There is so much to like about beautiful limes! They are packed full of Vitamin C (providing more than 100% of RDI requirements adult males and females per 100g)! Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is important in boosting the immune system, promoting wound healing, assisting nerve and brain function and may assist non-haem iron absorption as much as fourfold! They provide 122kJ per 100g and are an excellent source of fibre with 4.1g per 100g. They are also a good source of Potassium and provide some Beta-Carotene, Folate and Magnesium.
Limes are low in natural sugars and are a source of citric acid which contributes to their tart taste!
The main varieties available are West Indian, Key Lime and Tahitian lime. The Tahitian lime is thought to have come from the Far East through Persia (now Iran) and then the Mediterranean region to Australia. West Indian lime is said to have come from South West Asia. Scurvy was the enemy of sea voyages hundreds of years ago, as a result of little or no fresh fruit and vegetables available and therefore a lack of Vitamin C. It is thought that Captain Cook was the first to overcome scurvy at sea by always having an abundance of limes!
Limes are related to the grapefruit, lemon, mandarin and orange. The parent tree is smaller than all the citrus with glossy pale to dark green leaves and white fragrant flowers. Limes become more yellow and juicier as they ripen and their tangy acid flavour also becomes sweeter.
When buying limes look for a glossy skin and fruit that has a nice heavy feel. Limes that feel light will have little juice. They can be stored in your fruit bowl or in the refrigerator to extend their life.
Beautiful limes are so versatile! Use lime cheeks as a tangy garnish with fish, or your favourite Thai Curry or Asian Salad. Lime zest can be used for in many baked recipes and the juice is a delicious addition to drinks, sorbets, custards and cream. Try grilling limes on the barbeque! Cut them in half and place them on a hot grill cut side down. Grill for a couple of minutes and then squeeze the beautiful warm juice over fish, steamed broccoli or anything that goes well with lime!
Check out Dr Sue Shepherd’s recipe for Thai Beef Salad!
PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live. Check with your friendly greengrocer.
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.