A standard medium-size single fresh lime yields about 2 tablespoons of juice and 2 teaspoons of zest. There is an average of 6 limes per pound. Here are some tricks to ensure you get the most for your money!
Most recipes call for regular Limes, also known as Persian or Tahitian limes. These are slightly smaller than a tennis ball, on average.
Some recipes call for Key Limes, also called Mexican or West Indian Limes, are considerably smaller, about the diameter of a ping-pong ball. Key Limes offer a tart acidity that is quite sour in flavor and borderline bitter to the taste buds, so they must be properly balanced with other flavors.
Lime Measures and Equivalents
• 1 pound Persian limes = 6 medium limes
• 1 pound Persian limes = 1/2 to 2/3 cup juice
• 1 medium Persian lime = 2 tablespoons juice
• 1 medium Persian lime = 2 teaspoons zest
• 1 cup fresh lime juice = 1 cup bottled lime juice,
• Key lime juice substitute = 1/2 Persian lime juice and 1/2 lemon juice
• 1 pound Key limes = 18 to 20 Key limes
• 1 pound Key limes = 1/2 to 2/3 cup Key lime juice
• 1 medium Key lime = 2 to 3 teaspoons Key lime juice
To prepare the limes for juicing warm them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds each or alternatively, roll them on the countertop using the palm of your hand to gently apply pressure.
Here’s a simple method to ensure that every drop of juice is extracted, avoiding any waste:
The aforementioned tricks work well on both common limes and key limes.
The zest of a lime is an ingredient derived by scraping the outer colorful skin of the unwaxed fruit. It’s often used to add a burst of flavor to recipes as well as impart a beautiful color. A Microplane is the easiest method to zest a lime and works wonderfully for other foods such as cheese, garlic, nutmeg or ginger.
Wash the limes under cool, running water rubbing gently to remove any dirt or wax coating. Dry it off completely, then run it down the Microplane or grater (using the smallest hole size available). Once the fruit is completely zested on one side, rotate it and continue until only the white pith is remaining.
Do not zest the pith, this is bitter in flavor and will not enhance your recipe in any way! Rinse the Microplane under running water immediately, once the zest dries on it you’ll need a toothbrush to remove it.
Now that you know how to get the most juice from fresh limes, here are several palate-pleasing recipes that use fresh lime juice:
Lime background Photo Credit: Hoach Le Dinh