Key lime juice is a wonderful source of vitamins and nutrients that help to strengthen the immune system, create and maintain collagen to keep you looking young, fight against cardiovascular disease, increase iron absorption, help prevent kidney stones, and fight against peptic ulcers.
The long list of benefits this juice can provide means you should take extra precautions to ensure your juice stays fresh as long as possible. This way, you can take advantage of what it has to offer as long as possible.
In this article, you will learn how you can store freshly-squeezed key lime juice, so you can get the most out of this useful and flavorful juice.
How to Store fresh homemade Key lime juice?
The best way to store homemade key lime juice is by freezing what you don’t use. Simply pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. The next day, pop the cubes out of the tray and store in a freezer-safe bag.
Label the bag with what it is and make sure to write the expiration date that was on the original bottle on the bag as well.
When frozen, you should be able to extend the shelf life to four months or longer. The cubes are a great size to work with and small enough to dethaw fast when you need them.
Since freshly-squeezed key lime juice expires considerably faster than store-bought key lime juice, you definitely want to get the most out of it.
Freshly-squeezed key lime juice is full of nutrition and health benefits and doesn’t have any of the potentially unhealthy preservatives that store-bought has. For this reason, it is important to use it to its fullest potential.
It is important to properly store freshly-squeezed key lime juice because it will spoil faster than store-bought. However, if you have an abundance of fresh key limes that need juicing then this recipe can help you get ahead on your preparation for dishes like Key Lime Pie or other recipes where key lime juice is required.
If you’re interested in learning how to store freshly squeezed key lime juice, then read on for some tips.
The first thing you need to do is find a clean, airtight container. Mason jars work well for this purpose. Fill the jar with key lime juice, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
Seal the jar tightly and label it with the date. Store the jar in the fridge and use within two weeks.
If you want to make a larger batch of key lime juice to have on hand, you can freeze it. Simply pour the key lime juice into ice cube trays or silicone molds and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes or mold to a freezer-safe bag or container and label with the date. Key lime juice cubes will keep in the freezer for up to six months. To use, simply thaw the desired amount of key lime juice cubes in the fridge overnight and use as needed.
If you have wondered what you can do to more effectively store your freshly squeezed key lime juice, check out the 13 tips below:
1. Only make what you can use in three to four days.
When you make your own key lime juice, you are in control of the quantity you wish to make. Instead of squeezing a bunch of key limes to fill a jar of juice, consider taking time to think about what you plan on using your key lime juice for.
Plan ahead based on what you want to do with it so you can avoid having too much or too little. Whatever amount you make, it should ideally be used up within three to four days.
2. Make sure your hands are clean.
Dirty hands are a conduit for potentially deadly bacteria to enter your key lime juice.
If you don’t properly wash your hands before squeezing the key limes or handling anything used to bottle the juice, any bacteria on your hands can transfer to the juice and grow prolifically.
This contamination can lead to even faster spoilage.
3. Sterilize storage container and other instruments.
Whatever container you choose to put your key lime juice in, make sure you sterilize it first to prevent contamination.
It is easy to sterilize a jar. Simply heat a pot of water on the stove until it is boiling and place a glass canning jar (and the lids) in for a few minutes. The boiling water will kill any contaminants that may have grown bacteria in your juice.
Take them out with tongs and set them aside until they are dry. Once they are dry, they are ready to store your key lime juice safely.
Glass is the best material to use for a container because it is easily sterilized and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like plastic.
Other instruments such as tongs and funnels need sterilized as well.
You will need to sterilize anything that comes into contact with the juice during the juice making and storing process to successfully prevent the growth of bacteria.
4. Label the container.
Make sure to clearly label the date the juice was squeezed on the container.
This is the most reliable way to keep track of your stored key lime juice and know exactly when it is time to throw it out or use it up. It helps you know when your juice is the freshest.
5. Keep it out of sunlight.
Sunlight breaks down medicinal compounds in your juice and can destroy its integrity.
Even if the bottle was pressure-canned and never opened, sitting it in sunlight can harm it. If the container is plastic, this may be even worse, as sunlight can heat the plastic and leach toxins like BPA into the juice.
If you get your bottle out of the refrigerator to use it, put it right back in the refrigerator and don’t allow it to sit too long in the sun.
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6. Don’t leave it at room temperature for longer than two hours.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not safe to leave juice out for longer than two hours at room temperature.
After two hours, harmful bacteria have had a chance to grow exponentially in your juice and can give you food poisoning. To keep your juice as fresh as possible, store it in the fridge and never leave it out at room temperature.
7. Always store in the refrigerator.
This will help it last longer and stay fresher. Bottled key lime juice was sealed to prevent oxygen or contaminants from getting in.
Breaking that seal opens it up to faster spoilage. Once opened, it will last in the refrigerator six months. Keep an eye on the expiration to make sure you don’t keep it past this time.
8. You can freeze it if you made too much.
If you happen to make way too much key lime juice, not to worry. Freezing is always an option as long as you freeze it within three to four days.
Optimally, you should freeze your freshly squeezed key lime juice as soon as possible to ensure maximum freshness. Freeze it by pouring the key lime juice into ice cube molds and freezing this overnight in the freezer.
Pop the cubes out of the molds the next day and store these in a freezer bag. They will last up to four months this way.
9. Label your freezer bag.
Even in the freezer, your key lime juice has a shelf-life, so label your juice containers or bags with the date they were made so you can keep track.
Try to use them up within four months if you want the freshest key lime juice possible.
10. Defrost only what you are going to use.
The great thing about freezing key lime juice in ice cube molds is they are very easy to thaw as needed.
Only take the number of cubes you feel like you will need for a recipe, etc. to prevent wasting your frozen key lime juice. The typical cube of key lime juice contains around 30ml of liquid.
11. Keep things sealed tight.
Keep the lid tight on your freshly squeezed key lime juice, whether it is sealed in a jar or in a plastic bag in the freezer.
A loose lid or improperly sealed freezer bag invites additional oxygen into the product which can break it down faster. This phenomenon is called oxidization and will prevent you from enjoying fresh key lime juice.
12. Canning is an option.
If you really want to keep your freshly squeezed key lime juice as fresh as possible for as long as possible, you can use pressurized canning to seal the jar.
However, this method uses heat which can greatly reduce the vitamin C content in the key lime juice. Only those who know how to can with a pressure cooker should try this at home.
It can be dangerous if not done properly. Canned key lime juice will last on the shelf up to twelve months or longer in some conditions.
Just to be on the safe side, make sure it sealed correctly and feel free to refrigerate it just in case.
So, if you’re a key lime enthusiast or like to have some on hand for baking and cooking, I hope this article have been helpful. From the right steps to take to how long it will last in your fridge, we hope these guidelines help you store fresh squeezed juice safely. If not – let us know in the comments!