Oranges are bursting in flavour and packed full of nutrients. But what do you do if you buy a big bag of oranges and realise you’ll only have enough time to get through half of them?
Can You Freeze Oranges?
Yes, you can freeze oranges for up to 4 months. You have the option of freezing oranges whole, in slices, wedges or even as juice.
Can You Refreeze Oranges? No
Do Oranges Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Oranges
There is certainly no one size fits all method for freezing oranges. Oranges have such a range of uses that there are actually a variety of ways oranges can be frozen. We’ve covered three of those below:
How to Freeze Oranges Whole
Freezing oranges whole is a great way to freeze them if you only plan on using them for their juice.
By freezing them whole, you’ll ruin most of the texture. If you plan on juicing them for a smoothie or squeezing the juice for a dessert, then this is the method for you. It also requires minimal effort or time:
- Select Oranges
First, pick your oranges. You’ll want to pick the ripest and freshest oranges you can get your hands on. When freezing, you won’t improve the oranges’ quality or taste, so start with the best.
- Bag Up
Place your oranges in a resealable ziplock bag. You can pack them in fairly tightly, don’t rip the bag.
Seal the bag up – as you do so, make sure you squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as you possibly can.
Place the bag in the freezer.
That’s all there is to it when it comes to freezing oranges whole. There’s no flash freezing, no cleaning, no complicated methods.
How to Freeze Orange Slices
Freezing orange slices does take a little more work, but they work great for garnishing drinks and cocktails and for use in cakes.
First, you need to prepare your oranges. You can slice it into full rings or semi-circles, whichever takes your fancy.
- Flash Freeze
Place your orange slices onto a baking tray, try to avoid any of them touching one another. If they do, they’ll freeze together. Cover the tray in cling film and then place in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours (or overnight).
- Bag Up
Once all the orange slices have frozen solid, remove the tray and carefully place them into a resealable bag.
Return the bag to the freezer. You’ll now be able to easily grab as many or as few slices as you need when you need them.
How to Freeze Orange Juice
Before you freeze orange juice, you need to decide how you usually use orange juice. Do you use a squeeze of it in salad dressings or to liven up your cake mixes?
Or do you use a glass of it to quench your thirst or give your smoothies some orange flavour?
Your response to the above will determine the size of the container you will use. If you only use a squeeze, then use an ice cube tray. If you use a bit more then try and find a suitable container, then follow these instructions:
Taking your container, fill it up with your orange juice. Only fill it up around 80% of the way to allow for expansion.
If you’re using an ice cube tray, then wrap it in cling film. If you’re using another container with a lid, then seal the container with the appropriate lid.
Place the container in the freezer.
- Final Freeze
As an optional step, if you’re using an ice cube tray, then once the cubes have frozen solid you can remove them from the tray and place into a bag to make it easier to store them.
4 Tips for Freezing Oranges
Now you know how to freeze oranges, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing it to have the best results:
Don’t Freeze Whole to Eat
Whole frozen oranges will not thaw well to eat how you’d normally eat an orange. Instead, you’ll only want to use it for juice and the zest.
Use Slices as Decoration
If you have frozen orange slices, you can use them to decorate cocktails and mocktails whilst also keeping your drink nice and cool.
Grate Zest from the Freezer
You can actually grate frozen oranges straight from the freezer. The zest will be so fine that it will defrost as you grate it.
Expect Texture Changes
The best approach to take when freezing oranges is to expect textural changes. When it comes to using frozen oranges, you need to think about whether the change in texture will impact your enjoyment. If it will, then stick to fresh.
How Long Can You Freeze Oranges?
Frozen oranges will be fine to store in the freezer for 3 to 4 months after which they’ll begin to lose their strong flavour. They’ll remain perfectly safe to use but won’t be quite as flavoursome.
You must always label your containers and bags with the date that they need to be consumed. This will help you to avoid unwanted waste in future.
You Can Freeze Oranges for up to 4 Months
How Do You Defrost Oranges?
This depends on how you have frozen the oranges and how you plan on using them. Whole fruits will need to be left in a bowl in the fridge to thaw out overnight.
Juice can be defrosted in the microwave if you need it in liquid form or used instantly if used in smoothies.
Can You Refreeze Oranges?
Unfortunately, most food items won’t refreeze well, and oranges are no different. The freezing, thawing and refreezing process will draw moisture out of the orange and with that, you’ll lose flavour and lose that juiciness.
Ultimately, refreezing oranges is not something worthwhile doing.
Do Oranges Freeze Well?
Oranges do freeze exceptionally well – but this does come down to how you plan on using them.
Don’t expect to freeze a whole orange that you can then cut into wedges and enjoy as a snack. The texture will be all off, and you’ll regret it.
Instead, you need to limit yourself to using frozen oranges for their juice and/or their zest, as opposed to their whole fruit.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing oranges or oranges in general, then these may help:
You certainly can freeze zest on its own. Just place the orange zest into a bag and place it in the freezer. However, there is another approach you can take. Freeze a whole orange, then take the orange out of the freezer and grate it straight into your dish. As the zest is so fine, it’ll thaw out almost instantly.
Blood oranges can be frozen in the same way as normal oranges. They’ll retain their tart, sour flavour for a good 3 months in the freezer.
When it comes to freezing oranges for smoothies, we would advise freezing just the juice in ice cubes. When it comes to making a smoothie, grab a cube and toss it into the blender with your other ingredients.
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