In Season: Lemons

Lemons are poised to step into the spotlight this year, and the Eureka/Lisbon, Meyer, and seedless varieties are all in season now. Lemons originated in Southeast Asia and entered Europe via Southern Italy during the time of ancient Rome. Christopher Columbus introduced lemons to the West when he brought them to Hispaniola (modern Haiti) in 1493.

And we are grateful he did: Lemons add a refreshing tartness and, due to their six percent citric acid content, have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. They even aid in digestion.

>>Lemon-Coconut Breakfast Bars

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking pan. In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds and three tablespoons fresh lemon juice together. Set aside for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. In a medium bowl mix together one cup oat flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of sea salt, and 3/4 cup coconut flakes. Sprinkle in two tablespoons fresh lemon zest and mix until distributed. In a separate bowl, combine two tablespoons melted coconut oil, two tablespoons applesauce, and 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar. Mix in the soaked chia seeds. Chop 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates very finely and mix in with other wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until blended. Spread mixture into baking pan, using a spatula to flatten out the surface. Sprinkle two tablespoons of coconut on top, patting it down lightly. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown. While warm, cut into 12 to 16 squares. Recipe courtesy of Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris.

>>Healthy Lemonade

Add half a cup coconut sugar (or xylitol or honey) and one cup water to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiled, remove from heat and add to a glass pitcher. Add one cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about six lemons) and four cups cold water. Chill in fridge for two to three hours, then serve with ice cubes. Source: healthfulpursuit.com