Help, I have too many limes

Talk about first world problems, right? Maybe you have a lime tree at home and its branches are weighed down with the weight of juicy ripe limes. Or maybe your local store had a special on limes this week and you just can’t help yourself.

Regardless of how you found yourself in this situation, you’re now looking at google to answer “what do I do with all these limes”. Well, you’re in the right place my friend, I too have found myself in this situation and have the answers you’re looking for.

several limes that have been sliced in half, sitting on a chopping board.

How long do limes last?

Fresh whole limes can be kept in a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter for 1-2 weeks. Alternatively whole limes can be stored in the fridge and will last a week or so longer. Admittedly I’ve bought some limes that have lasted up to a month! But with store bought limes the amount of time they last will really depend on when they were picked and how long they have been kept in cold storage before purchase – both of these things are likely out of your knowledge and control.

What to do with all these limes?

If you find yourself with too many limes, you have 3 options:

  1. You can give your limes away. If you’re lucky enough to live in a high foot traffic area this could be as simple as placing a basket of limes in front of your house with a sign saying “Free Limes, help yourself!”. Otherwise work colleagues, family members and neighbours are often more than happy to take a few limes. Particularly as limes are often quite expensive compared to other citrus fruit – you have some very lucky friends!
  2. You eat the limes now: Why not bake up a lime pie, make margaritas, salsa, marinades, the list of potential recipes is endless. Side note, many recipes that use lemons or lemon juice can easily be adapted for limes. Why not try lime juice instead of lemon juice in your favourite recipe for an tangy twist. Bonus tip, pies, marinades etc. all freeze great, so make a double batch! Future you will thank you later.
  3. Store the limes to use later: If you don’t want to cook with the limes today, and you’ve given as many away as you can, I have great news! There are several ways to preserve your limes so they can be stored long term.

How to store limes?

As mentioned, the best way to store limes is at room temperature. You can extend the life of your limes by a week or so by storing them in the fridge. However if you have an excess of limes, or need to store them over a period longer than a few weeks, your best bet is to either freeze them, preserve them, or dehydrate them.

Can you freeze limes?

Yes! You can freeze whole limes, sliced limes, grated lime zest or lime juice.

My personal preference of these 4 options is to freeze lime juice. Simply extract the juice from the limes and freeze in an ice cube tray. This way you will have small shots of lime juice on hand for marinades, cocktails, baked treats, ganache… the list of possible uses is endless. Bonus fact, lemon juice can also be frozen using this same method.

Freezing limes whole or sliced limes will preserve their taste, but the texture will be compromised. This is because limes have a high water content. The water expands when frozen, causing the membranes in the limes to burst.

This means once those frozen limes are defrosted, the water will shrink again, leaving the limes with a soggy soft texture. Still, frozen limes are perfect for cooking with, or for flavouring drinks. They’re basically great for any uses that the compromised texture won’t be noticed.

Why are my limes yellow?

Believe it or not limes turn yellow as they ripen. Limes sold in stores are typically picked well before they turn ripe, which is why they are green. This is because under-ripe limes are less likely to be bruised or damaged during transport, and can be stored in commercial warehouses for months on end at the right temperature. Home grown limes that are allowed to ripen on the branches of their tree will turn golden yellow and be both more juicy and sweet than any green lime brought from a store.

How to preserve limes

Looking for some options to store your limes long term? Here are a couple of my favourite recipes

Preserved Limes

This recipe for preserved lemons can easily be adapted for limes. Preserved limes can last for up to 9 months, meaning you’ll have tangy limes on hand all year round.

Homemade Preserved Lemons
A step by step guide on how to make homemade preserved lemons to use in a multitude of Mediterranean recipes.
Get the recipe for preserved lemons
Homemade Preserved Lemons

Dehydrated Limes

Drying limes in the oven is an easy, handsfree way to preserve your limes in a way that they will last years. Dehydrated limes can be used in recipes, look gorgeous in cocktails, as cake decorations or can even be used as home decor. Provided that your limes are completely dehydrated, they’ll last for a year when stored in an airtight container.

Dehydrated Limes
Learn how to dehydrate lime slices in your oven, plus 15+ ways to use them. This recipe is super easy, just slice the limes and bake on a very low heat. The limes will take several hours to dry completely, but its very much hands-free cooking.
Learn to make oven dried limes
six wheels of dried yellow lime on a white wooden bench.

Lime Marmalade

How good does the idea of lime marmalade sound? This recipe for lemon marmalade could easily be adjusted of lime marmalade. Added bonus, this recipe uses a lot of fruit, and unopened jars can be stored for up to 10 months in your pantry. Homemade marmalade is a great option if you really do find yourself swimming in limes.

Lemon Marmalade Recipe (+VIDEO) |
Homemade all-natural 2 ingredient lemon marmalade. Detailed instructions to make this citrus fruit preserve from scratch. Beginner friendly!
Get this recipe for lemon marmalade
Lemon Marmalade Recipe (+VIDEO) |

Hope you’ve found some inspiration for using all your limes. Let me know in the comments what you’ll be doing with your limes this year.

Happy baking, Kylie x

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