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This post originally appeared on AOL

Whether you’re a professional chef or simply a lover of food—then you’ve probably had lemon added to your meal. Whether it’s zest on your dessert, a drizzle on your salad or a squeeze in your water, lemon is everywhere and we’re definitely not complaining. After all, what’s better than a freshly squeezed glass of homemade lemonade? (Nothing.)

But believe it or not, there’s actually a lot more you can do with lemon than simply use it for taste. We know you’ve probably read about using it on your skin or in your beauty regimen somehow, but that’s actually not what we’re referring to.

Lemon not only offers a great dose of vitamin C and antioxidants that fight free-radicals, but it’s great for helping out your cooking, too! Yes, lemons makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to food preparation. Who knew?

1. Prevent browning

A few squeezes of lemon juice can do wonders for avocados, apples, and bananas! Because lemon juice is acidic, it helps prevent produce turning brown.

2. Stop rice from sticking

Adding a few drops of lemon to your cooking water helps prevent this. Added tip: the lemon juice also whitens your rice!

3. Tenderize meat

The acidity breaks down the fibers in meat, leaving it perfectly fork-tender.

4. Crisp your lettuce

To crisp limp leaves, soak them in a bowl of cold water and ½ cup of lemon juice, then refrigerate for an hour.

5. Transform a meal

It brightens up creamier dishes and is a great sodium-free substitute for salt.

6. Keep brown sugar soft

Add a slice of the skin to your box of brown sugar to keep it from clumping.

7. Cook perfect hard-boiled eggs

Brush eggshells with lemon juice before adding them to the pot. The lemon juice helps keep the shells from cracking while they cook.

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By editors for AOL
This post originally appeared on AOL