How To Store Limes To Last Longer (Whole, Sliced, Peels & Juice)
Limes are a wildly popular fruit that can be used in several recipes. Whether you are using the peel, fruit, or juice, storing limes is essential to keep your recipes fresh and delicious. Storing limes will not only allow you to keep your produce fresh, but it will keep the fruit available for a longer period.
Limes can last for about one month if properly stored in the refrigerator. Keep the lime secured in an air-tight Ziploc bag to keep the most moisture and freshness sealed into the lime. Lime juice can be extracted and frozen for continued use, lasting for several months if properly frozen.
Of course, limes can also sit on the counter in your kitchen but will only last for a few days. Lime slices and lime peals can also be saved with an extended life expectancy if stored correctly in the refrigerator. The key to storing limes is to reduce air contact with the fruit to help it retain its natural moisture.
Can I Store Limes At Room Temperature?
If you want to keep your limes lasting for a long time, it is best not to keep your limes on the kitchen counter. But, if you plan to use your limes relatively soon, limes can be left out, unrefrigerated, and still remain perfectly safe to eat. If you plan to keep your limes out, expect them to last for about a week at room temperature. It is important to keep your limes in a cool and dark place, such as in a kitchen pantry. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause the fruit to age more, which can cause the rind to harden.
Further, the sunlight will cause the lime to change colors, making it appear more yellow than green. If your lime changes colors from direct sunlight, it is still alright to eat. The color change only impacts the lime’s appearance and will not change the taste or flavor of the lime.
Should Limes Go in the Refrigerator?
To allow your limes to stay good for a longer time, they should always be placed in the refrigerator. Make sure you store a whole, clean, and dry lime in the refrigerator. It may be necessary to wash and completely dry your lime before storage. Place the lime in an air-tight Ziploc bag, and place the lime in the crisper drawer. A whole lime will be able to last one month if stored in the refrigerator. Whole limes generally tend to last longer than sliced limes.
Will Limes Last Longer If Stored In A Bag?
While limes left whole and out of a plastic bag will still last a long time in the refrigerator compared to leaving the lime at room temperature, using a plastic bag can increase the life expectancy of your lime even further. In an experiment, scientists compared the lifespan of a lime in a plastic bag against a lime without a plastic bag. The test was designed to determine the best way to prolong the life of a whole lime in the refrigerator.
In the experiment, limes that were left in a Ziploc bag were found to lose their moisture at a slower rate. The limes still started to lose moisture after the first week but only lost about 5% of their moisture weight every week following. The end result of the limes left in an air-tight bag was a moist, healthy, and delicious lime even after one month of being in the refrigerator.
Can I Keep Sliced Limes?
When it comes to storing limes successfully, extending their life span, the ultimate killer is air. Exposing the inside of the lime fruit to air can cause the limes to dry out quickly, causing them to spoil. Unfortunately, slicing limes reveals the interior to the most amount of air. Once cut, place a sliced lime in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. Be sure to press all of the air out of the bag before sealing. Sliced limes will only hold about a day in the fridge.
Storing Lime Peals
Lime peals are commonly used in desserts. But, despite their rough exterior, lime peals have essential oils, which can cause this part of the fruit to spoil more quickly than other parts. To store lime peals, it is best to keep the peals refrigerated. Put your lime peals in an air-tight, Ziploc bag. It is best to keep peals loose in the bag. Place the peals in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator. When stored this way, lime peals will be able to last for up to three weeks.
Often, limes are cheaper if bought in bulk, but eating and using a dozen or more limes can be challenging, even for the most ardent cooks. It is possible to freeze limes. To freeze a lime, be sure to keep the fruit whole and intact. Place the limes in the freezer individually, allowing the fruit to freeze completely. This process should take between one and two hours.
After the fruit has frozen, combine the frozen limes into a Ziploc plastic bag and continue to freeze. A frozen lime can still be used for lime zest without thawing the lime entirely. Further, frozen limes can be cut into or sliced. Allow the lime to thaw for about thirty minutes before using it for your tropical drink or recipe.
It is also possible to freeze individual lime slices or lime wedges. To freeze:
- Cut the lime into slices and place it on a baking sheet without allowing the limes to touch one another.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour.
- Once the limes have frozen, combine the slices in an air-tight plastic bag. This process will prevent the limes from sticking to one another, allowing you to use one slice at a time.
To use, simply allow the limes to thaw for about thirty minutes and then use in your recipe just as you would a fresh lime.
How to Store Lime Juice
Making your own lime juice is a great way always to have a fresh juice option to add to your recipes. Generally speaking, citrus juice does not freeze incredibly well. The best way to freeze your home-squeezed lime juice is to freeze it in small portions. It is best to divide your juice into smaller portions by using an ice cube tray. Once filled, place the tray in the freezer to allow the juice to freeze.
Once frozen, remove the individual lime juice cubes and add the individual cubes to a freezer bag. Place the bag of lime juice in your freezer. Lime juice will last for several months when frozen this way. When you are ready to make a recipe or want a hint of lime in your drink, simply remove a single frozen lime juice cube and allow it to thaw.
How Do I Know if My Lime Has Spoiled?
Although limes are a hardy fruit compared to others, they are prone to spoilage if they have gone past their life expectancy. One of the fastest indicators of a sour lime is mold. Mold will start to form over the surface of the lime. Further, you may notice that your lime has shrunk or has begun to soften. These are signs that your lime has spoiled. If you notice these signs, it is best to discard the lime immediately to prevent cross-contamination with other fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator.
Are Limes Healthy?
Like many citrus fruits, limes are incredibly healthy for you. They are a great source of antioxidants that can help protect the body. Not only do antioxidants help to boost your immune system, but they can help protect your body from chronic illness by protecting the body from free radical damage. This fruit is very high in Vitamin C, which further helps to increase your immune system. One lime can have enough Vitamin C to give you your recommended daily dose.Vitamin C is also incredibly good for your skin. This vitamin can help protect the collagen in your skin. Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin elastic, preventing the sign of wrinkles, making you look more healthy and youthful.
What Types of Limes Are There?
This tropical fruit is common in drinks, used as a garnish, or paired with sauces to add an acidic element. There are several types of lime variations, all with different flavor profiles and uses. Tahitian limes appear larger. These have a very acidic and sour flavor. Mexican limes are much smaller than Tahitian limes. This type of lime is the most common type of lime found in the grocery store. Mexican limes have a bright green color and a very strong and sweet smell.Lastly, key limes are more yellow. These are about the same size as Mexican limes but have a much stronger taste. These limes are prized because they have a tremendous amount of juice to extract and use in recipes.
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