The good news is, you can, in fact, freeze limes, and easily do so as well.
I like to buy my limes when it is their season, fresh from the vegetable market. So, you can imagine the quantity I usually buy when they are fresh and green. They are quite irresistible with their zesty smell and shiny appearance.
I wasn’t going to be that brave and buy a lot of it if I didn’t know how to properly store it. I would never want it to go to waste. Especially, with all the potential lemonades, sour sauces, lemon cakes, cocktails.
In this article I am going to share with you all the steps you would need to freeze limes in four different ways.
How to freeze limes?
Fortunately for you, limes can be frozen in different forms. Whole limes, lime slices, lime juice, and even lime zest!
How to freeze whole limes?
- Start by rinsing your limes with water and dry them well using a towel.
- Place your limes in a freezer bag. Don’t overfill the bag with the limes so that they don’t fuse together.
- Seal the bag tightly after squeezing as much of the air as possible out. This should prolong the life of the limes inside the freezer.
- Label the freezer bag with the date of freezing and contents of the bag so that you can distinguish it from the other food in the freezer.
Freezing whole limes allows you to keep both, limes and their zests, as it is easier to grate your limes when frozen then after defrosting.
How to freeze slices of lime?
If you are planning to freeze slices of lime to later use them for decorating drinks, then you will need to follow these simple steps:
- Cut your limes into large one-quarter lime cuts. Avoid thin slices as they will be mushy once defrosted.
- Align your slices on a tray with their faces facing down so that they don’t tightly stick to the tray.
- Place the tray inside the freezer for a couple of hours until the lime slices solidify and hold their shape. Once they do, transfer the slices to a freezer bag, squeeze as much of the air out, then seal it tightly.
- Label the bag with the date of freezing and its contents in the bag so that you can distinguish it from the other food in the freezer.
How to freeze lime zest?
Lime zest can be frozen on its own. All you need to do is just grate your fresh limes and place the aromatic and delicious lime zest in an airtight freezer bag.
Keep in mind, though, freezing grated lime zest separately increases the chance of its drying in the freezer. That’s why, I prefer to freeze whole limes where later on I can easily grate without even defrosting and have myself a freshly grated lime zest.
However, if you do decide to go ahead and freeze it on its own anyways, then make sure not to freeze it for longer than two months.
How to freeze lime juice
Nothing is easier than freezing lime juice.
- Juice your freshly picked or bought limes.
- Make sure to remove all the seeds from the juice.
- Pour the lime juice into an ice cube tray. Preferably silicone ice cube tray. Don’t overfill the ice cube tray as the juice tends to expand a bit.
- Freeze the ice cubes.
- Once they are frozen, move them to a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer.
This is the easiest way to store lime juice if you want to have some ready to be used anytime in any recipe.
How long can limes stay in the freezer?
When it comes to whole limes or even slices of lime, they can last in the freezer for up to 12 months. While lime zest and juice can only last for up to 2 months.
How to defrost frozen limes?
Generally speaking, defrosting lime is as easy as it gets. However, it does depend on when you need them ready.
The slowest method of defrosting requires 15 to 20 minutes until your frozen limes are ready. Just place the freezer bag with the frozen limes in a large bowl filled with room temperature water and leave them be, until they defrost. This is the only method that preserves the hardness and the texture of the frozen limes.
You can also leave the limes under running water from the tap for a few minutes till they thaw.
Another very quick alternative is to place the frozen limes inside a microwave on “Defrost” settings for a few seconds. Only seconds. However, the outcome will probably be a bit mushy, and if left for longer than necessary, it might turn out cooked.
Tips to successfully freeze your limes:
- It is better to grate frozen limes than freeze lemon zest. That way you will have yourself fresh lime zest, in addition to the fact that whole limes defrost faster that way.
- When freezing lime juice in an ice cube tray, try mixing the lime juice with different herbs like chili, garlic, and ginger and you will have yourself frozen Thai spices ready to use in a curry.
- Don’t attempt to slice your frozen whole limes after thawing them. They will be mushy and soft. Instead, slice them prior to freezing and freeze them as such.
Frequently asked questions:
Now that we have discussed all the different ways of freezing and defrosting limes. Here is a list of questions with their answers in case any of them crossed your mind.
Can I refreeze limes?
It is highly not recommended to refreeze limes. Chances are they will be as tasteless as ice, as freezing tends to dry out most of the moisture, so refreezing will cause even more dryness and a complete loss of flavor.
Do limes freeze well?
If you properly follow the previously mentioned steps, then expect a well-preserved, flavorful frozen limes with all their nutritional values intact.
You have four different options for freezing your limes. You can choose whichever suits you according to your future use of the frozen limes.
Can finger limes be frozen?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze finger limes. You will just need to freeze them whole inside a freezer bag and squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as you can. When it’s time to defrost it, allow it to defrost slowly overnight in the fridge.
Can key limes be frozen?
Yes. Just like any other type of limes. However, they can only stay for up to 6 months in the freezer since they are a bit more delicate.