With food prices at an all-time high, it is vital to understand how to save things rather than throw them away. We know that we can extend the shelf life of many foods by putting them in the freezer. But one question that you may have is can you freeze orange juice?
You can freeze orange juice, whether fresh or pasteurized, to make it last longer. However, it’s essential to have the proper vessel for freezing to prevent leaks. The safest way to freeze orange juice is by making sure there is a little room for expansion in the container you are storing it in.
In this article, we will discuss how to freeze orange juice, the science behind it, and which containers work best. We’ll also cover how long you can safely freeze orange juice and whether or not doing so changes its flavor.
Why Should You Freeze Orange Juice?
We do not always associate orange juice with freezing, so some may wonder if it is necessary. Why freeze orange juice?
Actually, there is more than one good reason for doing so.
You should freeze orange juice if you want to extend its shelf life. Freezing can also be a convenient method of storing for individual portion sizes, and there is some scientific research that suggests that orange juice will be more nutritious once frozen and then thawed.
Additionally, you may catch a really good sale and want to stock up on more OJ than you could possibly drink right away.
With grocery prices constantly on the rise, it’s hard to pass up a good sale. However, many people will avoid buying items if they don’t think they can use them before the “best by” date. Luckily, orange juice is one of those products that freezes easily and tastes just as good when you thaw it out again.
Of course, orange juice cartons – especially the big ones like Sunny Delight – take up a lot of room. What if you don’t have room for two or three of those in your freezer? Luckily, we’ve got you covered on that aspect, as well.
Keep reading to find out how to freeze your orange juice in small, individual containers for the added convenience of thawing, serving, and saving space.
How To Freeze Orange Juice
The best way to freeze orange juice is to make sure there is a little room for expansion in the freezer. While not always completely necessary, it is good to leave a little room just in case. You can achieve this by pouring a little juice out or using a different container.
Orange juice does freeze at a slightly slower rate than water because of the sugar. This difference means it could take a little longer to freeze fully. But because freezers vary in their temperature, it is best to take steps to ensure that the container will not expand to the point of exploding.
Different Ways To Store Orange Juice in Your Freezer
There are various ways to freeze orange juice, but the easiest is to pour some juice out of the container before freezing it so that the juice has some room to expand during the freezing process. You can use the same container it came in, which helps save the effort of transferring the juice plus you won’t need another container.
If you do need to use a different container, make sure it’s one that’s freezer safe and airtight. You should fill the container to almost full (leaving some room for expansion) so that there isn’t a lot of excess air left inside.
You can also use an ice cube tray. People like to use ice cube trays to freeze orange juice because it makes for a convenient snack or addition to your favorite beverage. Orange juice ice cubes are fantastic additions to club soda, cocktails, or other drinks for that little extra flavor boost.
Another popular method of freezing orange juice is to pour it into small jars to have individual portions to bring with you when you leave home. If you have children who go to school, this is a perfect beverage to pack in their lunch boxes. It is also great to take with you on a hike or a day at the beach. You can let it slowly thaw out when traveling to your destination, so you do not need to worry about keeping it cold.
(If you’d like to freeze the orange itself, check out my article here.)
How Much Longer Will Orange Juice Last in the Freezer?
One of the main reasons you may want to freeze orange juice is if you are not planning to consume it before it expires. Many people may wonder how long the juice will last if stored in the freezer.
Storing orange juice in the freezer will extend the life of the juice by 3 to 4 months compared to keeping it in the fridge. Fresh squeezed orange juice only lasts a few days while pasteurized and packaged juice lasts just a week or two. However, both can stay drinkable for months if you freeze them.
Because the shelf life of frozen orange juice is so much longer, it makes a lot of sense to freeze this citrus juice if you do not plan on consuming it a few days after you buy it. Even if you plan to drink some of the juice fresh, it may be wise to freeze whatever amount you don’t plan on drinking over the next few days after purchase. You can quickly thaw it if necessary, and it will give you a better chance of not wasting the juice.
My mom has two large orange trees in her back yard and when the oranges are ready to pick, there are literally hundreds of them. One way she enjoys her oranges for months to come is by fresh squeezing them and then freezing the juice.
Health Benefits of Freezing Orange Juice
Another reason you may want to freeze orange juice is that there has been some research done indicating that there may be a correlation between freezing orange juice and extending the health benefits of the product.
Scientists from the University of Seville discovered that when you freeze and thaw out orange juice, carotenoids (a healthy element found in orange juice) break down enough that the human body processes them better.
The extra nutrients absorbed are counterintuitive because some of these antioxidants get lost during freezing. However, the ones that remain are processed by the intestines much better.
This process is called bioaccessibility and is how the body absorbs essential nutrients. The antioxidants make their way into the bloodstream more manageably and thus do the job they are supposed to do more effectively.
These carotenoids convert to vitamin A, a beneficial vitamin for eye health. You can physically see these carotenoids as they are often yellow or orange (in the case of orange juice). The same researchers think that these also benefit the skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
Interesting to think that these sun-kissed fruits help protect us against the sun!
Does Freezing Orange Juice Change the Flavor?
One concern people may have when they freeze orange juice is whether or not it changes the flavor. People may wonder if it will affect the taste or quality of the fluid when they freeze it then thaw it before consumption?
Freezing orange juice should not change the flavor. Assuming you do not leave it in the freezer for too long and it is in a sealed container, the juice will taste just as good after freezing as it did before.
Not only will the orange juice not taste any different, but it may also taste much better than if you left it in the refrigerator. The juice will not have a chance to spoil or ferment from being left in the less cold temperatures of the fridge for too long.
One thing to remember is that the consistency will change a bit in the freezer. So make sure that you stir up or shake your juice after it has thawed. Mixing it will evenly blend the sugar and fruit with the water in the juice.
Furthermore, you should buy juice with less pulp. Using juice with less pulp will help it freeze more consistently, being one consistent texture rather than having multiple pieces of the fruit pulp in the liquid.
You can freeze orange juice as long as you do it correctly. If you follow all of the above-listed steps, you can freeze orange juice with excellent results. And in fact, you may prefer frozen juice from now on as a method to store it.
You can keep the orange juice for much longer without worrying about it spoiling. You can store it in various creative ways, and you can even potentially benefit more from the nutritional components.