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The Top 3 Uses of Kaffir Lime Leaf: Recipes and Benefits

Kaffir Lime Leaves

What are the health benefits of lime? What's the best way to use kaffir lime leaf to get the most health benefits? Let's get down to the juice and peel!

Everyone is familiar with limes. It's that delicious, citrusy fruit that we use as a garnish on tacos, Coronas, and gin and tonics. 

The most common type of lime in the United States is the Persian lime, and probably what you imagine when you think about a lime. But there's an absolutely delicious and healthy type of lime that you need to get acquainted with.  

The kaffir lime is a lime most commonly found in South East Asia, and while the fruit itself isn't the most attractive, it's the kaffir lime leaf that everyone is after.

If you're wondering how to utilize the kaffir lime leaf, you're not alone. Thankfully, we're here to help. Read on and start making the most of this magical leaf today.

The Most Soup-er Use of the Kaffir Lime Leaf

Pardon the pun, but I promise you the leaf is better than the title. The most common use of kaffir lime leaf is in Thai and Vietnamese soups and curries

Tom Yum Soup is one of my favorite Thai dishes, and the kaffir leaf is an absolutely essential part of the flavor of that dish. While traditionally featuring shrimp, Tom Yum Soup is also a popular dish for vegetarians.

While there are many variations of Tom Yum Soup, there are three essential ingredients. Lemongrass, Galangal, and the amazing kaffir lime leaf are the unique Thai flavors that make Tom Yum Soup a sought after dish. 

Smile! Kaffir Leaves For Oral Health

Kaffir lime leaves have been used to promote oral health more often than it's used in food. 

Using the kaffir lime leaf for oral health is simple. Traditionally, the leaf is simply rubbed on the gums. It's been done since before toothpaste and toothbrushes, as the leaves help eliminate bacteria from the mouth. 

In addition, the oil from kaffir leaves can be mixed in with organic mouthwash and toothpaste to elevate its potency.

Get That Healthy Glow

The kaffir lime leaf isn't just good for your mouth and your taste buds, it can also help you with your skin! There are two main ways that this magical leaf can save your skin, and we'll go over both.

The first is as an insect repellant. Kaffir lime oil contains citronellol and limonene, which mosquitos absolutely hate. In southeast Asia, insect-borne diseases can be deadly, so these leaves not only save your skin, they can save lives.

Kaffir lime leaves are also used in cosmetic products and face cleansers for its antioxidants. The antioxidants found in kaffir lime extracts can minimize scars, pimples, and age marks.

Getting Your Kaffir On!

Now that you've been schooled on the benefits of the kaffir lime leaf, it's time to get some for yourself. 

The kaffir lime isn't as common in the United States, but that's what we're here for. Instead of scouring the grocery stores, grow a lime tree yourself!

From advice on their uses to the citrus trees themselves, everything you need for your citrus needs is right here at US Citrus!

The Aromatic Kaffir Leaf: What is It and How to Use It

Kaffir Leaf

Kaffir lime leaves are a beautifully aromatic herb used in many East Asian dishes. We discuss the kaffir leaf and how to incorporate it into your home cooking.

If you've ever visited Southeast-Asia or you're a fan of the cuisine, you may be familiar with the kaffir lime leaf. 

If there's any punchy flavor to characterize this style of cuisine, the kaffir leaf would be it. It's a beautifully aromatic herb and can bring a bland dish to life, no matter what you're cooking. 

That being said, the kaffir leaf should be used sparingly as it can overpower other flavors. Learn more about this wonderfully diverse herb below!

The Kaffir Leaf: Origins, Flavors, Cooking and Growing

If you've never cooked with the kaffir lime leaf before, there's no time like the present to experiment with its pungent flavor. But where does this herb originate from and how do you spot it in the supermarket?

Kaffir leaves are dark green in color and relatively thick and waxy. They are dark green and shiny on one side, and pale and porous on the other. 

Botanically known as Citrus Hystrix, this herb originates from the kaffir lime tree, which also bears the kaffir lime fruit. What's important to note is that kaffir limes are not usually consumed, but rather used to produce household cleaning products! This, alone, speaks to how pungent the flavor of kaffir lime leaf really is.

The leaves, on the other hand, are used in both cooking and baking but only sparingly.  

The Flavors of Kaffir Leaf

So what exactly does kaffir lime leaf add to the dishes you cook if its flavor is so punchy? Basically, the kaffir leaf is the Asian equivalent to bay leaves in Indian cooking. And you only really need two to three decent-sized bay leaves to experience flavor.

Kaffir leaves can be added recipes including Thai-inspired curries, soups, noodle dishes, and stir-fries. They are usually added whole, then removed just before eating. Alternatively, they can be sliced up into very fine slivers and added as a garnish on top of curries and soups, or incorporated into spice pastes.

The flavor and aroma of the kaffir leaf are citrus in nature, imparting a distinctive, fresh and zingy lemon-lime taste to all dishes. 

Some top tips on how to use kaffir leaves according to certain dishes:

  • Use the leaves whole when simmering in soups and curries
  • Shred the leaves to use in Thai-inspired fish cakes and similar recipes
  • Go for the fresh and tender kaffir leaves to use in salads - stay away from dried kaffir leaves as these can be bitter
  • Be wary of the mid-rib of the leaf as this can add bitterness to your curries, soups and other dishes. Remove this part before cooking if you prefer. 
  • Frozen kaffir lime leaves can be used right away, otherwise, briefly rinse under hot water to awaken their fragrance

Some popular dishes to incorporate kaffir leaf into include: Thai green curry, chicken fried rice, Thai steamed mussels, Thai crab papaya salad, and more.

If you come across a recipe which calls for kaffir lime leaves, leave them out if you cannot find them. There really is no replacement for their unique flavor!  

Growing or Buying Kaffir Lime 

Kaffir lime trees are known as a dwarf citrus tree and can be grown either outdoors or indoors. They reach a maximum height of around 5-feet tall and thrive in potted environments. The perfect place to grow your own would be on a patio, deck or even in your front yard. Just make sure the container provides adequate drainage. 

Otherwise, kaffir lime leaves themselves can be bought fresh or frozen from Thai or Vietnamese specialty food stores. You can generally find them in the fresh produce section beside other fresh herbs and spices. 

Today, many regular supermarket chains across the U.S. also stock lime leaves, just head to the fresh herb section to find them. 

Learn How to Grow Dwarf Citrus Trees With Us 

At US Citrus, you can find the best citrus trees to grow on your front porch for amplified flavor, year-round. 

Learn more about how to grow your own citrus trees at home in our blog!

The Kaffir Lime & the Interesting Household Things You Can Do With It

The Kaffir Lime & the Interesting Household Things You Can Do With It

While you may not have heard about this modest yet vibrant lime coined the kaffir, discover all of its interesting household uses beyond squeezing here!

You’ve probably made finger-licking dishes of which lemon was part of the ingredients, or perhaps heard of the myriad of benefits associated with this sour-tasting fruit.

But have you heard of kaffir limes? Have you used them in your home? If not, you're missing out on the numerous benefits and uses associated with this citrus fruit.

Keep reading to learn some of the exciting household things you can do with kaffir limes.

Mask Pungent Smells

Kaffir limes are good at masking scents. When you use onions and garlic as your ingredients, they leave your hands smelling like them. Just wash your hands with lime juice and the smell disappears.

You can also use kaffir lime juice in cleaning wooden cutting boards and sponges that might have absorbed smells while you were preparing certain foods. Whenever you have some stinking garbage, pour some kaffir lime juice into the trash can, and the smell should disappear!

Health Improvement

The incredible kaffir lime plant is known to provide numerous health benefits on the body of those who use its fruits or leaves. Below are some of the ways you can use kaffir lime to boost your health:

  • If you get constipation or suffer from indigestion, drinking boiled lime can clear the symptoms and restore bowel movement.
  • The oil from kaffir limes can do away with pathogens in the blood. It helps the liver destroy dangerous substances; thus, improving your overall health.
  • The leaves and rind can be rubbed onto the gums to kill harmful bacteria and promote oral health.
  • The antioxidants in the kaffir lime juice extract slow the breakdown of cells and minimize the appearance of pimples, age marks, and scars.
  • The juice, leaves, or oil extract help fight inflammatory conditions such as edema and arthritis.

The kaffir lime is also great for reducing stress and anxiety. Inhaling the soothing vapor from the lime oil can calm your mind and promote mental wellness.

Preserve Your Fresh Flowers

Mix two tablespoons of kaffir lime juice, a quarter tablespoon of bleach, and one tablespoon of sugar into a quarter gallon of water. This mixture will help preserve your fresh flowers.

This preservation technique is effective because the lime opens up the stems to allow water in. The sugar act as a source of food and the bleach prevents the growth of microbes inside the flower vase.

Repel Stubborn Insects

Insects that infest your home will be out of luck when you use kaffir lime as a repellent. The lime has citronella oil which is a natural repellent to insects.

You can apply it on your body or spray around your home to keep the mosquitoes away. For an ant infestation, spray your doorway, windowsills, and other entryways to keep the pesky insects from invading your home.

Manage Greasy and Tangled Hair

Do you or your kids have curly hair that's hard to manage? The kaffir lime has citronella oil which is a natural agent for detangling hair.

When used on hair, it makes it easy for you to manage the tangles. It is also useful in removing grease and dirt from your hair. Add a few drops to your shampoo for combined effects.

Ready to Enjoy the Benefits of Kaffir Limes?

The best way to have a constant supply of kaffir limes in your home is by growing your own kaffir lime tree!

The limes are easy to grow, and you can even grow kaffir limes indoors in containers.

Check out our store and get yourself a fast-growing citrus tree for your home garden today!

Kaffir Limes and Their Magical Healing Properties

Kaffir Limes and Their Magical Healing Properties

Among the many health benefits offered by kaffir limes, some of the most magical healing properties are found in the rind and leaves used for medicinal purposes. Check out the benefits below!

Wellness gurus have long been advising us to start the day with a cup of lemon water. This is because of the varied health properties found in the rind of the citrus fruit. Citrus fruits have long been used for their many health benefits, as well as varied flavors.

There’s now a new kid on the citrus health scene. The kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) originates in Asia—in particular, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. It’s a staple in many Asian cuisines as the kaffir lime leaves and rind are very potent. Here are more health benefits of kaffir lime leaves to know about. 

This potency is due to highly concentrated compounds—alkaloids, limonene, citronella, and nerol. As well as being very flavorful in kaffir lime recipes, these qualities are also popular for their varied health benefits. So how could you benefit from using kaffir limes? Read on to find out more!

Kaffir Limes and Oral Health

One of the most popular uses for kaffir limes is for oral sanitation. Rubbing kaffir lime leaves onto the gums can eradicate bad bacteria. Oil from kaffir limes can also be used in products like toothpaste and mouthwash to further promote oral health. 

It’s important to note you should always use the fruit extracts diluted, due to they're potency.

Digestive Wellbeing

For the same reason that many of us drink lemon water first thing in the morning, kaffir limes are great for digestion. They offer a similar compound to those in popular digestive herbs like lemongrass. These are both stimulating and anti-inflammatory for the gut.

Ailments like constipation, ulcers, and hemorrhoids can also be treated with this miracle fruit. 

Avoid Bug Bites!

In the countries in which kaffir limes originated from, certain insect bites can cause fatal diseases. Fortunately, nature has provided the answer! The high concentration of citronella and limonene in the plant is an insect repellent.

Applying a lotion or balm containing kaffir lime to the skin can prevent bug bites, saving you from itchy bites and potentially something more serious.

Reduce Inflammation

As mentioned above, the unique composition of kaffir limes makes them highly anti-inflammatory. Conditions like gout, arthritis, and migraines can all be soothed with a kaffir lime remedy.

Consuming diluted juice can ease discomfort. You can also apply oil or leaves directly to the painful area. 

Soothe Your Stress

Essential oils made from the kaffir lime peel are often used in aromatherapy. Inhaling the aromas can ease stress and anxiety. High cortisol levels can be suppressed by the vapors, preventing the symptoms of stress and anxiety from manifesting.

A Natural Glow

Kaffir limes have high antioxidant properties. This is useful for countering the oxidants in our environment, such as UV damage and smoking. As a result, anti-aging products often contain kaffir lime extract in order to preserve the condition of the skin.

Your Own Supply

It may be a while before we start to see kaffir limes in the stores next to their smooth-skinned cousins. However, you can always grow your own kaffir lime tree!

If you’d like to enjoy all of the wonderful uses and healing benefits of the kaffir lime tree, why not try growing your own? We’ve got everything you need here at US Citrus, including fast-growing kaffir lime trees for sale.

Also, check out our blog posts about growing kaffir lime trees for helpful growing tips!

4 Delicious Recipes Using Kaffir Lime Leaves

4 Delicious Recipes Using Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir lime leaves can be cooked in a variety of delicious ways. Read on to learn 4 tasty recipes using kaffir lime leaves.

Kaffir limes are vibrant, aromatic citrus fruits. It hails from southern China and tropical Southeast Asia. The lime leaves and rind of the fruit are used in cooking and fragrances.

Also, called the Makrut lime or the Thai lime, the leaves are the most used part of the Kaffir lime plant. They come in the fresh, frozen, or dried variety. You can find kaffir lime leaves at your local grocer, Asian market, or online.

You can also grow your own lime trees.

If you've ever wondered how Thai food achieves its signature taste, look no further. Thai lime leaves are a staple in Southern Asian cuisine.

Keep reading for some delicious way to whip up Kaffir lime leaves.

Golden Thai Curry with Green Beans

The sound of this just makes your mouth water. This is a vegetarian dish that can easily be adjusted for your personal tastes. The blend of coconut milk and spices add a flavor depth your tongue will dance for.

Using fresh ingredients are best for this recipe. Each ingredient will add its own flavor to the pot. You can make this dish as spicy as you want by adding more or fewer chilies. Keep in mind that the coconut milk will mellow out the spice as it simmers.

Golden Thai Curry with Green Beans

Spicy Beetroot Coconut Soup with Herb Yogurt

A nice hearty soup warms you from the inside out during the winter months. Eat this soup with flatbread to have it as a filling meal. The combination of lemongrass, garlic, and beetroot make this dish earthy and citrusy. The addition of coconut milk makes the soup smooth and creamy. The black pepper helps to bring all the unique flavors out.

The herb yogurt stands out in this dish. The tang of the minty yogurt mixture contrasts deliciously with the mellow soup. To make this a completely plant-based dish, use any variety of plain vegan yogurt. 

Spicy Beetroot Coconut Soup with Herb Yogurt

Scones with Coconut Cream and Peppercorn Jam

It would simply be insensitive to all the pastries out there if we did not add something sweet. If you love to bake and are wondering what you can do with Thai lime leaves, say no more.

These scones are a great brunch option. The peppered jam dances between sweet, savory, and tangy with a ballerina's ease. This recipe is simple and straightforward. Paired with a black coffee, you're bound to feel sophisticated.

This recipe calls for pink peppercorns. They have a milder taste than the black ones. Substitute green peppercorns if you have trouble finding them.

Scones with Coconut Cream and Peppercorn Jam

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Kaffir Lime Leaves

Herbs are staples when comes to preparing grilled chicken. This recipe calls for ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Where it gets interesting is with the addition of Thai lime leaves, cajun spices, and honey. These combinations are sure to leave your family wanting more.

Serve this over white rice or season your rice with a little coconut milk, onion powder, and salt.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Kaffir Lime Leaves

Thai, Makrut, Kaffir, Delicious

Whatever name they go by, kaffir lime leaves liven up any dish. Also, these citrus fruits and their leaves offer incredible health benefits including stress relief and lower risk of stroke. Thai limes are also believed to kill lice and are often included in shampoos.

Check out our citrus trees to start growing your own green gold today.