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Healthy Springtime Recipes with Lemons

When springtime finally rolls around after a long winter, our tastes tend to change and we crave citrus flavors, floral scents, and light textures. This is a perfect time to change your cooking routine and start experimenting with some new recipes in the kitchen.

Lemons are often used in cooking and baking, and they are a perfect ingredient for spring recipes. Because of their citric acid content and low pH, lemons have been used throughout history for their antiseptic properties, as a digestive aid, and to soothe common ailments like clogged sinuses.

Here are some recipes with lemon to awaken your senses, reap the health benefits, and embrace the season.

Photo credit: Troy Tolley via Flickr

1. Collard Greens Pasta with Lemon

Collard greens are a great source of fiber, protein, iron, and calcium, so they’re a welcome addition to any pasta dish. This one’s lemony flavor makes it perfect for a springtime dinner party.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz. fresh collard greens
  • ⅓ of a package of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp. pine nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 small cloves garlic, pressed
  • Big pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese
  • ½ of a lemon, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions. Drain quickly, reserving a bit of cooking water, and set aside.
  2. Cut out the center rib of each collard green. Stack a few greens at a time and roll them up into a cigar-like shape. Slice across the roll as thinly as possible (1/8″ to ¼″). Shake up the greens and give them a few chops so the strands aren’t so long.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed 12″ skillet over medium heat and toast the pine nuts until they start to turn golden and fragrant. Pour them out of the skillet and save for later.
  4. Return the skillet to medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle in a big pinch of red pepper flakes and the garlic and stir. Once the oil is hot enough to shimmer, toss in all of your collard greens. Sprinkle the greens with salt. Stirring often (try not to let them clump), sauté the greens for about three minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from heat. Scoop the greens into the pasta pot and toss with another drizzle of olive oil, adding pasta water if necessary. Divide onto plates, top with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings and serve with two big lemon wedges per person.

2. Sandwiches with Edamame, Avocado & Lemon

Power up your lunch with this delicious vegan sandwich that combines an amazing mix of fresh flavors.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups edamame
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped scallions
  • ½ small garlic clove or a pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 3 tbsp. water
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, more to taste
  • Bread of your choice
  • Cucumber slides
  • 1 small avocado, sliced
  • Pickled onions, if desired
  • 2 cups arugula

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix the sandwich filling by placing the edamame, cilantro, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, and sea salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped.
  • Add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
  • Add up to 3 tablespoons of water to create a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  • Spread the filling on bread and top with cucumber, avocado, pickled onions, and arugula.

3. Healthy Lemon Dessert Tart

Forget the sugar-packed and fattening lemon cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. This lemon tart recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth with far fewer regrets.

INGREDIENTS:

  • For the crust:
    • 2 cups blanched almond flour
    • ½ tsp. sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, more for greasing
    • 1 large egg
  • For the filling:
    • 3 eggs
    • ¼ cup raw honey
    • ¼ cup coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup zest and juice of 2 lemons

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides with oil or butter.
  2. In a small food processor, pulse the almond flour and the salt until combined. Add the oil and egg and pulse a few more times until a dough forms.
  3. Transfer the dough to the center of the tart pan. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or greased palms, press the dough out into an even crust, coming just ¼ to ½ an inch up the sides. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm and beginning to brown. Remove and let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the curd: in a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs and honey until smooth. Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the oil is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue cooking, whisking gently, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and continue whisking to avoid any clumps.
  5. Transfer the curd to the cooked tart crust and smooth in an even layer with your spatula. Allow to cool so the filling sets and serve at room temperature. Top with fresh berries.

Photo credit: Kurman Communications via Flickr

To get more of the health benefits of lemons in your diet, we produce lemon powder and lemon capsules that are made with lemons that have been grown and processed without any chemicals. These products are the only practical ways to consume the entire lemon and maximize their potential. The manufacturing process of freeze-dried lemon concentrate requires specialized machinery to capture all the juice and then recombine it with the ground up seeds, pulp, and skin. Then we freeze-dry it in a vacuum chamber and pulverize it into a fine powder. Product Image

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