22 Nov 2006

A Squeeze of Lime

When most people think of limes in history they think of the fact it prevented British sailors from getting scurvey due to its high vitamin C content. It also caused them to get the nickname "limeys", a term used even today. The lime originated in India and was introduced to North Africa and Spain by the Moors. Columbus introduced the lime to the Americas and later the British cultivated the trees in their West Indies colonies. Today limes are grown extensively in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S.

The lime tree is a member of the Rutaceae family. It grows well in any tropical and sub tropical area. There are two types of limes one being sweet and the other sour. Sour limes possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and have an acidic and tart taste and sweet limes lack citric acid so like their name are sweet to taste.

Nutritionally limes are a very good source of vitamin C, as mentioned before, and a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron and copper and they are low in sodium. They also contain the flavonoids called flavonol glycosides which have antibiotic properties and are said to stop cell division in many cancer cell lines. Due to the high vitamin C levels and antibiotic properties they are a natural way to prevent gum disease and to ease bacterial infections and colds. They are also a remedy for indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

Purchase limes that are firm and heavy for their size. They should be be deep green in color when their flavor is at it's best. As they fully ripen they start turning yellow. They can be kept out at room temperature where they will stay fresh for up to one week and in the fridge where they will saty fresh for up to two weeks. Lime juice and zest can be frozen in ice cube trays.

As regular commercial limes are waxed to prevent bruising during transportation it is best to buy locally grown organic limes. The wax could contain various compounds like ethanol or milk casein so if organic limes unavailable be sure to discard the skin.

A staple in any kitchen, limes and lime juice are used in many marinades, salad dressings, sauces and cooking recipes. Not forgetting what a wonderful addition it is to drinks.

See my entry on lime oil and juice at "Herbs 'n Oils" also with lime home remedies and homemade beauty mixes.

Recipes of the Day

Avocado Frappe
From the Vegetarian Times
In the Philippines, this pale green drink is made with condensed milk. Here, soy milk and a dash of fresh lime juice turn it into a lively breakfast smoothie. It’s particularly recharging after a morning workout. Asian food stores sell palm sugar, as do some supermarkets (check the Thai food section), though you can substitute brown sugar.

1/4 ripe medium avocado
3 Tbs. packed palm or light brown sugar
3/4 cup plain soy milk
4 ice cubes
2 tsp. fresh lime juice

Place all ingredients in blender. Whirl until smooth and thick. Pour into tall glass and serve.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
From the Vegetarian Times
Makes 2/3 cup
This zesty dressing is excellent on salads of all kinds or drizzled over steamed new potatoes.

2 small cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
3 Tbs. dark sesame oil
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. grated lime peel

With mortar and pestle or on cutting board using flat side of chef’s knife, mash garlic and salt to paste. In small bowl or glass jar with tight-fitting lid, combine garlic paste, lime juice, both oils, vinegar and mustard. Whisk or shake until well blended. Add cilantro and lime peel and mix well.

Gingery Lime Tofu Stir Fry
Recipe submitted by Colleen

1 red bell pepper
1 package of extra -firm gourmet tofu (I don't use silken with this one)
1 teaspoon salad oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Asian markets carry this)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 veggie broth cube
1/4 cup warm water

Rinse, stem and seed bell pepper; trim out and discard the white stuff inside. Cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. Disolve the veggie boulon cube into 1/4 cup water. Drain tofu so its good and dry, then cut into cubes that are bite size. Pour oil into a 10-12 inch skillet (nonstick is good) over med-hi heat. After oil is hot, add bell peppers and stir until its just tender-crisp to bite, about 3 minutes. (try it out but try not to eat it all cause you'll need it later). Remove from pan and place it in a bowl. Add tofu to pan, and fry it up til its golden (add more oil if ya need too)..but like don't mush it up..well you can if you want, but I really don't know what could happen. After tofu is browned, add the 1/4 cup water/boulon combo to the pan and stir it around a little bit? With a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the pan and add it to the peppers..(leave the juicy stuff in the pan). To the pan add the lime juice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook it over a high temp til the liquid is reduced (5 or 6 minutes). Add tofu and green peppers to the pan and stir it for like 30 seconds until its all hot..wah lah! or whatever. Place a layer of fresh spinach on the plate, then take a spoonfull of brown rice and put it on the spinach , then take a generous spoonful of the tofu mixture and slop it on top.. THEN sprinkle it with cilantro..YUM its really good and it looks nice too.

Vegan Key Lime Pie
Recipe submitted by kara

2x 8 oz. containers vegan cream cheese
2 tablespoon soymilk
1 cup natural sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon grated lime peel
4 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 9inch vegan graham cracker crust
sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese, soymilk, vegan sugar, vanilla, grated lime peel, lime juice and cornstarch until smooth. pour mixture into graham cracker crust, place on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool, refrigerate overnite. Top with sliced strawberries. Serves: 8

A Nice Little Book for Veggie Kids



James said...

Thanks for the great recipes i love lime but not realy found any great recipes for them your recipes look fantastic thanks a lot.

kraven said...

lime is also a good disinfectant... did you know that? :)

Just some cool finds

Marion said...

I can't wait to try the avocado frappe. I have never found a recipe like it!

I found vegan cream cheese yesterday, but didn't buy it. Is it similar to regular cream cheese in taste?

Gray is on a diet which has no sugar, no fats, no wheat or gluten, and no dairy, so the link you gave me previously, along with your site, gives me lots of ideas. Thank you!

bazu said...

Thanks so much for voting for me, Jackie! It means a lot to me. And of course, as always, thanks so much for bringing these delicious recipes to our attention. You haven't yet picked an ingredient that I don't like, but then again, there aren't that many foods that I dislike! =)

Candi said...

I enjoyed reading the info on limes! I love lime juice and like the idea of freezing it in ice cube trays! And the recipe for Gingery Lime Tofu Stir Fry looks so very good! :P

Johanna3 said...

thanks for the recipes, and the info. as always i learn a lot in your blog!

Gaia said...

"Lime juice and zest can be frozen in ice cube trays."

I love that idea ! I had never thought of that !
Thank you :)))

Urban Vegan said...

I love limes--can't get enough. Those recipes all sound great, but the key lime pie is standing out for me.

Megan the Vegan said...

who knew limes were waxed! Also..I didn't know that they were best when they are dark green. Thanks for the tips!

Janey Loree said...

I will be back to check out this article...I dropped by this time to tell you that you have been tagged! Check out "Tag, You're It!" on my Notes That Touch The Heart participate!

Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks for the recipes. I have reaction to lemons but not limes (odd but true) so I'm always looking for ways to use them in place of lemons.