When it comes to citrus fruits, limes are among the most versatile. They can be used to add flavor to a wide variety of dishes and drinks, from savory dishes like guacamole and ceviche to sweet treats like key lime pie and margaritas. But to get the most out of your limes, it’s important to know how to store them properly. In this post, we’ll go over the best ways to store limes so that they stay fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Selecting Limes for Storage
Before we get into the different methods for storing limes, it’s important to know how to choose the right limes in the first place. When selecting limes for storage, look for fruit that is firm and heavy for its size. Avoid limes that have soft spots or blemishes, as these are signs of decay.
It’s also a good idea to check the stem end of the lime to make sure it’s not dry or moldy. And if you’re planning to use the lime for its zest, choose fruit with a bright green skin.
Room Temperature Storage
If you plan on using your limes within a few days, storing them at room temperature is a good option. Limes can be stored at room temperature for up to a week, as long as the room is not too warm or too humid.
To store limes at room temperature, simply place them in a bowl or on a countertop where they won’t get knocked around or squished. Make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight or heat sources like stoves or ovens.
Important: Check your limes regularly for signs of decay or softening. If you notice any issues, use them up as soon as possible.
For longer-term storage, refrigerating limes is the way to go. Storing limes in the refrigerator can help them stay fresh for up to a month.
To store limes in the refrigerator, simply place them in a plastic bag or airtight container and put them in the crisper drawer. If you have a lot of limes to store, you can also keep them in a plastic container with a lid.
Important: Keep in mind that limes stored in the refrigerator may lose some of their flavor over time. If you plan on using them for cooking or cocktails, it’s best to use them within a few weeks.
If you have a surplus of limes and can’t use them up before they start to go bad, freezing them is a good option. While freezing limes can affect their texture and flavor, they can still be used for things like lime juice and zest.
To freeze limes, start by washing and drying them thoroughly. Then, cut them into wedges or slices and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the limes for a few hours until they’re solid, then transfer them to a plastic bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Important: Frozen limes are not ideal for use in cocktails or as garnishes, but they can be used for things like lime juice and zest in recipes.
Storing Lime Juice
If you’ve ever squeezed a lime for its juice and only used a portion of it, you may be wondering how to store the rest. Lime juice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, but it’s important to store it properly to prevent spoilage.
To store lime juice, start by squeezing the limes and straining the juice to remove any pulp or seeds. Then, transfer the juice to a clean, airtight container and refrigerate it immediately. Glass jars or plastic containers with a tight-fitting lid work well for storing lime juice.
Important: Make sure to label the container with the date so you know how long the juice has been stored. And if you notice any off smells or colors, discard the juice immediately.
Using Stored Limes
Even when you store limes properly, they will eventually start to lose their flavor and freshness. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw them out. Here are a few creative ways to use stored limes:
- Make limeade or other citrus-based drinks
- Add lime slices to your water for a refreshing twist
- Use lime juice and zest to make a citrus marinade for chicken or fish
- Add lime juice to guacamole or salsa for a bright, zesty flavor
- Use lime zest to add flavor to baked goods like cakes and cookies
1. How long do limes last in the fridge?
Limes can last for up to four weeks in the refrigerator when stored properly. Make sure to wrap them in a paper towel or place them in a breathable produce bag to help absorb excess moisture.
2. Can you freeze limes?
Yes, you can freeze limes. Simply slice the limes into wedges or juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Frozen limes can last for up to six months in the freezer.
3. How do you know if a lime has gone bad?
A bad lime will typically have soft spots or bruises, and may also develop mold or a slimy texture. It may also give off a sour or off smell. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the lime.
4. Can you store limes with other fruits and vegetables?
Limes can be stored with other fruits and vegetables, but be aware that they can emit ethylene gas, which can cause other produce to ripen and spoil faster. To minimize this effect, store limes separately or in a breathable produce bag.
5. Should limes be stored with the stem end up or down?
It doesn’t matter which end of the lime is up or down when storing them. The key is to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Storing limes properly is key to keeping them fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Whether you choose to store them at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer, following a few simple tips can help you get the most out of your limes.
Important: Remember to always check your limes regularly for signs of decay, and use them up as soon as possible if you notice any issues.
With these storage tips in mind, you can enjoy the delicious, tangy flavor of limes in your favorite dishes and drinks all year long.