin C, and because it tastes incredible in so many dishes it is easy to find ways to consume it. But did you know that there are 10 times more vitamins in the lemon peel than in the juice, according to this article? Most of us also know how beautifully flavorful lemon zest is with its non tart, but intensely lemon essence. The reason for that is that top layer of peel is where most of the lemon oil is contained. Lemon oil contains d-limonene, which inhibits breast, lung, and colon cancers (see HERE) as well as discouraging intestinal parasites. However, it is in the white pith that the majority of bioflavonoids and polyphenols are hidden, and that is the one part of the lemon that is rarely eaten. These amazing substances help Vitamin C to work better and on their own they help increase bone density and help remove heavy metals from our bodies. (see articles HERE and HERE.)
Wait! Green Lemons?
No, you don’t have to use green lemons, but you can. It just so happened that a tree branch broke from the weight of all the lemons and I didn’t want to waste them. Lemons can be ripe even when they are green. As they become more yellow they will get juicer and a bit sweeter sometimes. They still contain those bioflavonoids and other powerhouse nutrients you are looking for. Thankfully we have access to fresh citrus for months and months, and therefore can feel free to pick at our leisure or when nature drops them on the ground unexpectedly.
Eating Our Medicine
Food is not just something to entertain us or keep us from the discomfort of hunger. Its actually what we are made of. I know that sounds simplistic, but I think we forget that. As I write about the health benefits of certain foods, I’m more and more convinced that we aren’t looking for a cure-all food or magical plant-based medicine. When research finds that bioflavonoids and polyphenols are useful for healing or preventing certain ailments and that certain parts of foods contain them, it doesn’t meant that we have discovered medicine. It really just makes us aware that the things we suffer from are probably from the lack of eating natural whole food. We lack health because we don’t eat right. We don’t know how to eat right, I would even say. We don’t need to pick a single fruit or vegetable, dry it, powder it and then consume it in doses like it’s a prescription. We just need to eat it.
Lemon Peel in Honey is Delicious
Now that I have hopefully convinced you that you should eat those lemon peels and pith, I’m going to show you how you can easily add them to your life. We all use lemons in some way or other, so making this recipe is going to be easy, just make sure you have some local raw honey on hand (you should anyway).
All you are going to do once you juice your lemons —concentrate it if you have to much— is to remove the tough membranes from the peel, chop it up, and put it in a jar with honey. Here is the recipe.
Lemon Peel with Honey
- Raw Honey: enough to cover lemon peel in jar
- Lemon Peel and Pith: Juiced, membranes removed
- 1. Juice lemons
- 2. Slice lemon halves in half again
- 3. Using a spoon, start to peel the membrane from the pith, beginning at the point and then using your fingers, pull it completely off
- 4. Slice Lemon Peel into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
- 5. Pack a jar with the lemon peel slices
- 6. Pour honey over peels to cover
- 7. Place lid on jar and let sit for a couple weeks to allow the honey to be absorbed by the peel
- 8. Eat peels alone or use in tea or on appetizers
You can eat lemon peel alone as a snack or as sweet lemony flavoring in teas, soda water, and other drinks. It’s also delicious on crostini with brie or sharp cheddar. The peels will grow darker as they age, but are still just as delicious and potent nutritionally. They will keep for months in a cupboard, but don’t waste all that goodness. EAT IT!