Freshly squeezed orange juice has been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember, but can you freeze orange juice?
From the wide range of Vitamins and Minerals to the sweet and tangy taste, it complements every kind of food it is served with.
But, let’s be real; finding fresh oranges is not always possible throughout the year. And that is something I dread each year until I realized that I could freeze orange juice in batches and enjoy it for a few months.
Since it has worked out so amazingly for me, I thought I’d share the process with you to add to your cost-effective kitchen hacks.
Is it Safe to Freeze Orange Juice?
If done the right way, freezing orange juice is safe and doesn’t hinder the taste or the quality of the juice. Make sure that you always use closed-lid jars and containers for freezing the liquid.
The only difference that you might notice is the slight change in the juice’s texture after it’s thawed. It would leave a lumpy texture inside the juice, especially if it had pulp in the freshly squeezed juice bottle.
In case you want to add the preserved orange juice to smoothies and shakes, I’d suggest you freeze them in ice cube trays instead of using a separate jar or container. It serves two purposes: you get the taste of the oranges and the thickness from the crushed ice.
If you want one pro-tip, I’d say to strain the juice first and then freeze it. It gives the juice a very smooth texture, and it freezes quicker too.
The orange juice can last pretty well in the freezer for up to 1 year, but I’d suggest not waiting that long and freezing batches that last up to 6 months instead. Is it safe to freeze mangoes? Find out how mangoes taste.
How to Freeze Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice?
For making your orange juice last for long, you need to remember a few important key points. If you are freezing the store-bought orange juice, I’d advise not to because they are fortified with many preservatives that don’t work well when frozen.
That said, here are a few simple steps for freezing freshly squeezed orange juice:
- Start by extracting the orange juice and then pass it through a strainer to remove the pulp and seeds. Freezing the juice with the pulp gives it a peculiar and sludgy consistency that you wouldn’t enjoy drinking.
- Use a freezer-proof container and fill the orange juice in it, ensuring to keep a little space at the top for the juice to freeze and expand.
- Try and freeze the containers in an area in the freezer with a lower temperature. The juices tend to need an even lower temperature to freeze than water. Temperatures like -10 degrees Celsius work the best.
- Ensure to label the containers with the date of preparing and freezing.
- If you plan on drinking a fresh glass sometime the next day, I’d suggest you transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw there overnight.
How Can I Use Frozen Orange Juice?
Apart from drinking it as is after it’s thawed, there are a few other recipes that work well with frozen orange juice. Let me share a few with you here.
These are likely the most common way of using frozen orange juice. If you are particularly freezing the juice to add to your smoothies or smoothie bowls, it is always better to freeze them in ice-cube trays. You also don’t need to strain the excess pulp for this.
Check out this amazing recipe on Orange Smoothie.
Since oranges are not available throughout the year, adding freshly squeezed juice is not possible in the desserts. You will never be able to mimic the taste and flavor of actual oranges over the essence or store-bought flavorings.
Freezing the orange juice helps you reuse it later in your desserts to add a natural sweetness and orangy flavor to the dish.
3. Drinks or Cocktails
Another fantastic way to repurpose frozen orange juice in ice-cube form is to add them to cocktails or mocktails. It adds a natural sweet and sour taste to the drink and elevates the drink’s overall taste.
How Long Does Frozen Orange Juice Last?
Freshly squeezed and then frozen orange juices last for around a year in the freezer. But, if asked, I’d suggest you finish it up within 6 months to prevent any risks of contamination.
Additionally, the more you thaw and refreeze the juice, the more it tends to lose its original taste and flavor.
So, in general, it will last somewhere around 8-12 months in the freezer but try not to exceed the time of consumption more than 6 months following the preparation.
Is It Safe to Freeze Orange Juice in Cardboard Carton?
Yes, it is okay to freeze the orange juice in a cardboard carton as it freezes just fine but make sure that you always leave some room at the room of the carton and not fill it to the brim.
The liquid, when frozen, will expand and need more space to fit in to stay frozen.
Not doing so can exert excess pressure on the carton, resulting in the same exploding, which is the absolute last thing you want.
Is It Safe to Freeze Orange Juice in Mason Jars?
Yes, the majority of them are safe for usage.
But, if you are planning on freezing the juice for around a year, I’d say not go for the glass materials, even if they are freezer-safe.
The change in the temperatures can exert excess pressure on the glass, resulting in a disaster.
In case you are using mason jars to freeze the juice, maintain about a 3 inches gap from the jar’s lip. It gives the liquid enough space to expand without putting any pressure on the side of the jar’s lid.
Is It Safe to Freeze Orange Juice in Plastic Containers?
Plastic containers are likely the most common option accessible and durable enough to withstand the cold temperature of the freezer.
Use an air-tight plastic container with a lid. Ensure that the body of the plastic is thick enough to withstand the cold temperature. You don’t want to store the juice in some flimsy plastic material.
Try and use BPA-free plastic containers. These are safe for food storage and reduce the toxicity in the food. They are a little on the expensive side but if you freeze orange juice quite often, think of it as an investment.
How to Thaw Orange Juice?
You are aware of the freezing process, but how does one thaw the frozen orange juice? Here, I am going to share the basics of the thawing process.
- If you want to drink the orange juice as is, it is best to transfer the frozen container from the freezer to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. If you don’t have that much time, dunk the container in some lukewarm water and leave it for 30 minutes in that state.
- In case you are using the orange juice as ice cubes for smoothies and cocktails, you can directly add them to the blender or the glass, as per the requirement. It doesn’t require any defrosting or thawing.
Does the Thawed Orange Juice Last Long?
If you use orange juice every day, I’d suggest freezing them in smaller quantities. Refreezing thawed orange juice affects the taste and the quality, so make sure that you use up all the thawed juice.
Typically, the thawed juice will last for 2-3 days in the fridge, so try and finish the contents before it becomes unfit for consumption.
Does Freezing Orange Juice Affect the Nutritional Value?
Orange juice is enriched with a host of vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin A and a few minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc.
Some studies indicate a two-way answer. Some studies believe that freezing affects the nutritional value, while some suggest it doesn’t.
Even though there is no conclusive study concerning the changes in the nutritional value, there is a study highlighting that frozen orange juice has a higher level of antioxidants than the normal ones.
So, it doesn’t matter what; your body is going to thank you anyway.
Freezing orange juice not just makes it a lot more accessible; it makes it quite economical as well. If your family has a habit of drinking orange juice regularly like mine, I’d advise you to freeze the freshly squeezed or store-bought juice in batches and consume them for the months to come. Make sure you follow the steps, as I mentioned before.