8 Reasons To Keep Citrus Fruits on Hand
South American countries are really onto something with their abundant use of lemons, limes, and hybrids of the two. From sanitizing your cutting board to sprucing up your Bud Light, here are some great reasons to turn to natural citrus fruits for daily life.
1. Salad Dressing (Any)
The fastest, healthiest, and easiest way to spruce up any salad is to stopper the creamy dressing and squeeze a little lemon or lime on top instead. These citrus fruits go great with peppery greens like arugula, and fresh cheeses such as goat or feta. If you’re taking salad on the go, you can also throw a wedge of lime into the Tupperware, rather than eating soggy greens for lunch 4 hours later.
2. Cleaning (Grapefruit and Lemon)
Grapefruit seed extract is often touted as a natural antimicrobial product, which it is. Want a fun fact? Most other parts of the grapefruit and of lemons have these qualities as well, just not as highly concentrated. If you want to sanitize your cutting board, scrub it with half a lemon or a quarter of a grapefruit. You can add a little salt for course texture to help. This works great for drains, sinks, and counters as well.
3. Quick Air Freshener (Orange)
Even though we all use lemon-scented Pledge and Palmolive, an orange is another excellent odor eliminator, and when fresh, it is a little more effective. If you throw a party and your house smells like warm beer, start your morning with fresh squeezed oranges, but make sure you do the squeezing yourself. It will cover up and eliminate stale smells of tobacco as well. Additionally, it works for laundry baskets and gym bags. Toss a few orange rinds in your bag or basket, keeping the top open and unzipped, and it’ll be fresh again in no time. (But remember to pull them out after a few hours or you might have another odor to contend with.)
4. Tenderizing Marinade (Any)
Did you ever notice that most marinades contain some sort of acidic element? Citrus acid is actually very effective in breaking up meat fibers and creating a tender steak. Simply squeeze some lime on your steak 4-12 hours before you plan to cook it and it will be juicy, tender, and flavorful.
5. Spruce Up A Cocktail (Any)
So your Captain and Coke isn’t quite cold enough? Or perhaps that Vodka Soda tastes just a little too harsh. The answer, my friends, is lime. You quickly have an enhanced rum drink, and a Vodka Sprite without the sugar. It’s the easiest way to spruce up just about any cocktail under the sun. In general, Gin and Rum are great with lime and grapefruit, Bourbons and Whiskeys work well with orange, and Vodka can be enhanced with any flavor of your choice.
6. Fancy Condiments (Lemon and Lime)
Lemon aioli anyone? Upgrade your dips, spreads, dressings, and marinades by adding a squeeze of lemon to your mayonnaise, olive oil, or even ketchup. You can also spruce up some salsa, guacamole, or tortilla chips with a healthy dose of lime. Make lemon honey for your tea, orange or grapefruit olive oil for your salad, or even lemon butter for a decadent grilled cheese. Believe me, these are all delicious.
7. Salt Replacement (Lemon and Lime)
Most people don’t realize this, but citrus fruits, primarily lemons and limes, work as flavor enhancers, much like salt. If you are out of salt, or looking to lower your sodium intake, squeeze a little citrus instead. This may not work in your baked goods, but it will successfully flavor marinades, vegetables, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, meat, chicken, and fish. It’s healthier too!
8. Miles From Ordinary Beer (Lemon, Lime, Orange)
And the best reason to keep citrus in your house? To make that Corona taste like a ‘miles from ordinary’ beer. In fact, you can even spruce up your Bud Light, Tecate, or other light beer with a little lemon or lime flavor. It also helps with those Rocky Mountain beers that left the mountain long ago and have been baking in the sun ever since.