When life gives me lemons, I usually think of making a pie, not lemonade. However this pie, I haven’t made it in years. That’s because it was my father’s favorite, and after his passing back in ’99, I’ve put my lemon meringue pies on hold. But something just told me yesterday I should make one.
I do have a love for everything citrusy, and especially salty. I have a real love hate relationship with salt. It’s something that makes foods taste so good, it’s essential for us to live, a little in our life is good for us, yet too much leads us down a road filled with terrible diseases.
And since I have a salty, instead of sweet tooth, I really try to watch my salt intake when it comes to how much I add to my recipes and how much I eat in processed and restaurant foods. There is a huge amount of hidden salts in processed foods and restaurant foods that are really bad for us. And the worst part is you can’t even really taste them. For instance last Friday night we went out to dinner to a small restaurant chain and the next morning I felt awful. I was super swollen and every joint in my body hurt so bad. I am really salt sensitive. I went to their site and calculated how much sodium I had eaten in half an appetizer, a soup and a sandwich. I couldn’t believe it when I saw I had eaten almost 4,000 mg of sodium in one sitting the night before.
So after that sodium fiasco, I am have really been trying to watch my sodium intake. Then I find out about this cool new Sunkist Sodium Quiz. Sunkist is promoting low sodium in our diets by encouraging us to use lemon in place of table salt. The idea is brilliant. This new idea, called Sunkist S’alternative is a healthy way to reduce our sodium intake, increase potassium and enhance the flavor of food by using Sunkist® lemons. I headed over to Sunkist’s Facebook page to take the quiz.
The quiz was a fun interactive quiz that helped me determine just how bad of a sodium offender I am. Turn’s out I am not as bad as I thought. Here’s my results:
I think this description is pretty accurate. Head over to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz now. Be sure to invite your friends to do the same, it’s very fun!
Here’s a few more tips from Sunkist on how to lower the sodium in our diets that I thought were very helpful:
*Plan meals carefully. If a high sodium food is selected, choose your other menu items from lower sodium groups.
*Read labels of packaged or prepared food products for the sodium content. Look for items “without added salt.”
*Skip the salt in all cooking and food preparation and instead serve extra Sunkist lemon wedges and herb mixtures for individual seasoning.
*Check the sodium content of the drinking water in your area with your local Health Department. If you are on a lower sodium restricted diet, do not drink the water if it has been treated with a water-softening agent.
*When eating away from home, order fresh turkey or chicken versus processed meats.
*Avoid turkey rolls and other pre-cooked poultry and deli meats which contain a much higher sodium content than freshly cooked poultry.
*As you reduce your sodium intake, your taste buds will adjust, allowing you to enjoy the true flavors of food that salt often masks.
So in celebration of all things wonderfully lemon flavored, I wanted to celebrate the Sunkist lemon the best way I knew how, a Lemon Meringue Pie. This Lemon Meringue Pie is very easy. It does contain raw eggs, so you might want to skip this recipe if you have an aversion to raw eggs. Alternatively you can use Safest Choice eggs, which are pasteurized eggs, or my favorite, all natural organic free range eggs.
Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie
1 premade pie crust, baked according to package directions
For the Lemon Filling:
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 - 14 oz can condensed milk
4 egg yolks
For the Meringue:
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of cream of tarter
Pre-bake pie crust according to package directions and let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add all ingredients for the lemon filling in a bowl and whisk well. Pour in cooled pie crust.
Add egg whites to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer and mix on high until eggs have soft peaks. Then add sugar and cream of tartar. Continue to mix on high with hand mixer until eggs have stiff peaks.
Spread meringue on top of pie and use a butter knife to spread the meringue to the sides of the pie, and make sure it seals well to the crust. Bake pie for 12 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool completely on a cooling rack before refrigerating.