Lime zest, juices, and fruits are very useful. Lime also provides potassium, magnesium, and other nutritional benefits.
So, having fresh limes on hand will be beneficial. But the challenge most people think may exist when it comes to storing limes is that they can easily go bad.
However, limes stored at room temperature can last for approximately a week. But how can you store them to last longer?
Now, here are the questions. Can you freeze limes to extend their shelf-life? If yes, how long will limes last when stored in the freezer?
All these are questions we will address in this post. So, keep reading for more exciting details.
Can You Freeze Whole Limes?
Well, first and foremost, you can freeze limes. They’ll also remain fresh when stored in the freezer for months.
What type of limes can you free? Can you freeze whole limes?
Yes, you can freeze whole limes to extend their shelf-life. Whole limes will remain fresh as the day you purchased them from the market when stored in the freezer. They’ll stay fresh in the freezer for several months.
Storing limes in the freezer helps to slow down bacteria growth drastically. It is a great way to preserve limes for later use.
Also, remember that you can store limes in the freezer in any form. You can preserve whole limes, juiced, sliced, or zest.
But the sliced form is the most desirable way to store limes. Cut the limes into slices, place them in a tray, and then plastic bags before transferring them into the freezer to solidify.
Finally, remember that how you store limes will determine how long they’ll last in the freezer. If appropriately prepped before you send them to the freezer, limes will last long.
Now, let’s discuss other tips about storing limes in the freezer.
How Long Will Limes Last in The Freezer?
Limes can last for a whole year in the freezer. But you must understand that adequate prepping and storage will determine how long they would last.
However, lime slices and zest that are super thin can stay fresh for a shorter period. They may start losing their flavors between 1 to 2 months in the freezer.
But if you prepare and store lime wedges, zest, whole limes, and juice properly in the freezer, they can stay as fresh as the day you picked them up from the market for an entire year – 12 months.
So, how long will lime last in the freezer? The simple answer is 12 months if prepped and appropriately stored.
How To Freeze Limes (Whole Limes, Sliced Limes, Zest)?
Storing limes properly in the freezer will help to extend their shelf life. So, how do you freeze each lime cut, including whole ones? Let’s discuss the various ways.
1: How to freeze whole limes:
- Use a zip lock bag or sealable container. Put your limes in the bag or container and seal. But remember not to overfill the bag or container. Why? The limes might fuse and could be challenging to separate. So, place only a few limes in a bag or container to create enough room for the limes to remain apart.
A Handy Tip: Don’t seal the bag with air trapped inside. Try to remove enough air by squeezing the bag from the bottom.
- Label the bag and freeze: The final step is to label the bag and put each bag in the freezer. The label should include the storage date and other details you feel would be relevant.
So that’s how to freeze whole limes. Freezing whole limes is also necessary if you plan to use the zest. You don’t even need to defrost before grating the lime.
2: How to freeze sliced limes:
Many people froze sliced limes to decorate drinks. Freezing them helps ensure sliced limes are always available when needed to garnish drinks.
Now, here are two things you should consider when slicing limes.
Number one is to ensure the sliced lime isn’t paper-thin. Why? Defrosting such limes can be tricky. They can easily break and become useless for the intended purpose (to decorate drinks).
The number two tip is for you to ensure the sliced portions are one-quarter of the whole lime.
Now that you are aware of how to slice your lime in preparation for freezing let’s discuss how to freeze sliced limes.
- Put sliced limes on the tray: Slice the lime and them on a tray. Ensure the portion with the peel is the side resting on the tray. You won’t lose much of the flesh when removing the sliced limes from the tray.
- Place the tray in the freezer: After you have succeeded in cutting the limes into wedges, place them on the tray, then transfer the tray into the freezer. The idea is to make the sliced limes solidify.
- Place sliced limes in bags: Now that the sliced limes have solidified, it’s time to transfer them from the tray into the zip lock bag. Do not overfill the bag. And remember to squeeze the bottom of the bag to remove air.
- Put the bags in the freezer: Label the content before freezing the bags containing sliced limes. Write the date and other relevant information you think should be on the bag. After doing that, send the bags into the freezer.
3: How to freeze zest:
The lime zest is the peel. It is necessary to prepare some dishes, as it improves their flavors.
Excitingly, you can freeze zest. The process is also quite a breeze. Just grate the zest and place them in air-tight bags.
But here’s something you need to know. The lack of moisture in the bag and the zest themselves limit shelf life.
Therefore, your zest can only stay fresh and retain its flavor for two months. So if you plan to use your zest within two months, go ahead and freeze them.
Another way to store zest for later use is to freeze whole lime. Then grate the lime whenever you need the zest for cooking.
You don’t need to defrost the whole lime before grating. Just remove it from the freezer and grate.
4: How to freeze lime juices:
You can also freeze line juice for future use. The juice will remain fresh for long as the day you extract it.
Now, how do you extract lime juices? The process is simple.
What you need are ice cube trays and resealable bags. Extract the juice from the limes and pour it into the ice cube tray. And please don’t fill the ice cube trays to the brim.
Fill the ice cube to about 80 percent. Why is this necessary? The lime will still expand when it freezes. If you overfill the ice cube tray, the lime juice could spill over when it extends beyond the little container.
Once the juice has solidified in the ice cube tray, transfer them to resealable bags and store them in the freezer. With this move, you can preserve your lime juices for a long time.
How To Defrost Limes?
You can defrost limes in three ways.
- Microwave limes
- Run limes under warm water
- Place limes in cold water
Remember to only microwave limes for a few seconds. Extending the time will result in cooking the lime, which isn’t wise.
Again, running limes under warm water can help defrost them. It will get the job done within a minute or two.
The only challenge with both methods is that the lime can become more squishy than expected.
Is placing limes in cold water an ideal way to defrost them? Yes, it is. Your limes will defrost within 10 to 15 minutes, and they won’t lose their flavor.
Can You Refreeze Limes?
Yes, you can. But before you take such steps, hear this; we don’t recommend it.
Why is refreezing limes a bad idea? The answer is simple.
When you freeze limes, something happens to them. You’re removing moisture. And keep in mind that as moisture goes, the flavor follows.
So, if you decide to refreeze, you’ll remove more moisture from the limes. You’ll have dry and bland limes. You won’t even fancy using the limes anymore.
How Do You Know When a Lime Has Gone Bad?
Well, you can use your senses to determine if lime has gone bad, though it’s not the perfect test. You don’t have to taste the lime with your tongue. Just observe the following traits.
If the lime is bad, you’ll notice a softer texture. The green skin would also be replaced with light brown color, and the inside of the fruit would become dry.
Sour limes aren’t useful, so you have to discard them. They can cause nausea or other issues, mainly when consumed by people susceptible to bad foods or with a weak stomach.
Conclusion: Can you freeze limes?
Yes, you can. Freezing can help extend the shelf-life of limes. And what’s more, you can freeze any form of lime. These include whole limes, zest, sliced limes, or juice.
Your limes can last for approximately 12 months when frozen. But ensure you prep them well before freezing. We also took the liberty to explain the various ways to freeze limes, including how to identify sour limes. You can use the tips to ensure the proper storage of your limes for future use.