Limequats are small trees with white or yellow flowers. They grow up to 12 feet tall and have thick stems. Their leaves are opposite, smooth and elliptical in shape. The fruit is greenish-yellow, oval in shape and contains five seeds (1/4 ounce each).
The limequat tree is native to South America but they were introduced into Florida by European settlers in the 1800’s. Today there are over 500 species of citrus trees growing throughout Florida.
There are many varieties of oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits.
Limequats are one of the most common citrus trees found in Florida. They thrive well in Florida’s hot climate and produce large quantities of fruit year round.
The tree produces two crops per year; a spring crop from March through May and a fall crop from September through November.
How To Eat Limequats?
There are several ways to enjoy eating limequats. You can either peel them and eat them raw, or boil them and use them like oranges. Other than these methods, you cannot eat limequats without boiling or peeling the fruit first.
Peel and Eat Raw Limequats!
You can easily peel your own limequat if you live in Florida where it is easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. There are many farm stands that sell fresh food grown organically.
You can find fresh fruits and vegetables at very low prices.
If you like to buy your food in grocery stores, the best way to find fresh and good quality fruits and vegetables is to buy from the local farmers that come by every Tuesday to sell their produce on the side of the road. You can easily recognize them by their farm trucks and their produce.
You can simply peel the quat with a knife, then cut it in half and enjoy the fruit. You can also just eat one segment at a time by squeezing the fruit through your teeth and catching the seeds in your hand.
If you don’t mind getting messy, you can also bite into the fruit and squeeze it directly into your mouth to enjoy the juice.
Use Limequats Like Oranges!
You can also boil, peel and mash your quats before boiling them in a pot of water. Boil the quat mash for about 10 minutes with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to enhance the taste.
Then use the quat mash like you would use oranges by making juice, pies, cakes or other desserts.
Limequats can be very helpful when you are out of lemons or oranges. If you have a recipe that requires citrus fruits, simply replace the lemons or oranges with quats and your dish will still taste great.
You can also use the juice for marinades, salad dressings or other recipes. The seeds can be used whole or ground like pepper.
Just make sure you remove the seeds before you boil and mash the quat flesh.
Can You Put Limequats In The Dehydrator?
Limequats can be dehydrated like you would with other citrus fruits, but they are much more sour so you might not want to eat them unless you add a lot of sugar while they are in the dehydrator.
Limequats can be used as a natural remedy for scurvy. Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C, and it makes your gums red and inflamed and causes your teeth to fall out.
Since quats are high in vitamin C you can prevent this disease by adding a few slices of quat to your daily diet.
Limequats also help with other vitamin deficiencies. If you don’t get enough vitamin A you could suffer from night blindness or other eye problems.
If you don’t get enough vitamin E you can suffer from muscle weakness and an increased susceptibility to diseases. Limequats are high in both of these vitamins which is why they are so great to eat.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you get a seedless quat, you actually grew a genetically modified fruit since these fruits don’t have seeds in the first place! Most seedless quat produce is grown in Brazil, and they are big industry there.
Spitting Seeds Is Bad Manners!
It is considered very bad manners to spit out quat seeds because if enough people spit them out, then eventually the government may decide to stop growing them altogether.
If you don’t want to lose a wonderful fruit variety, please don’t spit out the seeds. Chew them up and swallow them instead.
You should also try to remove the seeds from your quat flesh before you eat it because some people find the texture of quat seeds unpleasant. You can do this by rubbing the flesh thoroughly with a cloth or a rough sponge.
Now that you know everything there is to know about growing and eating quats you can help support this valuable fruit by planting and eating it yourself!
I think we have everything set up out here now, do you have any other questions?
Great! I’m glad to hear it. I just want to remind you that you are more than welcome to come back here anytime to buy more seeds or just talk about quats and me. I’ve got a lot of stories, after all!
Thanks again for supporting my small business, it’s nice to know people still appreciate quality heirloom produce growers like myself!
Sources & references used in this article:
LIMEQUAT: A NEW HARDY ADE FRUIT 487 by LT LEONARD – naldc.nal.usda.gov
Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide: Site Selection by ONAMTO FLORIDA – JSTOR
Our Quiet Neighbors: Connecting with Nature in the Butterfly Habitat by JJ Ferguson – 2002 – lycheesonline.com