Margarita won’t taste great if you don’t have lime juice to add to it. Ginger lime juice or honey lemonade with lime is both refreshing and healthy.
What to do if you don’t have lime juice required for your recipe? What can you use in place of lime juice in your cooking and baking? This article examines the best lemon juice substitute you can use in a pinch, also a little about its flavor profile and uses in cooking.
Lime Juice – An Overview
A lime, is a citrus fruit, which is typically round, smooth zesty skin with hints of yellow, and contains acidic juice vesicles.
You’ll find several species of citrus trees whose fruits are called limes, including kaffir lime, Key lime, Mexican lime, Persian lime, and more.
Juice from one lime can provide about 30 percent of the Vitamin C that your body needs in a day. This juice also contains antioxidants and nutrients useful for health, especially for immunity, healthy heart, and skin.
Having daily doses of lime juice (2 limes per day) is a healthy diet you should consider. If you don’t have lime, some of the lime juice substitutes like lemon juice can also provide similar health benefits.
How much lime juice is in a lime?
A standard size lime belonging to any variety/species produces about the same amount of lime juice. About 2 tablespoons of lime juice you can extract from a lime. That is 1 Lime = 2 tablespoons of fresh juice.
Fresh lime has maximum juice and the quantity of juice would reduce after refrigeration or when stored for a few days.
What does lime juice taste like?
Lime juice has a tart, acidic taste with a slight hint of sweetness. The juice has a distinct zesty sour flavor that makes your dishes bright and vibrant.
Lime juice has a taste similar to lemon juice, both are acidic with a slight difference in scent and flavor. Usually, limes are slightly bitter and less sweet than lemon.
Lime fruit cannot be eaten whole like an orange due to its bitterness, especially in the pith and fibrous threads.
How to use lime juice in cooking?
Lime juice adds a wonderful tangy, sweet flavor to most dishes. This juice is mostly used in marinades, drinks, cocktails, and baked goods.
Lime zest and juice is key ingredient in a lime pie. Many Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai dishes make use of both lime juice and rind, especially in garnishing and oil/vinegar-infused recipes.
What Is A Good Substitute For Lime juice?
When you think of a substitute, take into consideration the primary function of lime juice in your recipe. For example, you may use lime juice in a dish for reasons like citrusy flavor, acidity or brightness, and vibrancy. Thus choose a replacement for lime juice according to the need of your recipe. Here are some of the best alternatives to consider:
1. Lemon Juice
Without a doubt, lemon juice is the first and best lime juice substitute for sure. They both tally in terms of flavor and acidity. Some verities of limes are slightly more sour than lemon, also mildly bitter.
You can replace the lime juice with lemon juice in a 1:1 measure in most recipes, including margaritas.
2. Other Citrus Fruits Juice
Most other citrus fruits like orange, grapefruits, or pomelos have some amount of acidity and sourness similar to lime. Kalamansi and kumquat juice are also good substitutes. Most of them are sweeter with less sourness. Of course, they all have distinctive flavors; yet they can be used interchangeably in some recipes.
For example, orange juice can very well substitute lime juice in cocktails and other drinks, also in sweet dishes and baked goods.
For bringing acidity to your dish, vinegar is an excellent stand-in ingredient for lime juice. Among the different types of vinegars, distilled white vinegar does not have any distinct flavor, thus usable in all recipes. Apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or others have distinctive flavors acquired from their source of fruits or grains.
As a substitution for lime juice, choose the right vinegar according to the flavor profile of your recipe. Vinegar is strongly acidic, thus start using them in small quantities, about ½ the amount of lime juice or still less.
4. Lime Zest
Lime zest is made from the rind of lime and lime juice from the flesh of the fruits, but they both have the same level of acidity and similar flavor. In most recipes you can use lime zest instead of lime juice, provided the texture of the zest is not a concern.
One tablespoon of lime juice is equal to ½ teaspoon of lime zest.
5. Other Citrus Zests
Lemon and orange zests are a lot similar to lime in flavor despite the difference in appearance and texture. They also have a significant level of acidity besides the citrusy flavor. Other citrus zests, especially the lemon zest, are a good alternative to lime juice in most dishes. Use a 1:2 substitute ratio of zest to juice.
6. White Wine
White wine is less acidic and doesn’t have a citrusy flavor like lime juice, yet a possible substitution for lime juice in some recipes. Just try using white wine in place of lime juice in marinades and dressings. When you don’t have a better substitution option, something somewhat similar is your best bet for that moment.
7. Black Lime
Black limes will rehydrate and infuse the cooking liquids with their flavors. In Middle Eastern cooking, it is used in some dishes for its sour flavor akin to lime juice. It’s a possible alternative to lime juice in savory dishes, stews, and soups.
Tamarind is popularly used in Indian curries and Thai savories for its sweet-sour taste. You can comfortably use tamarind paste in recipes where you use lime juice for the sake of sourness. This is a nice substitute option worth using in dressings, marinades, and drinks. Tamarind water made of diluted tamarind pulp can also be used just like lime juice.
The Bottom Line
Now you have got more than enough substitutes for lime juice, thus you need not freak out next time when you don’t have any lime juice. Any of these alternative ingredients must be carefully chosen according to the desired flavor of your dish.
Always start adding a replacement ingredient to your recipe in a small amount then gradually add more till you achieve the right balance of flavor.