Learn to dehydrate limes to store in your pantry all year. They are great for adding to water and teas, flavor tea blends, bake with, cook with, and so much more!
While citrus season is in the late winter and early spring in North America, good lime varieties are available all year round. You can take advantage of a great harvest season or a good sale at any time.
Limes of all varieties, make an easy first project for dehydrators. A simple slice and dry is all that is needed! Use limes, key limes, Bearss limes, Tahiti limes, PhilippineLimes limes, kaffir lime, or finger limes for this process.
Dried limes are great for adding to lemonade, water, or teas for a flavor boost, powdering for a great lime punch for baking, or even garnishing your favorite Margueritas!
How to Dehydrate Limes
Quick-drying FAQ: Dry at 125°F/52°C for 18-36+ hours, until slices snap when cooled.
Wash limes well. Even if using organic, you need to soak and wash all limes to remove any residue and wax that may be on the skins.
Soak in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar for about 15 minutes. Scrub with baking soda if you feel it necessary.
Slice into ¼" slices (6-7 mm). You can go thicker, but they will take longer to dry. Thinner works fine as well. A sharp, serrated bread knife makes a great tool to cut your limes by hand.
Tip: If using a mandoline or meat slicer, cut the end of the lime to give yourself a flat surface.
Tip 2: PLEASE remember to wear a protective cutting glove when using a mandoline. Even if you can use the guard that comes with the machine, hands and surfaces become slick.
Place slices on trays. You can pack them fairly close together without overlapping. Some airflow is nice, but they don't need a ton of space, nor will they shrink much.
Dry at 125°F/52°C or lower for 18-36+ hours.
While the recommended temperature for fruit is 135°F/57°C, limes often darken during the drying phase as the sugars brown from the heat. Dropping the temperature can help prevent that, though you do have to add a little more time to the drying process.
You can use a liner such as silicone mesh or parchment paper, but it's not generally necessary.
Tip: Flip your slices after the three to four hour mark, and every five hours to keep them from sticking to your trays.
Test. Allow a sample or two to come to room temperature. It is fully dry when you can snap it in two easily, and there is no moisture in the cells of the flesh.
Condition. The conditioning process is important to allow all of your slices to come to a median humidity and to check for any moisture issues. This helps prevent molding in storage.
Store in an airtight container for up to eighteen months, though you'll likely get a much longer time with proper storage techniques.
How to Use Dried Lime Slices
Your dehydrated lime slices will look so pretty in your containers on their own, but they have so many more uses than simply throwing in a bowl of potpourri.
- Roast chicken: Place slices in the cavity or make a bed for the chicken to sit on.
- Place slices on fish to bake.
- Slip into a glass of water or tea to bring a bright lime flavor.
- As a garnish on cocktails
- Decorating (Remember to spray with a protective coating if displaying citrus on a wreath or other decoration for any period of time to seal it)
- Potpourri or a simmer pot.
How to Make Lime Powder
Dry limes thoroughly with the instructions above. It's important that your lime slices be completely dry before powdering.
- Break slices up into the grinder of your choice. I happen to use a NutriNinja most often, but a coffee grinder or large blender works well, too.
- Pulse your grinder four or five times before commencing to a sustained grind.
- Strain out the powder with a fine-mesh strainer, then grind the leftover bits again.
- Condition: Place powder on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a warmed (but off) oven OR back into your dehydrator in coffee filters, muffin papers, etc. to dry for 15-30 min
- Allow to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container, preferably with a moisture absorber. Follow these tips to prevent clumping in your lime powder.
LEARN MORE: 25+ Ways to use Fruit Powder
Uses for Lime Powder
This list can be for full limes, lime flesh, or just lime zest. Zest gives a less bitter flavor, and most lime powder when using whole lemons is not bitter unless your limes have an unusually large pith in them. Those are usually from very immature limes
- Use lime in your salt rim for citrusy cocktails
- Add to an herb mixture for cooking chicken
- Use as a flavoring on tortilla chips
- Add to tea blends for a fresh, citrusy flavor
- Add to ceviche to up the lime flavor
- Add to pico de gallo or hummus to change the flavor profile
Dehydrating Citrus Varieties
You can get more specific information on drying your favorite type of citrus here:
Commonly asked questions
Typically, most dehydrated foods are best within a twelve to eighteen-month window that you dry them, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. However, with proper airtight storage techniques, you're likely to get a much longer time from them.
Yes, you can. While lime peels are edible, you need to weigh the organic vs. conventional citrus debate about clean fruit.
Rinds can also be very bitter depending on the pith within the fruit and how much there is.
Time is relative when dehydrating. It depends on your machine, your home's humidity, the moisture in your fruit, how thick you've cut the slices, etc. Use the time mentioned as a window of time, not an exact. Keep drying if they aren't fully dried, yet!
And if you want to see how to make and store citrus powder - watch now!
- Citrus of your choice
- Wash limes well
- Slice into ¼ slices
- Dry at 125F°C / 52°C for 18-36 hours
- Dry when they snap when cooled and no moisture is evident
- Store in an airtight container