Oranges are sweet, citrusy, and juicy, and they make the perfect healthy snack to toss in your purse or your kid’s lunchbox. However, they are only in season for a couple of months, and they never taste quite as good when they’re not in season. Because of this, you may wonder if there’s a way you can prolong the life of your oranges. For instance, can you freeze oranges?
You can freeze whole oranges, dry pack them for freezing, or freeze them in syrup. Freezing an orange alters the taste, but you can still safely consume it. Freezing oranges for up to six months is a good idea if you have too many on hand to eat before they go bad.
Keep reading as I discuss several ways to freeze oranges, why one might want to freeze oranges, the best way to use the fruit after you’ve frozen it, and other ways to preserve oranges for longer. So, if you’re a citrus lover, keep reading!
How To Freeze Oranges (4 Ways)
There are several good ways to freeze oranges, so let’s take a look at my four favorite ways to freeze this delicious fruit.
How to Freeze a Whole Orange
The first way is to freeze them whole with the peel on. This is the easiest way to freeze an orange and requires the least amount of prep.
Here’s how to freeze a whole orange:
- Wash the outside peel of a whole fresh orange.
- Dry it.
- Place it inside a freezer safe zip lock bag and squeeze out as much of the air as you can before placing it in the freezer.
Freezing a Peeled Orange
Another way to freeze your oranges is by dry packing them. To do this:
- Wash your oranges with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Peel them, removing as much pith as possible.
- Transfer the oranges into a freezer bag or a canning jar. If you’re using a bag, squeeze out any excess air before placing it in the freezer.
I use the Ziploc Food Storage Slider Bags from Amazon.com because they are extremely durable and strong, so I am confident they won’t tear. Additionally, they are made with BPA-free plastic.
Freeze an Orange By Packing It In Syrup
A third way to freeze your oranges is to pack them in syrup. To pack and freeze oranges in syrup, do the following:
- Boil three parts water and two parts sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
- Put the syrup mixture in the refrigerator for four hours.
- Peel and quarter your oranges and put them in a canning jar.
- Pour syrup over the oranges.
- Cover the jar and screw the lid tight and place the jars in the freezer.
To thaw your oranges, you’ll need to take them out of the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator for four to six hours. If you stored them in syrup, drain and rinse the oranges before eating them.
Be sure to use the thawed oranges within three or four days of defrosting them.
If you don’t want to wait for them to defrost, you can use the frozen pieces of orange as ice cubes in your summer drinks, or you can toss them in a blender with some other frozen fruits and yogurt to make a smoothie.
Freeze an Orange By Juicing It
The final way to freeze an orange is to juice it and freeze the juice. Orange juice freezes well and will keep for several months in the freezer.
I’ve written all about the process of freezing orange juice here if you’d like to learn more.
How Long Do Frozen Oranges Keep?
Frozen oranges keep for up to six months. The consistency of the orange will be affected by frost, so it won’t taste the same as fresh oranges, but it can still be consumed.
Because the taste and texture of an orange will change somewhat once frozen and thawed, you may prefer using the orange as part of a recipe rather than eating it directly. However, know that it will be absolutely fine to eat once thawed if you’d like to do that.
Great Reasons To Freeze Oranges
You may want to freeze oranges to make the most of in-season prices and to get the best quality oranges. By freezing oranges, you can avoid purchasing lower-quality fruit at higher prices during the off-season.
Note: Oranges are at their best between November and January just before the time of year when a frost may set in.
But if you want to keep the fruits on hand all year long, you can buy a bunch during peak season at better prices and freeze them for later. This way, you can save some money, and you’ll get the best quality fruit.
Frozen and defrosted oranges aren’t as good as fresh ones, but they’re still better than some of the oranges you buy when they’re not in season.
Another reason to freeze oranges is that you can buy them in bulk, which is cheaper, even if you won’t be able to eat them all right away.
How To Use Frozen Oranges
You can thaw an orange and eat it as is if you’d like, but a thawed orange is going to taste different than a fresh one. Having said that, there are still plenty of ways to use an orange that has been frozen.
Here are some ideas for how to use your thawed oranges:
- Blend them up in a smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to use frozen fruit. I like blending my frozen oranges with a frozen banana, unsweetened almond milk, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and honey to make a smoothie that tastes just like a creamsicle. It is the perfect summer drink.
- Use them in a fruit salad. If you have other fresh fruits on hand, combine those with your thawed oranges to make a yummy fruit salad. The other ingredients’ freshness will disguise the oranges’ defrosted taste, and you’ll still get the citrusy punch.
- Use them in a cake recipe. If a recipe calls for a pureed orange, as some cake recipes do, then a defrosted orange will do the trick. Try making a Sicilian Orange Cake to eat with a cup of tea!
- Use frozen orange slices as ice cubes. You can add a frozen orange slice to a glass of water for a hint of citrus, or you can use the frozen oranges in a fruity cocktail to keep the drink cold without watering it down. Any cocktail that uses orange juice works. I love using frozen orange slices in my Mai Tais!
- Make some marmalade. Frozen oranges work just as well as fresh ones for marmalade recipes. Then you can enjoy the orange deliciousness on toast, biscuits, and muffins. Or, if you want to go the extra mile, you can use your homemade marmalade to fill layers of a cake.
- Use them as garnish. One of my favorite cocktails is a French 75, and I like to make mine with gin, lemon juice, orange bitters, and dry champagne. Then, I use my thawed orange slices as the garnish.
- Chow down on some chutney. You can use your thawed oranges with olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, shallot, Turkish figs, sugar, red wine vinegar, mustard, and frozen cranberries to make a yummy chutney.
When it comes to using your thawed oranges, you can get creative.
Other Ways To Keep Oranges
If you just keep an orange on your countertop, it’ll only last 1-2 weeks. You can freeze it to make it last longer, but this isn’t your only option. Another way to prolong an orange’s life is to refrigerate it.
Refrigerating an orange can make it last 3 or 4 weeks.
You can also dehydrate your orange. This is a relatively time-consuming process, but once it’s done, you have a delicious snack that can last for up to two years. To dehydrate oranges, you’ll need to peel and slice them.
Then, place them on a tray in a single layer and put them in the oven at 200℉ (93.3℃). Let them bake for 2-3 hours.
Finally, you have the option to can your oranges, which can help them keep for up to two years.
- Make sugar syrup by mixing water and sugar. Heat this mixture until the water is boiling and the sugar dissolves. For medium syrup, use 3 cups (0.71 L) of sugar to 1 qt (0.95 L) of water.
- Wash and peel your oranges, removing as much pith as you can.
- Pack jars with the oranges, leaving ½” (1.27 cm) at the top. I like the KAMOTA Mason Jars from Amazon.com because they are 100% food safe and dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean after use. The lids also screw tightly, so your syrup won’t spill out and make your surface sticky.
- Cover the oranges with hot sugar syrup.
- Seal the jars and put them in a canner.
Whether you choose to freeze, refrigerate, dehydrate, or can your oranges, it’s clear that there are many ways to prolong an orange’s life. Therefore, there’s no need for any food waste or to let your oranges go bad.
Freezing oranges is a great way to prolong the lifetime of these delicious fruits so you can enjoy them even when they’re not in season. By freezing your oranges, you can save money and avoid food waste, all while having delicious oranges on hand for your next smoothie, salad, or snack.
Orange you glad you read this article?