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Today’s guest post is from Jo at Nourishing Time. I’ve never had preserved lemons before, so I’m excited to share with you her preserved lemons recipe – and why you should always have some in the house.
About a year and a half ago, I got a bag of lemons at Whole Foods for a pretty good price. It was around the time that I was getting really interested in fermenting, so I decided to try my hand at preserving them naturally. It didn’t appeal to me to quarter and crush them, so I decided to make slices instead. I figured it would be easier to use them this way, and I was right.
Once I made these, I found soooo many uses for fermented lemon slices that it really has become a staple in my household. We use the liquid from the ferment to flavor water as if we were using fresh-squeezed lemons. We use the slices, de-seeded, to add to freshly made guacamole, adding great flavor, probiotics and enzymes, and also preserving the beautiful yellow-green color of the avocado. The rind becomes more tender and is edible! They are great for marinating meat and fish, and adding to a variety of other dishes as well. The juice makes a great simple salad dressing when mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
And lemons…lemons are such a useful fruit to have on hand. While we tend to not eat them plain because they are generally so sour, they have many great benefits which should encourage us to incorporate them into our lives regularly. They have a really good vitamin C content naturally–almost half of our daily recommended value–and fermentation increases this benefit greatly.
Lemons (and limes) are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants that fight against free radicals and many types of cancer. They promote regular bowel movements. They possess anti-bacterial properties–fresh lime juice with meals is known to protect against diseases such as cholera. I consider fermented lemons “fresh” because they have not been cooked, and using the juice of this ferment is an amazing way to aid digestion by increasing stomach acidity. Stomach acidity is important for digesting food properly and it is also one of our body’s main defense against pathogens such as worms. Wouldn’t you rather squeeze a little lemon juice on your salads than battle a parasite infestation later?
Lemons, despite being acidic, actually help to alkalinize our bodies which in turn reduces inflammation and swelling. The high vitamin C content can help with colds, flus, recurring ear infections and overall reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as scurvy, rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. Synthetic vitamin C does not compare, so it is important to eat plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin C on a regular basis–my favorites include lemons, camu camu, and sauerkraut.
Preserved Lemons Recipe (Makes 1.5L)
8 Large Lemons (or more)
1/2-3/4 Cup Salt
1 tsp pimento seeds (optional)
1. Slice approximately 5 lemons and pack a 1.5L jar that already has in the pimento (allspice) seeds if you’re using them. They add a wonderful flavor to the lemons that slightly resemble cinnamon and cloves.
2. You may juice or blend up the remaining lemons and mix the salt with it. Pour over lemon slices. If you use more lemons, you will want to use more salt.
3. Add the juice of more lemons, or water, to shoulder if necessary. I added about 1/2 cup water. My lemons were very juicy.
4. Make sure lemons are fully submerged, and leave to ferment for 30 days. I like to check them daily for the first few days then continue checking every once in a while.
5. If, by chance, you get some mold, you can scrape it off and sprinkle a couple tbsp salt on top of the ferment to discourage it from growing back. This is more likely to happen in warmer climates, and one way to discourage it is to put the ferment in the fridge during the day and take it out at night.
Jo is an attached mom to her smarty-pants son and a full-time student majoring in Public Health. She is fascinated with holistic healing and loves to read, cook and watch Grey’s Anatomy in her spare time. She blogs at Nourishing Time about natural ways of improving health through food and positivity. You may like Nourishing Time on Facebook by clicking here or connect on Google+ by clicking here.
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