Tag Archives: lemon

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

17 Aug

Poppy seeds, which come from the opium poppy plant, are widely used in European, Indian and Jewish cuisines (source). A very good source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin, these tiny seeds help provide healthy bones, heart and nervous system (source).

Fun fact: though opium is harvested from seed pods and not the seeds themselves, poppy seeds do contain small amounts of opium alkaloids, therefore can sometimes cause a false positive reading for opiates in drug tests (source).

Lemon and poppy seed are two foods commonly combined. Not only do they compliment each other flavor-wise, the vitamin C in lemons assists poppy seeds with iron absorption (source).

As you may have noticed, I’ve been dabbling in gluten-free baking and seem to have found my ideal ratio of gluten-free flours and starches. The addition of xanthan gum provides a slightly chewy feel, which mimics that of gluten. Check out this recipe for moist, Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

zest and juice from 1/2 organic lemon (approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons juice)
1 cup regular unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.

Place lemon juice in a 1-cup measuring glass and add coconut milk until level reaches the 1 cup mark. Stir and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients (including lemon zest) in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until combined. Add oil, lemon extract and coconut milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for approximately 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture.

Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

GlutenFreeLemonPoppyseedMuffins-CloseUp

Getting More Juice Out of Citrus: Did You Know?

13 Jul

When juicing grapefruit, lemons, limes or oranges by hand, it can be a little tricky squeezing out all the juice, as a little elbow grease can only get you so far. So what can you do to get extra juice out of your citrus fruits? Microwave them for 15-20 seconds, or just until warm. Microwaving heats the cellulose and pectin contained in a fruit’s cavities, which weakens their hold on the actual juice. Furthermore, the natural sugars contained in fruit juice have a lowered viscosity when heated, allowing it to flow more freely.

Based on personal experience, I have been able to get up to an additional tablespoon juice out of a whole lemon after microwaving. Results, however, vary depending on the size and type of fruit you are juicing.

Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars

22 Mar

The lemon, said to be a hybrid between sour orange and citron, is an evergreen tree native to Asia. Forever prized for its sour flavor, a lemon tree’s fruit juice is approximately 5-6% citric acid, therefore making it a great source of Vitamin C (source).

When used in desserts, the flavor of lemons is brought to a whole new level. I found this delicious and easy recipe on Pinterest the other day and it inspired me to make my own version. Utilizing a mixture of cashews, macadamias and coconut oil to achieve its creamy consistency, my Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars have just the right amount of sweet and sour notes to please your palate.

Not only does this dessert contain Vitamin C, both the almonds and cashews contained within have high amounts of Magnesium. This mineral helps prevent asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart attacks, strokes, and even relieves constipation. What’s more, Magnesium alleviates the symptoms of fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome and migraines (source). One cheesecake square provides approximately 28% DV Magnesium*, so eat a couple, if you please, and enjoy them without the guilt!

* Sources: almonds, Deglet Noor dates, cashews, macadamias, lemon

Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Yields approximately 9 servings

Crust:
1-1/2 cups raw unsalted almonds
12 pitted Deglet Noor dates
1/2 rounded teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons water

Filling:
1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil*
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
zest and juice of 1-1/2 organic lemons (approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup juice)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup raw unsalted cashew pieces
1/2 cup raw unsalted macadamias**
1/8 rounded teaspoon salt

Begin with the crust by combining almonds, dates and salt in a food processor or high-speed blender. Process just a few seconds, or until almonds and dates are finely chopped. Be careful not to process too long or the result will be similar to almond butter.

Add water and process a few seconds longer until clumps start to form.

Scoop crust mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish, flattening evenly with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Next, place all filling ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree for 30-60 seconds, or until smooth. If using a regular blender, puree for 1-2 minutes, stopping occasionally to stir.

Scoop filling into dish and spread evenly over crust. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or until set. Slice into squares and serve.

* If you enjoy the aroma and flavor of coconut and want to make this recipe completely raw, you may substitute unrefined coconut oil instead of refined coconut oil.
** Raw macadamias can be a little tricky to find, not to mention expensive. Should you prefer, dry-roasted salted macadamias may be used instead. Simply follow recipe as directed but omit the salt in the filling.

Removing Stains from Cutting Boards: Did You Know?

30 Aug

Stained cutting boards can be an eyesore. How do you fix this problem?

Lemons! Lemons have long been toted as a natural cleanser, thanks to their high citric acid content and antibacterial properties. Not only do they cut through dirt, grease and stains, lemons also have natural bleaching properties.

To refresh your plastic cutting board, simply cut a lemon in half, setting one of the halves aside for another use. Using the remaining half, squeeze juice onto the cutting board and rub with the cut side of the lemon. Allow cutting board to sit for 1-2 hours (depending on the severity of the stains) and rinse thoroughly. The stain will have faded, if not disappeared completely, resulting in a disinfected and odor-free cutting board.

Cutting Board Before Lemon Cutting Board After Lemon

For an even more powerful cleaner: sprinkle salt on the cut side of the lemon for improved scrubbing power.

%d bloggers like this: