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Sour, fragrant, and juicy – lemons are a great source of vitamin C and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.  Lemons are available throughout the year, while Meyer lemons (a sweeter lemon, thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange) will be in peak season beginning in November.

The Basics: Choose lemons that are heavy for their size and have no bruises, soft spots, or other signs of rot or mold.  Lemons that you will use within 7 days can be kept on the kitchen counter, otherwise, you can store lemons in the refrigerator for up to a month. When ready to use, wash the skin and prepare accordingly. If you plan to use the lemon zest, be sure to choose an organic lemon when available.

The Facts: A half cup of raw, peeled lemon contains about 29 calories. In addition to vitamin C, lemons contain potassium, vitamin B6 and other plant compounds known to help lower blood sugar and support heart health.

Try This:  Lemon works well on poultry and fish as well as most vegetables and grains.  Consider marinating meat with a healthy mixture of lemon juice, brown mustard, and olive oil. Add lemon zest by finely grating the peel of the lemon and adding it to pastas, rice, and vegetables. Add slices of lemon to water or green tea for a refreshing drink.

Another great combination for many dishes is cooking garlic and lemon together. Check out the great benefits of garlic here!