Lemon Juice, Three Ways

freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl shot close up
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Tomorrow is National Lemon Juice Day, which may seem like an odd holiday to celebrate, but lemon juice, especially from freshly squeezed lemons, can benefit your health more than you might think.

Lemon juice, from the flavonoid-containing fruit, can help reduce stress, fevers and blood pressure. Nutritionally, the juice of a lemon provides healthy doses of vitamins C and B. Lemon juice has also been used as a skincare remedy and to reduce cold and flu-like symptoms.

Below are three quick and simple recipes that use lemon juice as a main ingredient. Experiment with added ingredients to make them your own.

Fresh Lemonade

Sometimes our favorite recipes taste better when we make them ourselves. Reap the health benefits of lemon juice, and experience the joy and satisfaction of making something from scratch — try this simple, classic three-ingredient lemonade recipe.

Recipe developed by Meg Dowell

Serves 3

3 lemons
½ cup white sugar
3 cups water, cold


  1. Firmly roll each lemon between hands before cutting in half. Juice lemon halves to yield 1 cup lemon juice.
  2. In a pitcher, combine lemon juice, sugar and water. Stir.
  3. Chill lemonade and serve over ice.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Try a salad dressing that can only be made with freshly squeezed lemons. It’s simple enough that you won’t forget it — and once you try it, you’ll never want the store-bought kind again.

Recipe developed by Meg Dowell

Makes 1/4 cup

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
Black pepper


  1. In a small jar, combine all ingredients; cover and store in refrigerator if not using immediately.
  2. Shake contents of jar just before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Lemon Pudding

Dessert of the lemon variety is worth every bite. Once again, you’ll never return to store-bought once you’ve made it yourself.

Recipe developed by Meg Dowell

Serves 4

¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2½ cups reduced-fat milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely ground
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add milk and whisk ingredients together until smooth. Add egg yolks, lemon zest and salt.
  2. Over medium heat, cook mixture until thick enough to coat a spoon, stirring frequently and then constantly as temperature rises.
  3. Remove pan from heat; stir in lemon juice and butter.
  4. Through a strainer, pour mixture into a serving bowl or into individual bowls. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Cover and chill in refrigerator until pudding sets. Serve chilled.

With these lemon-filled recipes, and plenty more you can experiment with in the comfort of your kitchen, National Lemon Juice Day can now be an August holiday worth marking in your calendar.

Meg Dowell on Twitter
Meg Dowell
Meg Dowell is one biochemistry course away from a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She recently graduated with a B.A. in English, blogs for Kitchology.com and is the health/fitness/nutrition editor for College Lifestyles magazine. She hopes to begin her master's program at Benedictine University this January, pursuing an MS in nutrition and wellness with a concentration in nutrition entrepreneurship. Follow her on Twitter @MegDowell.