If you happen to grow lemon, lime, or orange trees, you know that when they start to fruit, you will get a ton of delicious, juices, and fresh citrus. So much so that a lot of your limes and other fruit will end up on the ground and rotting or carried off by animals before you can get to using it. What if you could keep your fruit fresh and useful for much longer? You may ask, can you freeze limes?
QUICK ANSWER: Not only can you freeze limes but freezing them is easy and you have a lot of options to do so. Limes can be frozen whole, cut into wedges, sliced into wheels, or juiced. You can even freeze lime zest!
Frozen limes, in just about any form, will last around a year in the freezer which is a lot longer than a month in the fridge (or only a week on the counter)! If you want to thaw your limes you can pop them in the fridge overnight, run them under cool water, or just leave them frozen and use them as a replacement for ice in your drink.
Ready to learn how to easily freeze limes (or really any kind of citrus fruit)? Keep on reading!
Can You Freeze Limes?
Yes, you can freeze limes. You can freeze them whole, cut, sliced, wedged, basically you can freeze them anyway you'd like. Just prepare them the way you want, pop them in a bag and you're good to go.
Limes are one of our favorite types of fruit. True, they aren’t as good to munch on as maybe an apple or a banana, but the juice is great in a ton of different styles of recipes and drinks. So we like to always have it on hand and is exactly why we wanted to show you that you can freeze limes.
You can freeze them whole which, when thawed in the fridge, can be juiced. Lime wedges and wheels work perfectly for drink garnishes when you just need a splash of flavor (plus you can do this without thawing them first).
|Time To Freeze||depends on method|
2 to 4 hours (flash freezing)
12+ deep (freezing)
|Time to Thaw||2 to 4 (in fridge)|
<1 hour (on counter or under running water)
anything that calls for lime
|Freezer Life||up to 12 months|
Why should you freeze it?
Not only are limes delicious, they are also nutritious (how poetic). Seriously though, they are a low calorie food that are packed full of antioxidants and, of course, vitamin C. According to Healthline.com, limes can also help improve your immune system, lower your risk of heart disease, stop you from getting kidney stones, make your skin healthier, and help your body absorb iron.
Frozen Vs Non-frozen
|Freezer Life||Fridge Life||Shelf Life|
|up to 1 year||up to 1 month||up to 1 week|
You are going to need the following supplies:
- cookie sheet (for flash freezing)
- ice cube trays (for juice)
- Freezer bags
- Sharpie or marker
- knife and cutting board (for slices, wheels, and halves)
How To Freeze Limes
These methods of freezing and preserving limes works well with limes in all forms with just a few minor variations.
Need to get all your food preserved easily? Check out the Ultimate Guide To Freezing Food so that you can fill your freezer without in minimal time.
Freezing whole limes and lime zest
Both whole limes and lime zest can be put into a freezer bag with all the air queened out and just put in the freezer. The whole lime will stay good for a year and can be thawed in the fridge overnight.
Lime zest will also last a year but will start to lose it’s flavor over time after around month 3 or 4. It’s much better to freeze a whole lime and zest it when you need it.
Those are the two easiest ways to freeze. Halves, wedges, wheels, have 2 additional steps with juice having a method all to itself. Let’s get into how they work.
Freezing limes wedges, wheels, and halves
Each of these cuts of lime can all freeze using the same method. This works the same as freezing oranges or freezing kiwi. It essentially breaks down to cut, flash freeze, bag, deep freeze. What is flash freezing you ask? Let me tell you.
When you flash freeze something you are just barely starting the freezing process. We leave them in the cold just long enough for any moisture on the surface or just below to harden. That makes it easier to store and use them later because they will not stick together.
- Take out a standard sized cookie sheet or baking pan and wrap it in aluminum foil
- After you’ve cut all of your limes into their desired forms, line them on top of the cookie sheet in a single, non-overlapping layer
- make sure there is enough room between each piece for air to circulate freely around them
- place the pan in the freezer where it can sit undisturbed for 2 to 4 hours (depending on size and amount)
- when the timer goes off, check them to see if the outer layer feels hard to the touch
- if it is, take them out and move to the final steps.
Freezing cut lime
Now that you know how to flash freeze, let’s see where it fits in the entire process.
- Take out your limes and, using a sharp knife and cutting board, cut them into wedges, wheels, halves, or whatever shape you want them to be
- Halves work well for juicing
- Wheels are perfect as a cocktail garnish
- Wedges are also good garnishes but can also be used foehn you just need a splash of lime juice flavor in your drink or while cooking
- follow the instructions above for flash freezing
- while waiting, take out some freezer bags and a marker and write the contents, freeze date, and use by date on the outside of the bag
- when the flash freeze is over, remove the pan from the freezer
- you should be able to easily pop each of the pieces of lime from the cookie sheet and place them into the labeled freezer bag
- you will notice that the lime pieces will feel dry and move freely in the bag without sticking to each other
- close the bag, carefully squeezing as much air out as possible
- place the limes back in your freezer and allow about 24 hours of minimal disruption for them to freeze
Freezing lime juice
Freezing lime juice is pretty easy and pretty handy. Especially if you make a lot of recipes that call for lime juice. You are going to need an ice cube tray and a Tablespoon size measuring spoon.
- You can use store bought or freshly squeezed lime juice
- Take out an ice cube tray
- pour a tablespoon or two into each of the open pods
- if you use a specific amount regularly, feel free to freeze in those amounts
- leave about ¼” of space at the top of each reservoir to allow the juice to expand when freezing
- Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and let the juice freeze over night
- Once the lime juice has frozen solid, remove the tray from the freezer and pop each of the cubes out
- add them into a freezer safe bag and put them back in the freezer
- the Juice should stay good and flavorful between 6 and 12 months
If you need more help getting your foods frozen, check out the Ultimate Freezing Food Guide for a complete quick start reference so that you can have a well-stocked freezer.