After many years of a love-hate relationship with lemons, I've grown to love using them when I'm cooking. Here are some unique ways to use lemons that you may not have thought of before.

1. Marinade

fresh meat on grill, grill, sausage, barbecue, pork, beef, steak, meat
Shelby Cohron

I like to add some acid to my marinade, I usually use some lemon zest and juice. From what I've learned in my classes, the acid from the lemon juice in the marinade will help the raw meat tenderize and become juicier since the acid softens the muscles and increases its water-holding capacity. However, if you were to add acid to partially cooked meat, it would only increase the tenderness, not the juiciness. 

2. Balanced Taste

cake, popcorn, goody, candy, sweet, cream, chocolate
Hannah Skiest

A lot of people ask me, how do you get your cheesecake to be so light and fluffy? My secret is that I like adding lemon juice and zest when I'm baking because it helps balance the richness and sweetness from the dessert, acid cuts the rich and heavy taste. I personally don't like desserts that are overwhelmingly sweet or rich. When I eat desserts that are extremely sweet or rich, it makes me feel sick due to the sugar explosion in my mouth or the heaviness in my stomach, and I can never finish the whole dessert. 

3. Preservation

Jake Popescu

When I'm making jam or pasta sauce or pickling some vegetables, it's necessary that the level of pH in the product is controlled. I tend to put lemon juice in my product to reduce the pH level since most microorganisms don't prefer to grow in acidic conditions. In one of my classes, it was mentioned that one of the growth conditions for microorganisms is the level of pH, the level of pH required is different for each microorganism.

4. Cold Remedy

Joelle Cheung

Lemon + Honey + Hot Water = Saviour. As a person who gets sick often, this classic cold remedy helps soothe the pain from my sore throat. The lemon helps thins out the mucus which makes it easier to cough it up. I like using the honey to help balance the sourness from the lemon. Did you know that honey has antibacterial properties and helps draws out the water from the inflamed tissue in your throat? 

5. Invisible Ink

lemon, milk, dairy product, sweet
Christina Warner

This was one of my childhood favourite activities! Even now, I like to play with invisible ink, it's an old trick that many people forget! Not only is invisible ink fun to play with, but it's also an easy science experiment that will wow everyone! Lemon oxidizes and turns brown when heated, so when you dilute the lemon juice, it makes it hard to see the "ink". 

Overall, many people don't like lemon because it's sour, however, when you think about all the benefits lemon can do for your daily life, it's not that bad! The next time you have some spare lemons lying around, try one of these tricks with them.