Susan Jane Murray: Lemon aid
Grated or squeezed, says Susan Jane Murray, lemons are an edible pharmacy and make delicious frozen yogurt
Ever hate your alarm clock? If you have trouble kick-starting your mood in the morning, try squeezing a nice big juicy lemon into warm water, tickle with honey, sip, and let your veins do the cha-cha.
Beyonce attributes her energy and bouncing booty to a similar concoction designed by Hollywood's favourite physician, Dr Elson Haas. His trademark brew of lemon, warm water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper is said to help with everything from depression to acne, weight loss and flatulence. You see? Healthy living doesn't have to be a macabre affair. It can cost as little as 40 cent, and 10 seconds every day.
Lemon zest is exceptionally tasty sprinkled over yogurt, seafood, tinned chickpeas and any kind of curry. It contains snazzy compounds with immune-boosting properties. Lemon juice is also spilling with good guys: its vitamin C and antioxidant content work in tandem to strengthen your body for battle and help repair damaged cells. And finally, the presence of kaempferol gives the lemon anti-cancerous kudos. Your little yellow friend is an edible pharmacy.
Lemon Frozen Yoghurt
I first tasted this lemon frozen yoghurt -- as featured in Snog Healthy Treats Cookbook by Mariana Velasquez and Cristina Archila -- in London at one of those snazzy organic joints where everyone is high on health. The man who served me looked like a muscular Jude Law and the experience of eating was close to psychedelic. When you find deliciously sinful food and discover it's actually good for you, that feels amazing. Seconds are obligatory.
You will need:
3 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup organic wildflower honey
1 tablespoon fresh lavender sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender (optional)
An ice-cream maker (optional)
Put the Greek yogurt, the finely grated lemon zest and the freshly squeezed lemon juice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Heat the wildflower honey and the lavender, if you are using it, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, until you can smell the lavender's scent. Strain through a fine sieve and allow to cool completely. Discard the lavender.
Add the lavender-infused honey to the yogurt and lemon mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to the bowl of an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until creamy and smooth. If, like me, you do not own an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezerproof container. Put on the lid and place in the freezer. Check after 45 minutes. As the mixture starts to freeze around the edges, beat it vigorously with a whisk or a hand-held mixer to break up the ice crystals. Repeat periodically until the mixture is frozen -- about 2-3 hours. Serve in small scoops as a treat on a hot day. Decadently healthy.