How to Freeze Dates
Dates have an extremely high natural sugar content (up to 70%), which means they freeze extremely well.
Some people think that freezing dates actually improves their texture by making them even softer and creamier. Let’s look at how you can freeze dates in some simple steps.
- Separate Into Portions
It’s a good idea to separate dates into portion sizes before freezing them. This is because when you freeze them, they will clump together, meaning you will have to defrost all of them at the same time. Separating them ensures they will last longer, and you can take out only the dates you need.
- Bag Up
You can place dates in an airtight, freezer-safe bag and seal it before placing it in the freezer. Do your best to remove as much air as possible from the bag before placing it in the freezer, as this will help avoid freezer burn.
- Label and Freeze
Label your dates with your purchase date and a use-by date before placing them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Medjool Dates
Medjool dates are much softer than other date varieties and usually command a higher fee when bought from supermarkets. Despite their notably different texture, you can freeze them in the same way as harder dates, and they don’t require any special treatment.
That being said, you need to be careful with the Medjool dates that you leave in the refrigerator. They only last for about a week, and if you leave them any longer, they will dry out and may even start fermenting.
If you want your Medjool dates to stay fresh for the long term, you will need to freeze them.
3 Tips for Freezing Dates
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing dates to have the best results:
- Keep in the Fridge. Instead – Dates are one of the most versatile fruits that you can buy, and they last for a long time. Hard varieties last for up to six months in the refrigerator without freezing, so you only need to freeze if you plan to keep them longer than that.
- Make a Date Pasta – Some people prefer to create a date paste before freezing them, as it enables you to freeze a large number of dates without taking up too much space. When frozen, date paste can then be broken off as and when you need it.
- Protect Thoroughly – Dates easily absorb odours from other foods, so you must keep them in an airtight bag or container. If you have food within your freezer that is particularly pungent, you might want to consider placing your dates inside a bag and then into a container too. This helps to preserve their taste and texture if you’re concerned about the other contents in your freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Dates?
You can freeze dates for around twelve months.
However, there are sources on the internet that tell you that you can freeze dates for several years, depending on the variety. As with any frozen fruit, you should be aware that the longer you leave dates in the freezer, the more the texture will deteriorate.
When freezing softer varieties like Medjool dates, you should be aware that if you leave them in the freezer for too long, they might start to dry and decrease in overall quality.
You Can Freeze Dates for up to 12 Months
How Do You Defrost Dates?
The best way to defrost dates is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight. They will soften and be ready to consume in the morning.
However, if you are in a rush, you can thaw them by placing them in the microwave for around thirty seconds. You mustn’t do this on high heat, as you risk caramelising them, which affects their flavour and texture.
Can You Refreeze Dates?
You can safely refreeze dates after you have defrosted them. So if you take out a batch from the freezer and don’t end up using all of them, they won’t go to waste.
However, that being said, it’s much better to freeze your dates in small portion sizes, as this will help to preserve them for longer and will mean that you don’t have to worry about the deterioration in their overall texture.
Do Dates Freeze Well?
Because of their high natural sugar content, dates freeze extremely well. They don’t require an awful lot of preparation, and as long as you follow the steps outlined here, you should have no issues with freezing them.
With these things considered, it’s a good idea to buy dates in bulk as this saves you money in the long run, and it means you can enjoy dates all year round without having to worry about their availability and cost.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing dates or dates in general, then these may help:
Can Dates Go Bad?
Dates will last for months and months if stored correctly, but they can go bad. There are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to chuck those dates away. If they are discoloured. If they are mouldy. If they smell funny. These are a few of the signs they’ve turned bad.
Can You Freeze Ajwa Dates?
Ajwa dates can be frozen in the same way as other dates using the method outlined in this article.