Limes, though small in size, pack a large flavorful punch! They are tart with just a hint of sweetness and an essential part of many types of cuisines around the word. They can replace lemons in almost any recipe and are a great staple to have in your kitchen.
Have you ever heard a sailor referred to as a “Limey”? Have you ever wondered where the nickname came from? Limes were used by sailors at sea to prevent a disease called scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C. Limes are full of vitamin C and provided just what the sailors needed. In addition to a large amount of Vitamin C limes are low in calories, fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free. They enhance the natural flavors in many types of foods and are a healthy alternative when seasoning foods.
There are two types of limes you typically see in the grocery store, Persian and Key limes. Persian limes are larger then Key limes and have a dark green rind. Key limes are more round with a yellowish rind and a highly tart flavor. When selecting limes look for smooth, glossy limes. They should be plump and heavy for their size and free of soft spots. Although you can store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, they may be best stored in the refrigerator. When they are exposed to light and air their tart flavor rapidly diminishes.
When squeezing a lime you want to make sure you get all of the delicious juice without any going to waste. Here are a few different ways to juice a lime:
- Use a citrus juicer. A simple hand juicer will do and may help you get more juice than using your hands alone.
- Use the microwave. Heating limes for about 20 seconds in the microwave will help the juice flow more easily. This is especially helpful if your limes have been stored in the refrigerator. Let them cool for a minute before you juice as the juice may be a bit hot.
- Roll it. Use the palm of your hand to roll limes across your counter top. Rolling them will help loosen the segments inside the lime releasing the juice.
- Cut them lengthwise. You can get a better grip on a lime if you cut it lengthwise which will make it easier to squeeze.
- Slice them. If you slice your limes first, they will be easier to squeeze and twist to get all the juice.
- Use a fork. Cut limes in half then stick a fork in the center of the pulp. Squeeze each lime and wiggle the fork around to release the juice from the flesh.
Click here to check out a list of the Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Limes. Come back and tell me how will you use limes this week!
One of my favorite dishes using limes is Steak Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice. Enjoy!
Click on the recipe card for a printable version.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant