Lime juice works great in recipes and comes with surprising health benefits, but how long does fresh lime juice last? Find out more, and how to make juice last.
Do you love the brightness and zing of fresh and healthy lime juice? The bottled grocery store juice is fine in a pinch, but there's nothing quite like squeezing it and using it fresh.
But how long does fresh lime juice last?
If you want to keep your citrus-based cooking, baking, and summer drink-making at its best, you need to keep your lime juice fresh. This is especially true if you grow your own limes and only have a finite amount of time to harvest and use them.
Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your lime juice as fresh as possible.
How Long Does Fresh Lime Juice Last?
People have differing opinions when it comes down to how long fresh-squeezed lime juice lasts. You'll probably find plenty of answers across the internet and it can be confusing to know which one is correct.
Allegedly, lime juice reaches its best flavor at around 6 hours. This is the best time to use it for things like mixed citrus drinks and lime juice recipes. When it's initially squeezed it still has that bright tartness, but leaving it to rest for a while can bring out the flavor.
For how long it's actually "good" for, though, it's a bit more complicated.
Some professionals say that lime juice isn't worth using after 18 hours. Others say that there are a full 24 hours before it needs to be done away with.
18 hours is very specific, so it's unlikely that those bonus few hours will do any harm.
In general, aim to use your lime juice within 24 hours after squeezing for both freshness and safety.
How Can I Extend the Freshness?
If lime juice is only good for 24 hours, why can those little green bottles at the grocery store sit on the shelves (or in your fridge) for longer?
Well, there are ways to preserve all kinds of juices. It's how we have orange juice, apple juice, and more available to us without having to drink them the day that they're bought.
These juices are preserved through a method called pasteurization. Pasteurization heats up the juice (not too hot) and destroys any pathogens that might be present, making the juice safe to drink and store.
Unfortunately, pasteurization can make the juice a bit less flavorful and it's not a process that's easily accessible to everyone. If you do it incorrectly, you may end up with juice that's gone bad.
The easiest way to preserve lime juice is something that anyone can do at home so long as they have a freezer and an ice cube tray.
For this, simply juice your limes until you have a good amount of juice. Pour the juice in equal parts into the tray and freeze.
When it's time to use your lime juice for recipes or other unique uses, simply pop a cube out of the tray and either defrost it or add it straight to your dish.
Lime Juice is Best When It's Fresh
So how long does fresh lime juice last? Not long enough. Extend its life by freezing it and letting it wait in your freezer until its ready to be used.
You can have bright and tart lime juice year-round with this simple method.
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