Limes are available year-round, but it’s worth stocking up on these citrus fruits for cooking and baking. And if you say you have a lot of limes on hand, can you freeze limes for future use? The short answer is yes, you can freeze limes! But improper handling and poor packaging could alter the flavor of the fruit once thawed.
Limes keep so well in the freezer as long as it’s well prepared. Freezing the limes stops bacterial growth and keeps the fruit as fresh after thawing as the day you bought it.
When refrigerated, whole limes will last 1 to 2 months. They stay fresh on the counter for a month. Freezing the fruit extends its shelf life to 6 months or more. If you want to know how to freeze limes, check out our step-by-step guide below:
How do you freeze limes?
Lime freezing depends on the current condition of the fruit before storage. Do you freeze whole limes, lime wedges, zest or juice?
When freezing whole limes, wash the fruit thoroughly and let them dry completely first. When the fruit is nice and dry, get a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag and place the fruit inside. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the plastic bag. Get a marker, write down the storage date and tape the fruit in the freezer. Since freezing whole limes could make the fruit mushy after thawing, they’re best used for juicing or cooking.
You can also flash freeze the limes with dry ice. Blast freezing reduces the risk of flavor change after the fruit has been thawed. This works best when freezing sliced or cut fruit.
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To blast freeze, place the washed and dried limes on a cake plate. Then place the cake topper on an ice chest filled with dry ice. Flash freeze the fruit for 30 minutes. Then place the fruit in a removable plastic bag, seal, and then pop in the freezer. Please note that you can also flash freeze the limes with normal ice.
If you’re freezing lime zest, use a small freezer bag. Scoop the lime zest into the bag; squeeze as much air as you can, then seal the plastic bag. You can also vacuum seal the plastic bag to preserve the lime zest flavors. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, that’s fine. Simply stick the pouch in the freezer until you are ready to use the bowl.
When it comes to freezing the lime juice, it’s best to transfer the juice into a couple of ice cube trays. Each ice cube tray should contain at least a tablespoon of the juice. This makes it much easier to measure how much lime juice you need for cooking. Simply pour the juice into the bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Once the lime juice is frozen, fill up each section and place the frozen lime juice cubes in a resealable plastic bag.
As for freezing lime wedges or slices, they must first be flash frozen before freezing. To freeze with regular ice, place the lime slices or wedges in a bowl. Then place the bowl in a container filled with ice.
Pour water into the ice bucket and let the sliced fruit cool for at least 30 minutes. Once the fruit is chilled, transfer it to a sturdy, resealable plastic container. Label the plastic bag with the storage date and then stick it in the freezer.
How to thaw frozen limes?
Just like freezing, thawing limes depends on the condition of the fruit before freezing. For whole limes, place the frozen fruit in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then run it through the juicer and you’re done.
To thaw frozen lime zest, simply move the container from the freezer to the refrigerator. Let the container thaw for a few hours. You can also use the frozen lime zest directly for cooking without having to defrost it. The same goes for the frozen lime juice. Just get some frozen lime juice out of the ice cube tray and add it to your favorite beverage or meal.
For frozen lime slices or wedges, remove the plastic bag from the freezer and place the entire bag in a bowl of cold water. Let the bag thaw for 10 to 20 minutes. Once the lime slices or wedges have thawed, they are ready to use.
Lime is one of the best citrus fruits to keep in the freezer. And if you’ve impulsively bought more limes than you can handle, it’s nice to know you can freeze them for later use. Now that you know how to freeze limes, you can store these tasty citrus fruits for future use.