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How many times have you had to toss out leftover limes or simply forget about them till they go bad? Well, it happens to the best of us. I would also admit that I am a sucker for a good bargain, so when offered 2 for 1 or 50% off on limes, I did buy more than I need. Unfortunately, it means I end up with more limes than I need, and fresh limes don’t last forever.
This is why I have compiled my favorite things to do with leftover limes.
Finding the best limes at the store is straightforward but what many of us struggle with is storage, you will be surprised how important the ideal temperature is for keeping this zesty little citrus fruits fresh and flavorful.
You can also find yourself with too many limes when you have a lime tree at home and the branches are weighed down by the ripe limes waiting to be plucked.
Limes play an essential role in most of our summer recipes. This versatile citrus is one you do want to have at hand whether you are making a lime pie or simply squeezing it over salmon for a sweet savor glaze. In contrast, you need an ideal lime that is pretty firm with no bruised or discolored areas.
Regardless of how you find yourself with too many limes, knowing what to do with it and the ultimate storage tips to keep it from going bad should save the day. Stick around to say goodbye to shriveled limes and hello to limes that stay fresh for as long as possible.
How Long Do Limes Last?
According to various sources online, limes only last 2 to 3 weeks but before experience, limes typically stay fresh for 3 to 4 weeks at room temperature. But if you place them in a freezer bag, they are good to go for an extra week. Fresh whole limes kept in a bowl on the kitchen counter should last about a week or 2 in the kitchen, but as mentioned earlier, I have had limes that lasted a month without going bad.
While it can be concluded that limes last longer when they are stored properly, it also depends on where and when they were picked. Also, for the store-bought ones, how long they were in cold storage before buying will determine how long they will last.
Too Many Limes? What to Do With Leftover Limes
Now you know how long your limes are meant to last. They do not last forever, however, you can learn ways to make use of them before they go bad. If you find yourself with too many limes than you need, you can give some out to friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors, there is no reason to let limes go to waste. There are also countless ways to incorporate limes into your cooking. If you are a citrus lover like me, here are some amazing things you can enjoy doing with leftover limes.
1. Bake A Key Lime Pie
One of my favorite things to do with lime is to bake a lime pie. Lime is not just a great ingredient in baking but also a major ingredient in key lime pie. Key lime pie is a popular American dessert, and it is made with finely grated zest and juice of limes, biscuits, butter, eggs, and sweetened condensed milk.
So, when you have too many limes at hand, key lime pie is something worth doing with it. Further, garnish each slice of pie with a slice of lime, and you have a delightful pie to share with family and friends.
2. Make Sore Throat Remedy
If it is flu season, you do not have to worry too much about what to do with your leftover lime when you can make some sore throat remedy. The highest amounts of citrus acid can be found in lime, so no need to think too hard about what to do with leftover limes when you have a sore throat. Squeeze that lime juice into hot water, add honey, and you have the best sore throat remedy.
4. Cilantro Lime Dressing
Ever thought of dressing up your salad with lime? You will be surprised how great lime works as salad dressing, it makes a great addition to your salad dressings, and it is perfect for adding a tang and balancing the oil pout. Simply use your leftover lime to make a batch of this cilantro lime dressing and keep it in your refrigerator, then you can enjoy a quick weeknight salad.
5. Preserves And Pickles
You can preserve or pickle your limes rather than toss them out or leave them to go bad. To make lime-pickling, mix 2 gallons of water and pickling lime in a bowl together, add cucumber and soak it for 24 hours while stirring often.
To preserve the limes, cut them into halves and juice with a juicer. Freeze the lime juice in cube trays, once it is frozen, you can store it in an airtight container. Another thing you can do also is to make lime marmalade.
6. Make Margaritas
In all the citrus frenzy, making margarita was the highlight. A classic lime margarita does not need any extra sugar beyond what is in the triple sec to balance the lime’s acidity. Honestly, it is a margarita that was easy to whip up and gave me a lot of reasons to have extra lime handy.
7. Coconut Lime Rice
To get the most out of your leftover lime, consider coconut lime rice for dinner. This makes a great dish for taco night, and it’s a lot easier to make than many people think. The margarita is not the only thing that will give you a treat, and so also is the coconut lime rice. The coconut lime rice I tried is made from scratch, you can check it out to see if it catches your fancy.
8. A Glass of Lukewarm Lime Water
After reading about the benefits of lime water, a glass of lukewarm lime water became the go-to routine for kick-starting my morning. Limes are a good source of magnesium and potassium, so thanks to your having too many limes, you can now enjoy a healthy glass of lukewarm lime water when you wake up in the morning.
9. Use in Marinades
Another cool thing you can do with the leftover limes is to make marinades. However, using lime as marinade means you have to keep the marinating hour short, but the result is a fresh treat of citrus zing flavor.
When soaking your meat in lime marinade, the maximum time to go for is 30 minutes.
Leftover Lime Storage Tips
If you still can’t find any way to use your lime from the list above, you don’t have to worry, you have to store it properly while you think of what to do with it. Having more limes than you can use in a go is quite unavoidable, and this is where proper storage comes in.
Whatever method you choose to use in storing your limes, here are tips that are going to help keep your limes fresh and flavorful for a long while.
1. Store at Room Temperature
Make sure the cut limes are placed in an airtight container to expand their shelf life when you store them at room temperature. Also, place it away from direct sunlight. Limes stored at room temperature should last a week. Store in fruit bowls or on your countertop.
The best way to store lime for 2 to 3 weeks is to use the refrigerator. Find the perfect spot with a temperature between 45-50°F to maintain the tanginess. Place the lime in a plastic perforated airtight container to prevent moisture loss.
However, if you have excess limes no matter what and want to keep them for more than 3 weeks, then your best bet is to freeze them. You can freeze them whole or freeze the juice and zest separately.
Signs of Spoiled Limes
We already agree that limes do not last forever, so it is important to know signs to look out for to indicate it is not safe to be consumed anymore.
The main sign that limes have gone bad is mold, if you notice any greenish-blue patches on your cut limes, it is time to throw them out as not only is the taste and texture ruined, but it is also harmful to one’s health. Aside from this, here are other reasons you should discard your limes.
- It is super shriveled and super soft.
- It feels hollow or slimy.
- Browned skin.
- Texture changes and discoloration.
- Off odor.
Lime is just like most fruits so once you get home with them, you have to think of proper storage, so they do not go bad. But next time you end up with more citrus than you need, don’t let it go to waste. You can bake a lime pie, use it as a marinade, or enjoy a margarita.
But if you don’t want to cook with it, enjoy a healthy morning lemon juice or simply p[reserve them to store them long time.