How to Zest Lime

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Learn how to zest lime easily! Lime zest used in all types of recipes. The zest of the lime is an outer green layer of lime that has oil and fragrance. Lime zest adds intense flavor in dessert, cocktails, and no of dishes.

There are multiple uses of lime zest; it is used as a freshener, nail whitener, skin brightener, and cleaning. It’s one squeeze that changes the flavor of the dish.

Not only juice but its outer zest also adds flavor to the dish. I am sharing simple steps on how to zest the lime.


Lime is a sour, bright green, round, and citrus fruit that increase the deliciousness of many dishes. Lime is a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients.

Simple kitchen tools are used to zest lime, for example, Kitchen sharp knife, vegetable peeler, grater, and micro-plane zester. There are many types of limes, for example, Key lime, desert lime, kaffir lime, Persian lime etc.

Lime is loaded with healthy benefits; for example, it helps increase your immunity, prevent kidney stones, reduce the risk of heart diseases, and promote healthy skin.

Choose best lime:

Choose light green color lime, or pale yellow because they are less acidic, better flavor, and give more juice. The size of lime should be heavy because heavy lime gives a high content of juice than lighter lime. Choose blemish-free and not too thick-skinned lime.

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Wash the lime:

Wash lime under clean and cold water, rub the limes with your finger to remove the waxy or grime substance, and make sure that there is no dirt on the lime. Place on the clean kitchen towel and pat dry with it. Washing lime is the important part and makes sure that there is no harmful chemical on the lime.

Four ways to zest lime:

  • Micro-plane zester
  • Grater
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Kitchen sharp knife

Micro-plane zester

If you have a micro-plane zester, then you will get long, fine, and curling strips. This type of zest is most decorative because you can use the outer skin of lime to garnish the dishes and salads.

  • First, hold the lime in your left hand and hold the micro-plane zester in your right hand.
  • After that, put the sharp edge of the zester at the top of the lime and pull down while pressing slightly.
  • You will get a long and thin strip curling off the end of the zester. 
  • Continuously pull the zester down the lime until the end.


It is a quick method to zest lime. It is the best tool to zest lime. The grater has been always used in the kitchen for a long time. Using a grater, you will get small pieces that are used to garnish the dishes.

  • First, hold the lime in your left hand and hold the in your right hand.
  • After that, apply the pressure and move the grater across the lime until the colored part of the lime has come off. Don’t get too much of the white part because it is bitter.
  • Continuously do it until you get the desired amount.
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Vegetable peeler:

Mostly peeler is used for peeling the vegetables, but you can use it to zest a lime. A vegetable peeler works best when you need thick slices of the zest. 

  • First, hold the vegetable peeler in your right hand and lime in the other.
  • Next, pull the vegetable peeler across the lime until the upper part of the peel comes off. 
  • Then, you can use a knife to cut into pieces.

Kitchen sharp knife:

A Sharp knife is mostly used in the kitchen. It is an important tool of the kitchen. Without a knife, you cannot peel the vegetables and fruits. If you don’t have a zester, peeler, and grater, you can use a sharp knife to zest the lime. In this method, the peel will remain flat, not curl, and used to decorate the dishes. You can use this technique for candied lime peel:

  • Place lime on the cutting board and hold the knife in your hand.
  • Try to cut a thin layer of the peel but be careful not to cut the white part.
  • The peel will be straight, and you can modify it as you want. 
  • You can chop it or dice it as needed

Lime Substitutes

If you don’t have fresh lime zests, then don’t worry. You can use this one of five instead of lime zest. These are equivalent to lime zests.

  • Fresh lime zest – 1 tea
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  • Dried lime zest – 1 tea
  • Lime extract – ½ tea
  • Grated candied peel – 2 tea

Store the lime zest:

You can store the leftover lime zest. Here is how to store it:
Refrigerator – Add it into the zip-lock bag and put it into the refrigerator for two to three days. 
Freezer – Add lime zest into the plastic container or plastic bag and put it into the freezer for a month. Frozen zest loses flavor and color, but it is good for baking.
Dried – Lime zest can be dried into the dehydrator or the oven at 250 degrees F. After that, you can store it with spices.

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Uses of lime zest:

Lime zest is used in many dishes to enhance the flavor and garnishing many dishes. Here some of my favorite:

Cookies – Add one tea zest into the sugar cookie recipe.
Drinks – Use a pinch on the top of lime drinks, ice cream, or whipped cream.
For making chicken or fish marinade – Use two tbsp sesame, 1-2 tea lime zest, ¼ cup white wine, ¼ cup honey or sugar, and ¼ cup lime juice and marinate it for twenty minutes. You can broil or grill it.
Tea – Add ½ tea lime zest to flavored ice tea.
Baked – Top on the cookies, cakes, or ice cream as garnish
Fruit salad – To keep salad fresh; add ½ tea zest and ¼ cup lime juice into the fruit salad

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