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10 lemon hacks you need to know

When life gives you lemons, make sure they don’t go to waste! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite tips that will help you get the most out of this handy citrus fruit.

1. To get more juice out of a lemon, roll it on a hard, flat surface while applying pressure with the palm of your hand. This bursts the membranes surrounding the juice-filled cells, making the lemon easier to squeeze. Alternatively, you can heat a lemon up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, depending on its size, for easier squeezing.

2. Lemons are not only tasty but they make for a wonderful natural kitchen cleaner! The acidity in lemons is a great grease and stain remover. The next time your microwave is in need of a clean, simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with water, a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a few lemon peels. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. Leave the bowl inside the closed microwave for another 5-10 minutes. Open the door, remove the bowl and give the inside of the appliance a good wipe down. It will leave your microwave sparkling clean and smelling lemony-fresh!

3. Keep a whole lemon or a few dried lemon peels in your brown sugar cannister to prevent clumps from forming.

4. If you’re worried about handling raw meat on your wooden and plastic chopping boards, this multi-talented citrus might just offer the solution you’ve been looking for. Lemon juice has antibacterial qualities that will help kill harmful germs. Simply drizzle your prep equipment with lemon juice, leave to rest for an hour, and then rinse.

5. Battling to get that pot or pan clean? Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda and use it to scour away that stubborn grease.

6. If you’ve had the recent task of chopping onions or garlic cloves, a little lemon juice can help you rid your hands of any unpleasant smells. Rinse your hands with a squeeze of lemon juice to leave your fingers magically odour-free.

7. Once sliced, lemons can be frozen! Buy in bulk when you see a special and slice. Keep them in a freezer-friendly container to be used in your water bottle or to add flavour to your cocktails.

8. We know you’ve heard of sprinkling chopped fruit and veggies with lemon juice to keep them fresh, but we’ll do you one better. The next time you juice a lemon, keep the shell and freeze it. If you have any half eaten apples or potatoes, storing them in the little lemon bowls in the fridge will help keep them fresher for much longer.

9. Do you have a hankering for pancakes or waffles with no buttermilk on hand? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice per cup of low-fat milk to make your very own substitute!

10. Fill a flat dish with water, lemon juice and then slices of the leftover peel and pulp. Add a bit of salt and pop in any meat you’d like to tenderise. Place in the fridge overnight for the best results. And don’t worry if your meat looks a bit sad; the lemon juice is a natural bleach, but that appetising colour will return when you cook your meat with no compromise on flavour.

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