Storing fruit can sometimes be difficult. This is mainly because some fruit needs to be stored in the refrigerator, some on the counter in a fruit bowl, and some in a storage cupboard.
Due to their thick peel, limes are pretty easy to store. But when peel, chopped up, or juiced they need to be stored differently.
How to Store Whole Limes
The peel of a lime is very thick and tough. This acts as a natural preservative and stops oxidation, which is what makes food go bad. However, this only works for a certain amount of time as the lime will still eventually get moldy if left out for too long.
Whole limes can usually be left in a fruit bowl on the kitchen countertop. When at room temperature in a fruit bowl, limes can last for about a week. But they need to be kept out of direct sunlight, otherwise, they can dry up and go bad.
If you want your limes to last longer, then they can be kept in the refrigerator. For best results, keep them in the salad crisper draw. In there, they can last for up to a month.
How to Store Cut Limes
Cut limes need to be stored in much more protective conditions than whole limes. Once limes have been cut, the protective peel has been punctured and the inside can dry up very quickly.
This means that cut limes need to be stored in the refrigerator. Otherwise, they will dry up as they are primarily made of juice.
It’s a good idea to either store the cut limes in an airtight container or wrap them up. They can be wrapped up in plastic wrap, or you can use eco-friendly beeswax or soy wax wraps.
However, the best option is an airtight container. With plastic wrap or wax wraps, there is more chance of the lime drying out.
If you decide to store the cut limes, then it’s a good idea to eat them within 24 hours. Depending on how they are stored, they might be able to last a day or two. But once cut, limes can go bad pretty quickly. So it’s a good idea to use them up ASAP.
How to Store Lime Juice
Lime juice also needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Lime juice should be kept in an airtight container, preferably a bottle. This will provide the best storage for lime juice, but also make it easier to use again later on.
If properly stored in an airtight container, fresh lime juice should keep in the refrigerator for around two or three days. After this, the juice begins to go bad and lose its flavor.
This is different from store-bought bottled lime juice that can be kept in a cupboard. This kind of lime juice will have added preservatives which means it can keep for longer. Fresh lime juice does not have this.
How to Freeze Lime Juice
If you don’t think that you will use the lime juice within two to three days, then you can always freeze it. This can be a little difficult as freezing a liquid always is.
If you freeze it whole, you will have to defrost it whole. As you only need a small amount of lime juice at a time, this isn’t a practical option.
The best thing to do is to freeze the lime juice in an ice cube tray. You can simply pour the juice into the tray as you normally would with water.
Then allow it to freeze. This means that you will be able to pop out a cube or two to defrost or throw directly into a drink, without defrosting too much and potentially wasting it.
In the freezer, lime juice can last for around a year. So this is a great option if you have more lime juice than you need.
How to Freeze Limes
Freezing limes might seem like a strange idea but it’s a good way to avoid food waste. You can’t freeze whole limes as they won’t defrost properly due to the thick peel. When food is frozen, it takes on water.
Then, when it defrosts, this water defrosts as well and causes the food to become soft and soggy. With a lime, the skin will still be pretty firm but the inside will be soft and soggy. So it will be almost impossible to cut and use.
If you want to freeze your limes because you think they’re about to go bad, you need to chop them up. Depending on what you want to use the limes for, you can either cut them into slices or quarter them. Or you can do a combination of both.
Once you have cut them, space them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the freezer until they are frozen. This should take an hour or so, depending on your freezer settings.
Once they are frozen, you can place them in a container or freezer bag. Freezing the limes this way will stop them from getting stuck together as they freeze.
Storing limes might seem obvious but as you usually only need a small amount of lime juice or lime slices for most dishes, it is easy to buy too many and end up with leftovers.
The worst thing to do is to throw the limes away. This contributes to food waste and is also a waste of money and good quality food.
There are several ways to preserve limes and ensure that they do not go bad before they can be used. It’s easy to just leave the limes as they are, but when you do this it is also easy to forget about those limes.
Limes will go bad relatively slowly, so it’s easy to think they are fine until they suddenly shrivel up and grow mold. So, to make sure you don’t forget about your limes, make sure to store them in one of the above ways ASAP.