When you are lucky enough to have an abundance of fruit you may struggle to find ways to store it without it spoiling. Limes are a versatile and flavorsome citrus fruit that can be used in cooking, baking, making cocktails and even for cleaning.
We look at how to store limes, with 6 easy ways, so they remain tasty and safe to consume.
For those lucky enough to live in areas where it is possible to grow limes it can be a wonderful experience to pick your own fruit. Gardeners in the warmest parts of the US can grow citrus fruits outdoors all year round.
Others, in less warm areas, can produce fruit from small citrus trees or shrubs. Most will start bearing fruit when they are between 3 and 6 years old. However, this can depend on the local climate, the type of citrus tree and the health of the plant.
When it is time to harvest your fruit you will need to have a plan to either use them as they appear or store them for the longer term.
There are many ways to store (see also: 5 Easy Ways To Store Your Peppers From The Garden)limes depending on how you want to use them and when. Let’s take a look at some ways to make the most of these delicious and refreshing citrus fruits.
If you buy limes or pick them from your tree you will be able to keep them at room temperature for around a week. Put them in a bowl on your countertop. It is better for the fruit if they are not piled on top of each other, this reduces the risk of bruising.
However, you should keep them away from produce that emit ethylene. This includes apples, bananas, potatoes and onions. This is because when limes are exposed to ethylene-emitting produce they will spoil much faster.
Many people will store limes in the refrigerator and this can work in the short to medium term. However, long term exposure to cold temperatures can damage limes and other citrus fruits.
One way to keep your limes in the refrigerator without allowing them to spoil is to submerge them in water first. Choose a glass, sealable container and put enough water in it so that the limes are completely submerged. Then seal and store in the refrigerator.
When limes or other citrus fruits lose moisture they start to go moldy and spoil. By keeping them submerged in water the moisture content is retained in the fruit. This method will also make your limes more juicy.
As the water bears the weight of the fruit, and they are not resting on top of one another, the limes will not get damaged or bruised. They will remain wrinkle-free, fresh and juicy for longer.
If you use a lot of lime wedges or slices it is possible to refrigerate them for between 5 and 7 days in a zip-top bag or airtight container. Although wrapping wedges in plastic wrap will prevent them drying out too.
You can also refrigerate whole limes, and they will last for around a month. Remember to put them into a sealed plastic bag or airtight container to retain their freshness for as long as possible.
Alternatively put the limes in a single layer in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This compartment has good air circulation and will help the limes to stay fresher for longer.
When you are using your limes for their juice this can be stored in the refrigerator for 3–4 days. However, it will slowly begin to lose its flavor after this amount of time. To preserve the lime juice for longer, freeze it.
Pour the lime juice into individual ice cube trays and put in the freezer until frozen. Once the cubes are solid, tip them into freezer bags. The frozen lime juice will last for 3–4 months.
Freeze Sliced Limes
When the limes are fresh, slice them and remove the seeds. Spread the slices over a baking sheet and put it in the freezer to flash freeze. Once they are solid, put the slices into freezer bags and seal them. Return to the freezer.
The frozen lime slices will keep for 3–4 months and can be used in baking and cooking.
Frozen lime slices or wedges can be thawed out naturally at room temperature or if you are in a hurry, in the microwave for 10–20 seconds.
Freeze Whole Limes
If you don’t want to slice up your limes in order to freeze them it is possible to freeze the whole fruit. You can put them into a freezer bag and place them in the freezer. When you want to use them, thaw them out until they are soft again.
The pulp of thawed limes will be much softer than that of fresh limes, but it will still have all its flavor. Frozen limes will keep for 3–4 months.
When thawing out whole frozen limes run some warm water over them until they are sufficiently softened.
Why Preserve Limes?
These methods for preserving limes will allow you to use the fruit throughout the year, but there is another, very important reason for storing limes properly. Eating moldy or spoiled limes can cause food poisoning which is at best an unpleasant experience.
By storing limes properly you can avoid this eventuality. These methods also apply to other citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit.
As with any fruit or vegetable that you are storing make sure you are only selecting the freshest and discard any soft, spoiled or moldy produce. Fresh limes should be firm but not hard and have no bruises, wrinkled skin or soft areas.
Nobody wants to waste food and knowing the best way to store fruit to preserve it is a good way to reduce waste. We hope that our guide on how to store limes has been helpful and informative for you.
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