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Seasonal Produce: Limes

Limes, the green-skinned cousin of lemons, are available year-round with bright green Persian limes being the type most widely sold. Their tart, lively flavor is a bit less acidic than that of lemons and goes great with the foods of summer-marinades, grilled meats and seafood, drinks, salads and desserts. This isn’t surprising when you consider that limes are essential to the warm-weather cuisines of Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Islands. Just like lemons, this popular fruit has many culinary uses. The juice and peel not only add their refreshing tartness to a variety of dishes, but also enhance the flavors of other foods similar to salt.

Purchasing

  • Select firm, plump limes that are heavy for their size.
  • The peels should be brightly colored, smooth and glossy. Small brown patches on the skin do no affect the quality.
  • Refrigerate limes in a plastic food storage bag for up to 2 weeks.
  • Wrap cut limes tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Preparing

  • Scrub limes thoroughly in warm, soapy water to remove surface wax and traces of insecticides. This is especially important if the peel will be used.
  • To remove the peel only (the white pith underneath tastes bitter), use a box-shaped grater, a special citrus zesting tool, or a vegetable peeler.
  • To extract the maximum amount of juice, bring limes to room temperature or warm them in a microwave oven on HIGH for 15 seconds. Roll the limes on the counter with firm pressure to break up the juice sacs before cutting the limes crosswise into halves.
  • Use a reamer or juicer to extract the juice.

Nutrition

  • Excellent source of vitamin C.

Serving

  • Give grilled meats, poultry and seafood extra flavor by adding lime juice to marinades.
  • Toss freshly cut apples, bananas, pears and avocados with lime juice to prevent them from turning brown.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over melon, summer berries and tropical fruits-such as mangoes and papayas-for breakfast, brunch or dessert.
  • Add a burst of citrus flavor to hot cooked rice by stirring in grated lime peel just before serving.
  • Brighten the taste of creamy salads by adding a touch of grated lime peel to KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise before tossing with salad ingredients.
  • Stir a bit of grated lime peel into your favorite plain PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese cheesecake batter for an instant taste of the tropics.
Limes
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