Fresh-pressed lime juice is a staple in many tropical and Mexican dishes. It is also a great way to add some flavor to your meals!
Limes are a citrus fruit native to China. They have been introduced to many other countries through trade and have become an integral part of Mexican cuisine.
Fortunately, it is very easy to harvest your own limes. A lime tree can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online for a decent price. Once planted, lime trees grow huge crops of fruit every year, so you will never run out!
How do you know when your lime is ready to be picked? Well, that question is easier answered if you are able to pick your own limes from the tree. Otherwise, looking for firm fruits with bright green coloring will do the trick.
Lime juice is great for drinks
While lime juice is not as popular as lemon juice, there are plenty of drinks where lime juice is a must. Mojito drinks require lime to flavor them, and many cocktails call for lime juice as well.
Many people invest in a reamer to squeeze limes efficiently. This tool has a handle with sharpened metal strands that scrape the inner flesh of the lime, allowing the user to twist and drop the squeezed lime into a glass or bowl to collect the juice.
If you are not interested in investing in a reamer, then you can use a knife to slash the skin of the lime before squeezing it. This may take longer but will work just as well!
When storing limes for future use, it is best to place them in a paper bag instead of an air-tight one to keep them fresh longer.
Lime juice goes great with sugar
If you are out of lime juice, or too poor to buy limes, you can make lime juice with sugar! All you need to do is peel several limes, cut them into thin slices, and squeeze all of the juices out of them.
Then, mix one cup of the lime juice with two cups of sugar and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. Your citrusy-sweetened lime juice is ready!
This recipe is great if you want a stronger lime flavor or do not have any limes available. It also makes more than just one cup, so you can share it with friends and family.
If you are looking for a less sweet option, just use less sugar when mixing it in. A bit of bitterness from the lemon juice can complement some desserts well.
Lime juice can be used in drinks
Though lime juice is most commonly used in foods, lime juice can also be used in drinks. Many drinks, especially those at fast food or fast casual restaurants, require a lime squeeze to make their drink complete.
These include margaritas, mojitos, and daiquiris, just to name a few. When making these drinks at home, you can save a little money by using lime juice you have harvested yourself.
However, since cocktails are mixed drinks, the strength of the lime juice content varies depending on the drink. Some may not have enough room for more liquid content so you may have to wait to harvest your limes until you have enough to make a daiquiri or mojito.
One lime contains about 10 calories
Limes are a great way to add a little flavor to your diet. One lime contains about 10 calories, so if you are watching your weight, one lime can be added to a meal as a flavoring without adding any weight to you.
Like limes, oranges are also vitamin C rich foods. You can make a citrus salad by mixing limes, oranges, and tomatoes together for a tasty, healthy dish. Oranges also mix well with other fruits like bananas or pineapple.
Besides adding flavor to food, vitamins C and the bioflavonoids in citrus fruits help protect your cells from damage. Citrus fruit may also reduce inflammation in the body.
However, since citrus fruits are relatively sour, you should be careful not to over consume them as it may cause gastric distress. Monitor how much you eat and drink to avoid this.
Lime juice can be used as a skin toner
Most people know that coconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, but lime juice can also be a helpful ingredient for your skin.
Lime juice is mildly acidic, so it can help clean your skin by removing dead cells on the surface. It also contains antioxidants that can protect your skin from free radical damage.
Using lime juice as a toner can help keep your skin hydrated and improve its texture. You can make your own lime toner by squeezing the juice of one lime into a bottle of water and storing it in the fridge. Use this before or after washing your face as a primer for your moisturizer or alone if you have very dry skin.
If you have oily skin, try using this less often to prevent overhydration of the skin.
Lime oil can be extracted from the lime peel
Interestingly, lime oil can be extracted from the lime peel. Lime oil is used in fragrance, cuisine, and wellness.
People who work with lime oil use it to add a citrusy smell to products and to enhance the quality of other products it is put into. In fact, some shampoos have a citrusy smell due to the addition of lime oil.
In cuisine, lime oil is used to add flavor to some dishes. For example, some chefs use it in fish or shrimp dishes. It also can be mixed with other spices to enhance their flavor.
Wellness wise, lime oil is an essential ingredient in aromatherapy. It is one of around eighty essential oils that are highly concentrated compounds that have wellness properties. Aromatherapy uses these oils to treat moods, specific diseases, and general health issues.
Given the high concentration of carbon in the essential oil components of the lime plant, it can be turned into biofuel. This would provide a secondary use for the plant after being harvested for its fruits.
The rind can be used in cooking
A lime’s rind can be used in cooking. Many recipes call for garlic cloves, so a recipe for lime sauce or salsa can use the rind as a substitution.
Other recipes like chicken or seafood sauces or curries can include the dried lime rind as an addition. It will add a subtle, citrusy flavor.
Since it is very thin, the dried lime rind can also be substituted for cinnamon in some recipes. A coffee or cocoa mix may like the addition of some dried lime rind.
Like lemons, limes are not genetically compatible, so they cannot naturally breed and create offspring. However, some people have tried to breed them, with limited success.
The cost of one lime depends on its size and whether or not it is organic. On average, one organic lime costs about one dollar US.
The juice can be used in cooking
If you do not need the juice for cocktails, then you can use the lime juice in cooking. Many recipes call for lime juice as a substitution for other juices.
Some of these include chicken recipes, salad dressings, and rice dishes. Since limes are associated with Mexican cuisine, some recipes that call for lime juice include fajitas and tacos!
However, it is important to note that lime powder can turn food an undesired color. If that is not what your dish needs, then do not use lime juice!
That is also why many people have bottles of pure lime essence or extract- it is more useful in some dishes than actual fresh squeezed juice.
If you have leftover whole limes, you can even put them out as decoration! They look nice on a kitchen table or on a porch table.