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.
Do Oranges Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Oranges? No
Yes, you can! In fact, the peel will always act as a layer of protection in some way. Where possible, keep it in tact.
How to Freeze Different Forms of Orange
If you’ve got oranges to freeze then you’ll already know just how versatile they can be. Here are a few forms you may want to freeze oranges in:
Freezing whole oranges is straightforward but does have some drawbacks. After thoroughly washing and drying the oranges, place them in a freezer bag or container and put them in the freezer.
The texture of the oranges will change, becoming mushy once thawed due to the high water content. However, they can still be used for juicing.
For sliced oranges, after washing and cutting the oranges, arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them this way before transferring them to a freezer bag for a few months. This ensures the slices don’t stick together, and I can take out only what I need.
The frozen slices can be used in drinks or smoothies, but be wary that they will lose their original texture once thawed.
Orange segments freeze well, and I use the same method for the slices.
After peeling the oranges and cutting them into segments, I freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag. The individual frozen segments are great for adding to desserts or smoothies.
Orange zest is a handy ingredient to have in the freezer. After zesting the oranges, I place the zest in a small, airtight container or freezer bag. If you have a lot of zest, freezing it in an ice cube tray with a little water can keep portions manageable.
Freeze Whole Oranges for the Zest
Although whole oranges do not freeze well, they freeze well if you only need them for their zest. Pop a whole orange in the freezer, then when you need zest, grab it and grate it from frozen!
How to Freeze Different Types of Orange
Of course, there’s more to oranges than meets the eye. You can get many varieties of oranges. But, is it possible to store all of these in the freezer or not?
Blood oranges can be frozen similarly to other oranges, either whole, sliced, or in segments. They do lose some of their bitter edge that you might enjoy when frozen.
Mandarins and Clementines
Freezing mandarins and clementines is similar to the method you use for other small citrus fruits. Due to their small size, they can be frozen whole or in segments.
However, they have a higher sugar content than other oranges, so they might become softer when thawed.
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.
When kept at room temperature, oranges will last for around 1 week. If they are put in the fridge, they will last for around 1 month.
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.
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