The zest of a lemon is the thin, colored layer of peel that contains all of the fragrant oils. When you peel the lemon to get the zest, be sure to take just this thin layer and not the spongy white pith beneath it. The white pith at best has no flavor, and at worst can be bitter.


2 lemons
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-light olive oil
1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2 With a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemons in long strips. In a food processor, combine the strips of lemon zest,1/2 cup of the sugar, and the poppy seeds. Process until the lemon zest is finely ground.

3 In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4 In another medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the lemon zest-poppyseed mixture, and the oil until well combined. Add the egg substitute in 3 additions, beating well after each.

5 On low speed, alternately beat the flour mixture and the buttermilk into the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

6 Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely. Makes 12 slices

Nutrition Facts

per slice: calories 212, total fat 6.8g, saturated fat 1g, cholesterol 1mg, dietary fiber 1g, carbohydrate 34g, protein 4g, sodium 197mg

good source of: thiamin


Olive oil that has little or no olive flavor is labeled "Light," "Extra-light," or "Mild-flavored," depending on the manufacturer. These olive oils are intentionally bland so that you can use them in places where you don't want the oil to add flavor, such as in baked goods or pancakes. The "light" on the label refers to the flavor of the oil and not its fat content, since all olive oils have the same number of calories and fat grams; and all of them have the same high level of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Many of the recipes in this book contain off-the-shelf foods to help keep recipe prep effort to a minimum – a benefit for your arthritic hands. However, some foods – like canned beans – can hike up sodium levels. If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health, edited by John A. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 20 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 06 Apr 2015