Limes are a tangy and fresh addition to dishes, beverages, and desserts. Their affordability makes it tempting to stock up on these sour fruits.
But, once you have your supply of limes, how long will they remain a fresh addition to your dishes?
Like lots of other fresh produce, limes do not typically have an assigned “use-by date,” which can leave you guessing about their freshness.
The information below will help guide you through how long limes will remain fresh, how they can be best preserved, and what to do with excess limes.
Want the lowdown, now? You’ll know if your limes have gone bad if there are changes in appearance, smell, texture, or taste. To keep your limes fresher for longer, store them in your refrigerator.
Shelf Life Of Limes
Like other fresh fruits, limes have a relatively limited shelf life. Of course, proper storage can help ensure your limes keep for longer.
Fresh limes can last 2-4 weeks after purchase if kept at room temperature. Kept refrigerated, however, your limes can last for over a month when stored properly.
Cut limes will remain fresh for 2-3 days when refrigerated, though they should remain in an air-tight container.
How To Tell If A Lime Has Gone Bad
If you are uncertain of the freshness of your limes, rely on your senses. Visible signs of spoilage can include discoloration of the lime, such as a brown tint spreading over the rind.
Another trait of a bad lime is a softer, mushier texture. Try squeezing the lime, and if it seems excessively mushy, it may have gone bad.
Of course, if you see any mold, the limes should be disposed of and are not fit for consumption.
While the rind of your lime may look fine, the inside can become dry and lose its flavor and potency. If a lime has gone dry, it may not be harmful to eat, but might have lost some of its flavor and juiciness.
When in doubt, it may be best to throw it out. Eating spoiled produce can lead to sickness, so it is best not to risk it.
How To Extend The Life Of Your Limes
Ensuring you have a long shelf life for your limes begins in the grocery store. When selecting a lime, look for ones that are recently or almost ripened, and at peak freshness. The fresher limes will be more firm and have a consistent bright green color on their rinds.
Proper storage can extend the shelf life of your limes by a few weeks. Limes should be refrigerated, preferably in a produce drawer where the temperature is more consistent.
Remove any plastic bags or wrapping from around the limes, as the plastic material can trap excess moisture and cause the fruit to spoil faster.
If you want to keep your limes for even longer, freezing will be your best option. To properly freeze a lime, place it in a freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Then, seal tightly.
Benefits Of Limes
Not only are limes delicious, but they also have a myriad of health benefits. These tangy fruits are filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients. These factors mean limes have the following positive health effects:
- Boosts immunity
- Promotes healthy skin
- Aids in absorption of iron from other foods
- Can reduce heart disease risk factors
- Helps prevent kidney stones
- Improves digestive health
- Lowers blood sugar
- Reduces inflammation
What To Do With Extra Limes
If you anticipate that your limes are about to go bad, but you don’t think you will have enough recipes for them, limes can be used in a variety of ways.
Mixed with vinegar and water, lime juice can be a natural cleaning agent and neutralize odors. This is a non-toxic cleaning alternative.
Limes can also be juiced and kept for longer. Or, you can slice and freeze limes to keep them as an addition to beverages or as a garnish.
- Limes are a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes and beverages.
- When making a selection at the store, look for firm, heavy, even-colored limes.
- Kept at room temperature, limes will remain fresh for up to two weeks.
- Properly stored and refrigerated, limes can be good for up to a month.
- Limes have numerous health benefits, containing antioxidants and nutrients.
Limes have a versatility, as they can be juiced, made into zest, used as a garnish, or made into a marinade. To get the most health and flavor benefits out of your limes, ensure proper storage and use earlier in their shelf life. Proper use of these zestful fruits will make your dishes sublime.