Recently, I noticed kaffir limes at my local market. I’d seen them before in pictures and even used the fragrant, dry leaves when attempting to cook authentic thai food at home. The moment I picked it up, I could smell it and since I’d never actually had a fresh one in my hand I jumped at the chance to take a few home to see what I could make with them. I wasn’t even sure if it was organic, but I wanted to try a few.
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that these bumpy green beauties are native to Southeast Asia and both the leaves and the fruit (especially the rind) are used primarily in the delicious cuisine, but also used in religious ceremonies, as medicine for its insecticidal properties and also to freshen the air.

I finally got them home, washed the outsides really well, trying not to damage the skin and sliced one open. Immediately I could smell the rind, which gave off a “citronella” like smell. Turns out, the compound that gives the kaffir lime its distinctive smell is citronellal. Citronellal and the more popular citronella seem to be similar in smell and source, but citronellal is the chemical compound that gives citronella its scent.

Anyway, I also noticed that these limes had more than two-dozen seeds inside. These days, you’re lucky if you can find citrus with seeds. We have become accustomed to eating seedless fruits, but seeded fruits are a good thing. It’s natures way of reproducing itself by itself. Hint : That means it probably is NOT genetically modified.

So here's a couple of tips…

1.) Use the kaffir lime leaves or with your favorite zester zest the rind into your curries. Combining this fragrant and tasty part of the kaffir lime brightens foods and the turmeric and cumin you’ll use in your curry will give you added benefits. You can probably find the leaves at a nearby (Asian) food market or you can find them online.

2.) Use the rind the same way you would use the grapefruit rind in my all natural surface cleanser and live clean. You’ll have to buy more limes (maybe 10) and these limes don’t come cheap. But if you had two or three and used the juice, you could simply use the kaffir lime rind along with some meyer lemon or regular lemon rind to make the same cleanser.

3.) Save the seeds and grow your own. You can grow this “thorny bush” in an outdoor and watch nature work it’s magic. One small bush will be just enough to delight your senses and give you enough kaffir limes and leaves to share with your close neighborhood friends.

4.) Make something raw and delicious. I made a crisp and bright, seasonal superfood fruit salad with goji berries and posted the recipe on my Instagram. From beginning to end it took less than 7 minutes. This is a great way to add raw, healthy and delicious to your day, morning, noon or night. Try and make this and let me know how yours turns out!

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January 5, 2014