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Lemon vs. Lime in Cooking: How to Determine the Best Choice

If you're trying a recipe of your own, how do you determine whether lemon vs. lime is best to use to add those citrus notes to your dish? Find out how here!

Time to add some citrus undertones to your cooking! The question remains, though: lemon or lime?

Knowing whether to use lemon vs. lime in cooking may seem intuitive, but there is some nuance to consider. That's why we're here!

Learn about the difference between lime vs. lemon and more in our guide below and how the difference can affect your cooking too. 

The Major Difference Between Lemon vs. Lime

As you know, the physical major difference between lime vs. lemon is that a lime is green and a lemon is yellow. Easy enough, right? Let's dig a little deeper, though. 

Limes will turn yellow as they turn riper, but you want to use them when they are still green for the acidic taste you are looking for in your dishes. Limes are more often used when you are cooking Latin American or Southeast Asian cuisine. 

For lemons, they are yellow and usually more tart. It is used to help flavor Mediterranean or European dishes. That said, both lime and lemon can be used in a variety of dishes and both have plenty of nutritional benefits too.

Lime vs. Lemon Benefits

Both limes and lemons provide a variety nutritional benefits

Vitamin C is a big player. Lemons will have more vitamin C compared to limes. If it is acidity you are after, they both have citric acid, though lemons retain more than limes. 

That said, limes have a ton of antioxidants! Drinking lime water in the morning has quite a bit of nutritional benefits as well. If you do this every day, you can get rid of toxins in your body. You can also eliminate fatigue, among other things. 

Lime Juice vs. Lemon Juice

In some cases, you can substitute lemon and lime. While you cannot alternate one for the other for everything, there are certain recipes where you can decide whether to use lime juice vs. lemon juice.

This is most often useful when you may have run out of the one you actually need!

Substituting lemon juice for lime juice and vice versa can still give you the great citrus flavor you're looking for in your dish. When you do this, remember that one cup of lemon juice is equivalent to three-fourths of a cup of lime juice. This is due to the more acidic flavor in lime juice compared to lemon juice. 

Add Lemon or Lime? You Decide

Now that you know more information, you hopefully will have an easier time deciding whether to use lemon vs. lime in your dishes. 

Visit our blog on all things citrus for recipes, uses, benefits, and more!

Looking to elevate your citrus cuisines or cocktails with fresh lime flavor? Try our fresh kaffir (makrut) lime leaves!

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