Friday, March 13, 2015

Microwave Lemon

I'm passing this kitchen tidbit along, for what it's worth. I got the tip from a friend. 

Juicing lemons /limes. Microwave for 20 seconds before squeezing. You'll get more juice. 

So I decided to play around with this idea. I think this tip would be apropos when hand squeezing, as apposed to machine juicing. My little machine juicer removes all the pulp from the rind, then mashes it pretty well. But hand juicing is a different story, especially if I'm doing more than just one or two lemons. Hand juicing is more difficult for me. 

First, I discovered that microwaving softens the lemon. The difference is most noticeable between a refrigerated lemon and a microwaved one. But I could see a significant softening even between room temperature vs nuked (a.k.a. - microwaved). 

Second, the nuking seems to have had some effect on those little cells inside the lemon that hold the juice. On the microwaved lemon, more of those cells ruptured when I squeezed. Because they were changed by the microwaves??? Or maybe because the rind was more supple so that I could squeeze better???  Not sure which (or neither) is true, but I did seem to see more juice coming from the nuked lemon. 

Third, for older people or folks with damaged hands, it's easier to squeeze the nuked lemon. Less hand pain.  

My microwave is a low wattage critter. I don't use it much, and being in solar I purposely bought a low wattage microwave. Why? I wanted to avoid a situation where the microwave was running and the frig & freezer called for power at the same time, thus overloading the system. If I ask for too much power all at the same time, the system shuts down. Safety thingee. It was a nuisance the time I did that once, so now I avoid that situation. So....back to the lemon. I found that I needed to microwave the lemon 30 seconds for best results. 

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