5 Uses for Lime

I think the lime is a bit of an underrated fruit. Probably because it is sour and most people don’t eat it on its own. Plus the lemon often steals the limelight when it comes to sour citrus.

I used to think lemons and limes, same dif. But over time I’ve come to appreciate that the lime is different than the lemon. The difference is subtle and hard to put into words, but it’s there. To me, the lime has a more tropical flavor, and a tangy note to its overall taste.

In any case, our green citrus friend has an amazing flavor that packs a punch, and it can be used in all sorts of dishes, desserts and drinks.

Since it’s St. Patrick’s day, I’ve decided to honor one of my favorite green fruits with a blog post. Without further ado, here are five uses for the lovely little lime.

Mojitos

Ah the mojito! Although the mojito originated in Cuba, I think it makes a perfect St. Patrick’s Day drink. It’s green and fresh and a lighter alternative to all that green beer. To mix up this tasty beverage, place a couple of sprigs of mint in a glass, and then squeeze the juice of half a lime into it. Cut the half lime into wedges and add to your glass. Pour in 1.5 oz of rum (a shot and a half). Use a spoon or fork to muddle the mint and lime wedges, and to mix everything together. Next, mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Top off with ½ a can of soda water, and a few ice cubes. Voila, you’ve got a delicious green drink.

Thai Curries

I love cooking Thai cuisine, especially the tasty curries. And limes are absolutely key to making an authentic Thai curry. First off, the secret ingredient that separates an OK curry from the most delicious curry at your favorite Thai restaurant is the Kaffir lime leaf. When cooking any Thai curry, add 6-8 Kaffir lime leaves to the pot (lime leaves are available in most Chinatowns and ethnic grocery stores). Also, once you are done cooking the curry, you absolutely must squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot. It will make all the difference.

Central and South American Cuisine

I’ve traveled extensively in Central and South America, and one thing I’ve noticed is that limes are ubiquitous in this part of the world. So it’s no surprise that limes feature heavily in the dishes of the region.  Tacos, burritos, ceviche, grilled meats and fish, salads, soups, drinks. I could go on and on, but almost every Central or South American dish is taken to the next level by squeezing lime juice over it.

Key Lime Pie

Limes are great for savory cooking, but don’t discount this versatile little citrus fruit when it comes to dessert. In my opinion, the mother of all lime desserts is the key lime pie. I’ve tried several recipes over the years, but now my go to key lime pie recipe is Meredith Steele’s. According to Meredith, the key lime pie was invented in the early 20th century, on Florida’s sponge fishing boats. So why not treat yourself to a taste of the Keys with this lime-filled dessert.

Try Lime with Miracle Berries

Have you ever heard of the miracle berry? It’s a small, red berry that blocks your sour taste receptors, so that when you eat anything sour, it will taste sweet. A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pack of Frooties, which are miracle berries in tablet form. I invited some friends over, and we tried limes, lemons, cherries, blackberries, kiwis and more with the miracle berry. My favorite by far was the lime! The miracle berry makes lime taste like candy. It removes the sourness so you can really experience the lime’s flavor, and it is amazing.

Do you have any other ideas for what can be done with limes? Share your ideas in the comment section!

When Life Gives you Kumquats, Make Sangria

I said I was going to do a post today on a bunch of different ways you can use up kumquats, but I woke up this morning and Twitter told me it’s National Sangria Day. Boom!

The Fruit Adventurer stars must be aligning, because I love sangria, especially with lots of citrus fruit like oranges, limes and lemons. And what better way to use up a bunch of kumquats than in a tasty wine punch!

Sangria is a drink I usually like to have in the summer, and it being the middle of December and all, it’s quite cold and snowy at the moment in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada. At this time of year I switch to mulled wine when I fancy a wine cocktail, so I had the idea to make a winter sangria using the spices I would normally put in mulled wine.

Well let me tell you guys, my winter sangria creation is fantastic! Delicious fruitiness in a glass with just the right spiciness to make it taste like winter. And the best part is you can use this recipe with any fruit you need to use up, not just kumquats. So here’s how to make it and a recipe that you can adapt using whatever fruit you have on hand.

Grab a juice pitcher, ½ cup of spiced rum, a bottle of red wine, 1 cup of orange juice, and ½ cup of sugar.

Put all of these ingredients into the pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Next add the spices. You’ll need 2 sticks of cinnamon, 8 whole cloves, 1 star anise, and a chunk of peeled ginger, about the size of your thumb.  

Put all of the spices into the pitcher.

Now it’s time to prepare the fruit. I used about a ½ cup of kumquats, cut in half. I also sliced up half of an orange, and grabbed a handful of frozen strawberries, which were already sliced. How convenient! (I used frozen because the only fresh strawberries I can get in December are imported, and they taste like cardboard).

Add the fruit into the pitcher.

Time for the wine. I used some homemade wine, since I had it on hand. But any fruity, unoaked red wine will do. Merlot is a great choice.

Pour the wine into the pitcher, and give the mixture a final stir. Now put the sangria into the refrigerator, and let it sit for at least 2 hours, and overnight if you can wait that long. Letting the sangria sit gives the flavours time to meld, and intensifies the taste of the winter spices.

After waiting time is up, grab yourself a glass, invite your friends over, and enjoy this glorious creation in honor of National Sangria Day! Cheers!

 

The Fruit Adventurer’s Winter Sangria Recipe:

  • 1 750ml bottle of fruity red wine (unoaked)
  • ½ cup spiced rum
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon-sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 cups winter fruit – Your choice of whatever you have on hand, but sliced citrus fruits, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, sliced apple, sliced pear, and fresh or frozen berries are all good options if you live in the northern hemisphere.

Put all of the ingredients into a drink pitcher, give it a good stir, and let the sangria sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible. Serve over ice. If you enjoy a bubbly sangria, feel free to add a dash of club soda to your glass, or just drink it straight like I prefer. Cheers!