They’re punchy, packed full of citrus notes and sourness and essential in a Mojito, of course, but can you freeze limes and do they freeze well or not?
You can freeze limes for around 1 year. You can freeze limes whole, in slices, as juice or as zest. Simply store in an airtight container or thick freezer bag. You can actually freeze any citrus fruits in the same way.
Can You Freeze Limes? Yes
Can You Refreeze Limes? No
Do Limes Freeze Well? Sometimes
How to Freeze Limes
When it comes to freezing limes, there are two options. You can either freeze the limes whole, or you can freeze them in slices (or even wedges). Each of these methods has been explained below:
How to Freeze Whole Limes
Limes aren’t hard to freeze, but when freezing frozen whole fruit you need to follow these instructions:
1) Bag Up Limes
Take a sealable container or zip lock bag and place the limes into the bag. Try to avoid overfilling the bag as this can cause the limes to fuse together making it difficult to remove one at a time.
2) Seal Bag
As you close the bag, try and remove as much air as possible. You can do this by squeezing the air out of the bag from the bottom to the top as you seal it up.
3) Label and Freeze
Label the bag with the content and, more importantly, the date you’re placing them into the freezer. Place your bag into the freezer, and you’re done.
Freezing limes whole is great if you also use the lime zest because you don’t even have to defrost them to grate them. Just grab from the freezer and grate.
How to Freeze Lime Slices
If you’re freezing limes to decorate drinks, then slices or wedges are your best pick.
When it comes to preparing the wedges and slices, don’t make them larger than one-quarter of the fruit, but also don’t make them paper-thin either, because when defrosting these slices, if they are too thin, then they might break or turn to slush.
A quarter of an inch should be the minimum for frozen slices.
1) Place Wedges Onto a Tray
Place the slices or wedges onto a tray, with the side with the peel facing down – this reduces the risk of your wedges sticking to the tray, but even if they do slightly stick and rip – you don’t lose much of the flesh.
2) Bag Up Wedges
Once frozen solid, take the slices and/or wedges off the tray and put them into a plastic bag, while squeezing out as much air as possible.
3) Final Freeze
Label the bag with the contents and the date then carefully place the bag into the freezer. You should now be able to grab one or two wedges of lime at a time from the freezer.
How to Freeze Lime Zest
Zest, however, can also be frozen on its own. For this method, grate the zest beforehand and place it in an air-tight bag.
Although, the lack of moisture in the zest and the bag might make it dry out much quicker and lose its flavour, so freezing zest alone is an alright option if you know you’re going to use it within the next two months or so.
However, as explained above, you can freeze whole limes and then grate the zest when you need it. As the zest is so fine, it defrosts almost instantly as you grate it, so there’s no need to defrost the lime beforehand.
How to Freeze Lime Juice
For those who want to keep the juice on hand for cooking or baking, you can freeze the juice itself in an ice cube tray. Just make sure that you remove all seeds beforehand. Pour your juice into an ice cube tray.
Only fill each slot around 80% of the way as it will expand a little. Once frozen, put the cubes in a re-sealable bag for prolonged preservation.
3 Tips for Freezing Limes
Now you know how to freeze limes, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing it to have the best results:
Zest Directly from the Freezer
You can grab a whole lime from the freezer and grate it straight away. The act of grating will actually thaw it almost instantly. This is a great way to preserve zest for longer.
Freeze in Ice Cubes
You can freeze lime juice and zest in ice cubes. Try mixing with other herbs and spices for flavour cubes that can be added to a variety of dishes. Garlic, ginger, chilli and lime works particularly well for a Thai inspired curry.
Don’t Cut Frozen Whole Limes
Whole limes will not be suitable for cutting up at a later date. The internal flesh will become both mushy and dry. Instead, if you want frozen wedges or slices then cut them beforehand.
How Long Can You Freeze Limes?
While very thin slices and zest can lose their flavour within two months or so, properly preserved and prepared wedges, slices and whole limes can be stored in the fridge for about 12 months.
You Can Freeze Limes for up to a FULL Year
How Do You Defrost Limes?
For quick use, pop the amount you’re going to use in the microwave for a couple of seconds (but really, SECONDS, unless you want your lime to cook).
You can also run the fruit under warm water for a minute or two, but both of these methods can make lime more squishy than usual.
If you have time on hand, then it’s best to put it in cold water, it’s going to defrost within 15-20 minutes. To avoid the fruit soaking up with water or too much juice flowing out, you can put the still-sealed bag into a large bowl.
Can You Refreeze Limes?
We would strongly advise against refreezing limes. Unfortunately, you’ll pull moisture out of the lime in all forms when you freeze it. When you refreeze it, you’ll remove even more moisture. When you remove moisture, you also remove flavour.
By refreezing limes, you’ll be left with bland, dry limes – that’s not the way you want to describe them!
Do Limes Freeze Well?
Lime doesn’t lose any taste or nutritional value with freezing, so a defrosted lime is as good and useful as a fresh lime. It all depends on what you want to use it for and how you prepare your lime before freezing it.
If you want juice or zest then freezing whole fruit is a great option, however, if you want to make slices for drinks then frozen whole fruit may become too mushy, so you should carefully follow the instructions based on what your needs are.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing limes or limes in general, then these may help:
How Do You Freeze Limes for Drinks?
We would recommend freezing the limes in slices using the method above. They’ll work perfectly in a gin and tonic or even just a glass of water if you’re looking to give it a quick citrus hit.
Can You Freeze Finger Limes?
Yes, you can. You need to place them into a bag whole. When you seal the bag, try and squeeze out as much of the air as possible. When it comes to using them, make sure you defrost them slowly in the fridge overnight.
With finger limes, you may notice the texture is a little softer internally compared to fresh finger limes, but this is the only drawback.
In fact, the information on this page can be applied to a variety of citrus fruits such as lemons.
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