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A botanical delight: Lemon

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It's truly one of nature's wonder fruits; besides culinary, there are many medicinal uses:

It's a good source of Vitamin C.
It's an antioxidant that reduces cold symptoms and is an immune builder.
Lemon is a natural diuretic and helps to flush toxins from the liver.
Lemons are also supernutritious, providing a wealth of vitamin C, citrus acid, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, fiber and potassium, among other things.

Did you know that the lemon peel also has positive properties?
It can be used as and for aromatic and essential oils, which in turn provides vitamin P that helps in normalizing cells and strengthening them against free radicals (the zest is used in flavoring and limoncello is used as an Italian liqueur).
Lemon juice can be used as a diuretic, a toner and purifier for the liver.

Additional Info

The exact origin of the lemon is unknown but some believe it may have originated in India or China. Lemons were introduced to the New World in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds.
The lemon is in the genus of citrus and the species of limon.
Citrus plants are known as agrumes, or sour fruit.
There are some 400 cultivated varieties of lemons, but not all are in the mainstream.

The culinary uses of lemon include tenderizing, seasoning food and stopping the browning of fruit.

During Victorian and Edwardian times, lemons stood for love, friendship, zest and longevity.

Here's a recipe for:

Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Shortbread

Ingredients

3 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp fine-grain sea salt

1 Tb chopped, fresh rosemary

2 lemons, zested

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, rosemary and lemon zest.

2. Pour in the olive oil and stir until all the dry mixture is incorporated. Transfer the dough to a 9-by-9-inch baking pan (grease your pan unless it's porcelain).

3. Use the fingers to squish the dough into an even layer. Prick the surface of the dough with a fork. Bake until the surface feels firm to the touch and is lightly golden around the edges, about 45-55 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool for 20 minutes. Then, using a very sharp knife, slice shortbread into 8 even columns and 4 even rows. Use a small spatula to remove from pan.

Source: "Lemon Love" by Linda M. Linonis, The Vindicator, January 20, 2014

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