Never has the comment section overwhelmed me in a productive sort of way as much as the last post. All your ideas were brilliant and so very, very original.
However, three of the top comments were energizing enough to get me off my butt and immersed in lemon. I had to try them immediately. And they are worthy! So worthy of praise and a dedicated blog post.
But before I get to the three we’ll highlight here, let’s look at a few more fantastic ideas (and by no means are these the only good ideas, so if you missed out on the lemon ideas last time, revisit them!).
- Chandra said told us that her dog hates lemons (I wonder if that’s a typical thing?), so she rubs them on the edge of her trash can to keep the dog from poking around. Brilliant outside-the-box thinking!
- Kristina infuses her vinegar with lemon peels for extra boosted cleaning solution.
- Cadelle uses lemon to relieve heartburn (it works just like vinegar, only it’s tastier)!
- Mjerrie and a few other people suggested using lemon as a natural deodorant. Just make sure to wait a bit after shaving until you apply it. Owwie!
And, way back in Crunchy Betty’s infancy, we talked about 19 Handy Things to Do With a Little Leftover Lemon (which I completely forgot existed until today). Imagine that.
Now for the good stuff. Three brilliant ways to use lemon, brought to you by … you!
Lemon-Milk Alpha Hydroxy Mask
This is the top-voted comment, and with good reason. It’s a simple, ultra inexpensive, and very effective facial mask that lets you harness the power of nature’s natural alpha hydroxy acids (instead of spending jillions on special creams).
Crafty Kate suggested using half-and-half, but I didn’t have any, and full-fat milk will work in a pinch. The extra fat in the half-and-half will make for a thicker mask, but you can get the same benefit by using plain milk (again, make sure it’s whole milk).
Here’s how it works: Both milk and lemon contain natural alpha hydroxy acids, but they also work in tandem – over a few hours – to really enhance the AHA content. The lemon juice curdles the milk, which causes the bacteria in the milk to go crazy producing lactic acid (the alpha hydroxy acid in question). After a while, you have a super charged AHA mask that costs pennies – literally.
This is how I made mine:
Lemon-Milk Alpha Hydroxy Mask
- 1-1/2 Tbsp full-fat milk
- 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small wedge of sliced lemon
- Small bowl
In your small bowl, combine the lemon juice and milk. Stir well, and dunk in the lemon wedge. Leave this on the counter (do NOT put this in the refrigerator, or you stop the bacterial process that you want). It will curdle and look funny; this is good. After 3-4 hours, spread it on your clean face and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well.
(Note: Be careful for a few hours if you’re going out in the sun after this mask, as it will cause photosensitivity.)
This made my face sooooooo soft, and it brightened it up immensely, even smoothing out some weird skin tone issues I have on my cheek. HIGHLY recommended, and it’s a superb way to use lemons … outside the box.
Thank you, Kate!
Lemon, Baking Soda, and Salt: Clean and Deodorize Your Cutting Board
I couldn’t wait to try this idea from Alison S., because my cutting board stinks like garlic. And it was pretty stained. And sad. And … shameful. And stinky.
I figured this was something not just any old lemon could handle, so on Alison’s advice, I added salt and baking soda to the brew. When I was done, it was like a brand new cutting board. Especially after I let it dry and then mushed on some homemade wood polish.
Here’s how I followed Alison’s directions:
- Sprinkle a bit of baking soda and salt onto your cutting board.
- Using a lemon that’s been mostly juiced, scrub around the cutting board and watch the cleansing froth do its work.
- Concentrate on stains or especially fragrant areas.
- Let this sit for 5 minutes.
- Rinse very well.
Easy as can be. And it’s not just clean and deodorized, it’s also disinfected. This is great if you have a wooden cutting board like mine that has a crack or two between the boards (a fun place for bacteria to live).
Thanks for the idea, Alison! You’ve made my cutting board very, very happy.
Add Lemon to Ice Cubes – Or Go Fancy With a Cucumber-Lemon-Mint Cube
I have to admit, I’ve taken great liberties with Now7zen’s idea (which was: “I use the zest of all used lemons plus as much juice as I can still get and put in ice cube trays with a bit of water and freeze for lovely tasty cubes in beverages”).
See, I used to go to this salon that served refreshing, ooh-la-la cucumber water in the waiting area. I always told myself that I’d be that fancy at home, but the one time I remembered to cut cucumbers and put them in a pitcher of water, I only managed to drink one glass of it. And then two days later, all I had were mushy cucumber blobs in the bottom of my water.
So this idea got my brain cranking. What if you juiced the cucumbers and lemon and added a few sprigs of mint, and then turned them into ice cubes? WHAT IF?
And then … then you put the ice cubes in water, and as they melt, they infuse the water with the cucumber-lemon-mint goodness.
This is exactly what I did. And it is everything I dreamed of, and more.
Here’s how you do it:
- Juice 2 or more cucumbers (depending on how many ice cubes you want). If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender or food processor to do the juicing, and then just strain out the pulp through a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth.
- Add the juice from 1 lemon and stir well.
- Pour into ice cube tray(s). If you don’t have enough juice to fill the entire ice cube trays, just fill them half full and then top them off with water. No biggie!
- Drop in a few pieces of torn, bruised fresh mint.
- Freeze, and then add to plain water for a healthy refreshment!
Keeping the Ball Rolling … Do You Have Any Other Ideas for Flavored Water?
With summer coming up, it’s a great time to make a healthier drink for the kids and family than stuff like Gatorade or Kool-Aid.
I know there are a million ideas out there about easy ways to flavor water with REALLY healthy ingredients, whether or not it involves juice-saturated ice cubes.
Do you have any ideas? (I’d LOVE to feature them in an upcoming post on Crunchy Betty in a few weeks.)
Let’s hear ’em. Refresh my brain.
P.S. One final THANK YOU to those of you who are featured here, and EVERYONE who left brilliant comments about what to do (outside-the-box) with lemon. You guys complete me.
Plz I want to know if I boil water with lemon ginger cucumber n mint leaves n keep it overnight will it cause any reactions or harm to my body
I stumbled across this site in a browse this evening and I am glad! I have read lots of wonderful suggestions here in the comments that I do plan to try out 🙂
I make a delicious summer beverage that is my pleasure to share with you all!
How to make the “Jazzy Half n’ Half” <3
(Its a fruity Arnold Palmer more or less… PERFECT for summer!)
Use your favorite tea, steeped with lemon, mint and sweetness (I prefer some honey and also some brown sugar)
Mix with lemonade
In a glass: put crushed ice in first, followed by frozen berries (or whatever fruit is your favorite, just make sure you chop and peel the bigger fruit of course… These fruit will serve as very flavorful ice cubes)
Pour your tea and lemonade over the ice and fruit… DELICIOUSNESS!! <3
You can spike this drink also for a party, etc.
I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE! Came across it through Pintest (<3) and I want to try everything! Lots of luv from Reykjavik.
I added sugar to the mix and let it dissolve. Did a wonderful job, thanks!
I have a couple of questions about the Lemon Milk Mask; is it supposed to be thick after 4 hours, or will it still be runny? Also, is it supposed to feel itchy when it’s on your face? I have it on right now, but I don’t feel like I did it right.
Hi, with the milk thing. Can I use powdered milk (dilluted with some water) instead of the actual milk? Unfortunately, we dont drink milk at home and im sure even a small can of milk will go off if I store it in the fridge for a week.
Thank you in advance for your reply.
Hello, I just found this site a week ago and have been doing the honey cleansing twice a day as I have put the clinique cleanser away in a dark cupboard. I noticed that my skin has become more balanced, in that I have no dry spots in my checks anymore However, I was training for a run and putting in 20km per week from February til April and noticed in late April that my skin was getting quite bumpy looking, especially on my forehead, probably cuz I was wiping it like crazy and didn’t know u were supposed to pat and wash immediately,. So only til may did I start changing my skin routine when I noticed no change for the better. Anyways, I’ve abandoned my chemical products and do honey cleanse with jojoba oil afterwards. I did squeeze a bit of lemon juice on my forehead for past couple nights and did your yogurt facial you mentioned today, but I’m wondering if there’s a limit as to how much of this acidic stuff I should be putting as my forehead is still filled with angry little red and flesh colored bumps. I’m new at this whole food on your face thing andafter reading your posts, I would appreciate any feedback!
Warning:: this recipe WILL make you very uncomfortable. I use the freeman’s clay mask but I’m sure any clay mask would work. I apply to a clean face then let it dry. After it dries i cut a lemon then use the juice to rehydrate the whole mask. I let it dry again then use the lemon as a scrub to remove the clay…but i soften the edges so that they dont ‘cut’ me. This remedy not only does some serious pore purging but it was my cheap alternative to a chemical peel. I do this for two days then do some serious TLC as my skin will start peeling and be really dry as well as red and sensitivr. It’s imperative that you not scratch your face at any time during or after the facial…trust me..it hurts. The skin is essentially raw and the nails cut the skin.
how often can you do the milk and lemon face mask
the mask is spectacular. I made it with half and half, and I put the leftovers in a jar in the fridge. I’m hoping that after a day on the counter the fridge won’t ruin the fabulous bacteria. I also let it sit on for an hour, as it was drying it felt like a really great tightening mask as well, so I just let it stay there for a little while.
Just tried the lemon mask using heavy whipping cream. I am now making a second batch for my mom to try tonight….definitely will be doing this mask more often! Thanks for the recipe!
The dog thing: totally works. When my little Ava was a teething puppy she chewed on all of our wooden chairs & so we rubbed lemon on all the furniture at her height. She tried to bite it but as soon as she tasted the lemon she stopped & pulled the doggy version of “sour face”. She soon stopped trying at all.
How often should you apply the Hydroxy Mask?
All of these things sound amazing, I especially want to try the lemon milk mask!
How often can you use the mask?
Last time I was in England I got addicted to sparkling elderflower, which is to say, elderflower cordial + sparkling water. It’s very refreshing with a taste somewhat reminiscent of muscat grapes. You can make the cordial by simmering fresh elderflowers with sugar and water, and I never thought about it, but of course you could then freeze the cordial to have it year round. Hooray! If you live in an area where elderflowers are not available, like I do (sad face), you could make cordials with other kinds of edible flowers: violets, lavender, roses, orange blossoms, dandelions… Cordial added to shaved ice is the original form of sherbet.
I was thinking of pureeing strawberries and freezing them to add to homemade lemonade.
Speaking of lemons, boiling the zest from the lemons and adding the resulting infused water to the lemon juice really enhances the lemonyness of lemonade while also mellowing the sourness of the lemon juice. It also makes the yellow color more intense.
To a quart of water add some sliced cucumber, sliced lemon and then put 1T grated ginger, 1T mint leaves in a tea strainer, let brew in the fridge for a few hours. Sever over ice with a fresh sprig of mint. Refreshing and delicious.
Does tea count as flavored water? We always just throw some sugar and a couple of tea bags into a clear jug and let it sit in the sun for a few hours to self-brew. Viola! Iced tea! I imagine you could add some of your lemon cubes (or any flavor cubes [raspberry!!!]) to make flavored iced tea!
Lavender lemonade means summer for me. I buy bulk lemons and juice them all at once and make lemon juice ice cubes, then I add two cubes to a pitcher of cold water, add 1/2 to 1 cup organic cane sugar (it seriously tastes way better), and 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil (you have to be super careful not to add too much!!). We chug this stuff down all summer long because it tastes like heaven. It’s an easy way to make something simple into something fancy.
Thanks for the idea! WILL be trying this one for sure!
Our favorite summer drink is infused water, using fresh herbs from the garden (or pantry) and seasonal fruits/veggies. Simply place the chopped up goodies in a pitcher of water, cover tightly and let it sit in the fridge for a 3-4 hours (or more if you want a more intense flavor). You can strain it out before adding ice cubes and drinking, but we like the little floaty bits! You can also add a little honey or agave to strong water infusions and freeze them as popsicles. 🙂
Some favorite combinations: rosemary/mint, mint/cucumber, raspberry/mint, watermelon/mint, lemon balm/lemon, lemon balm/peach, lemongrass/cardamom pod – and the list goes on!
Just remember not to go overboard with water flavourings… I once went to a trendy cafe where jugs of water came with melon balls, cucumber and mint. Looked great, tasted of pond water.
Maybe it wasn’t very fresh.
Summer brings lemonade with fresh spearmint leaves and strawberries floating in it. So refreshing.
Sorry I meant add to water not Watertown !
What about coconut water? You can get little powder packs of coconut water stuff you add to Watertown make coconut water. There is no sugar or salt or colourents or anything bad!
Wow. Where do you find them? I love coconut water and hate the price.
Recently my husband was that special kind of sick that makes a person worry about dehydration. And he was refusing food – which is the first time I’ve ever seen him refuse food!!! Anyway, having grown up with a mom who lived off Gatorade in the summer, I knew he needed something like that. So I took some dried mint and chamomile and made a tea, then added honey and salt. It was the first thing he’d been able to keep down (after revisiting some Gatorade earlier in the day). He didn’t like me calling it tea so I called it homemade Gatorade. It worked wonders for him!
OMG! Love the ice cube idea. What a great one for the kids (and anyone who doesn’t like the taste of plain water). My family has been on a major kick, and it stuck… Jane from Blend It and Mend It has videos that show some awesome ways to get your water intake it as well as greens and they are fabulous! We are addicted, and it is a good one. The possibilities are endless!
Summer drink idea: You know the seeds and stuff that you scoop out of a cantaloup before slicing and eating? Take that gunk and throw it in a blender with some ice and a little sugar. Blend until frothy, strain and drink. Sounds gross, I know, but the result is really yummy! We never throw that slimy stuff away anymore . . .
Nice one, I like the idea of using everything without waste 🙂
This is my yummy recipe for flavoring water naturally! http://skyeslife.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/flavored-water/
Sucking on a half slice of lemon cures hiccups, without fail.
This post makes me want to grow a lemon tree in my yard. Oh well for climate issues! 🙂
You could try a dwarf variety inside. That’s my plan one of these days : )
My girls will drink anything out of my huge cup (you know, b/c it’s mine). Recently, if they haven’t eaten all of the strawberries up and I’ll halve 3-4 of them and put them in my water. My 4yr old especially loves this and my 20 month old just loves stealing my drink 🙂
I don’t like watered down iced tea, so I make ice cubes out of tea to add to my cold tea. Make sense?!
I also do lemon/cucumber water, I hadn’t thought of doing it in ice cubes though, I love it!
I also LOVE lemon basil water, it is so refreshing in the summer. I will have to do ice cubes of that too.
Excellent! I knew you could add lemon to milk to make a quick substitute for buttermilk in baking, but I didn’t know you could put the same thing on your face. Am doing that tomorrow.
I don’t know if this counts as flavored water… but last summer I made gallons and gallons of nettle iced tea. There are nettles growing wild at my in-laws’ place, so I’d pick a bunch, boil them (I think it has to be 15 minutes to get rid of the stingers), strain, add a little honey, and put the resulting tea in the fridge. It’s a pretty green color too.
That may or may not be a very accessible idea depending on if you can find some wild nettles, so I look forward to hearing everyone else’s probably easier ideas!
My favorite idea (and the easiest) is to add a little fruit juice to a tall, icy glass of sparkling water. Super refreshing on a hot day. You did say Summer was coming, right? There will be hot days again? I’m starting to doubt. 🙂
I boil water then soak lemon and ginger in it overnight. Strain, bottle and add 1 tb of chia seeds, and sometimes honey if I want it sweet. Very yummy!
Thanks for including my suggestion!
I use food grade essential oils – lemon and grapefruit mostly.
I like to make a mojito ice cube. Dissolve some raw sugar in lime juice (however much sugar you like for your desired level of sweetness) add some water, then freeze in ice cube trays with fresh mint. You can also add a little piece of lime to it if you want. When I feel like getting spicey, I’ll put some in a glass and pour some rum over them to get them melty. Mojito flavor without all the work! Yummy!
can yogurt be used in place of milk for the AHA masque?
Possibly not – yoghurt doesn’t have lactose, which at a guess is probably what you need to get to lactic acid stage.
Umm, the thing is though that yoghurt is chock full of an important AHA, namely lactic acid, plus active culture, so it is a really great skin ingredient. A lot of people use yoghurt alone as a masque for that reason.
Also, curdling isn’t the same thing as fermentation. All that is happening when you add the lemon juice (acid) is that the proteins in the milk are reacting to the presence of an acid. To ferment the milk well, you’d have to introduce a culture – you can buy powdered cultures or you can use yoghurt to do this.
It is the fermentation that produces the lactic acid from the milk. Without actual fermentation you may have a treatment that is hydrating and feels nice on the skin but not the lactic acid AHA (the lemon juice should provide some fruit AHAs).
If what you want is lactic acid as a skin treatment, you should use plain, active culture yoghurt itself which has a decent level of this (it’s something the bacteria in the culture product) and the PH for most yoghurt (around 4 or 4.5) is also right for exfoliation.
The plain milk in this recipe won’t do the trick – and again adding the lemon juice curdles the milk, but won’t ferment it (so, lactose but almost no lactic acid present there).
Will bottled lemon juice work the same as fresh lemon juice? I know fresh is best, but I only have bottled right now.
I like to make lemonade ice cubes with a cherry in the center so when the cube melts you can eat the cherries. It is so yummy!!
I use essential oils, mostly lemon, lime, peppermint and grapefruit.
8 chamomile tea bags or 1c loose flowers
vodka or a clear brandy for more kick or heck, go for grappa
non-alcoholic – sparkling water
In a large saucepan heat the water to boiling and let tea steep until cool. This makes a strong intense tea. Remove tea bags or strain flowers and add sugar. Bring to boil and simmer 5 mins. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool. To make, combine 1 part chamomile syrup to 5 parts alcohol, or to taste. It should not by syrupy sweet, just a soft sweetness so you can feel the kick of the alcohol. Alternately, use with sparkling water.
Cool ideas! I keep thinking about the dogs though. I’m scared of them (been scared my entire life) and am frozen with fear when I see one around the neighborhood. Do you think it will help to wear lemon-scented perfume? I would suppose not… but it could work as placebo.
I don’t know how afraid you atelier or why, but what if you found the most harmless dog (a friend might have one, or a local pet rescue) and pet it (or first be in the room with it, then near, then pet). Maybe you could move beyond your fear. Then if you saw a dog on your walk you might be less frozen with fear and if your not afraid most dogs wouldn’t be nervous around you.
Most dogs don’t like citronella. I don’t know if that’s something you want to walk around smelling like… I would think (but have no proof) that a true grapefruit fragrance would work better than lemon. Whatever you use, make sure to apply some at dog height – ankles and *ahem* thighs. And, if you’re really worried, carry a small spray bottle (I have one that’s roughly the size of a mascara tube) with citronella or a blend of citrus EOs to spray at any dog that dares approach. Might work on human attackers, too… don’t know.
we’re big sun tea fans… just throw some teas bags (we like to use herbal teas) and a sliced lemon into a big glass jug or jar. Fill with water, put the lid on and set in the sun to brew for a few hours… then just take out the tea bags and lemon slices, add some ice and serve. You can sweeten it if you want but we never do… so yumm on a hot day…
Sarah J P
I’d say infuse lots of fresh mint in some hot water, add a little natural sweetness with agave or honey then allow to chill. Tasty, cleansing and great for digestion 🙂