Reasons why you want to freeze orange juice
Most of us are definitely orange juice lovers, and love orange juice at either breakfast or lunch, or once in a while to drink something healthy. Especially due to the Vitamin C contents.
Orange juice can bring us many benefits to our health, and perhaps that’s the reason why we sometimes abuse the amount we buy at the supermarket or prepare at home.
Do you have a lot of orange juice left over after a meal, or do you just want to have enough juice stored and ready to go when you need it?
Are you asking the question can you freeze orange juice? but you’re not sure if it’s a good idea?
Or you may think that orange juice loses “something” in this freezing and thawing process…
Well, if you want the answers to those questions — and something more, then you’re in the right place. Continue reading our step by step guide find out more.
Can you freeze orange juice?
Of course, you can. Freezing orange juice is a good idea to keep it for a long period of time, however, you should take into account the following:
The overall quality of the juice changes a bit, but mainly in consistency, texture and flavor.
Juice without pulp — or with very little pulp — keeps much better than fresh juice with pulp. When the juice has a lot of pulp and it’s frozen, most of this pulp goes to the bottom, and at the top, the juice tends to be more transparent or watery.
So, can you freeze fresh squeezed orange juice?_
Well yes, you can, but if you’ve a very demanding taste, it’s good to keep in mind that if you freeze the orange juice, it won’t be exactly the same when you thaw it.
Don’t worry, this also has its advantages. Let’s see…
What are the benefits of freezing orange juice?
Actually, there are three main benefits you can get from freezing your favorite drink.
First, as you already know, this process helps to preserve the juice for much longer, even months.
Second, it helps you prepare certain recipes that go very well with frozen/thawed orange juice.
Third, did you know that recent scientific studies have shown that consuming orange juice that has been frozen for some time, is much healthier than drinking it freshly squeezed?
Well yes, a group of scientists at the University of Seville, Spain, discovered that drinking thawed orange juice improves the body’s capacity to absorb all the nutrients that oranges possesses, especially the so-called carotenoids. You can read it here [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S175646461830183X?via%3Dihub] (English).
And what is that?
Carotenoids are the pigments that give oranges their color — but also to other fruits and vegetables — and help us improve our vision, prevent certain chronic diseases and even certain types of cancer.
So, if your main interest in orange juice is for its health benefits, you already know: first you freeze it, second you drink it.
How to freeze orange juice
This process is not difficult at all, it only requires a few steps, but it’s really important to be careful in some details, let’s see:
If you have squeezed the oranges yourself, remember that for the juice to retain a little more quality in terms of texture and consistency, it is good to remove at least 60% or 70% of the pulp, so strain it.
Choose a good container according to the amount of juice you want to freeze and the use you want to give it. For example, you can use an ice tray to keep frozen juice cubes readily available when you need them — more on that shortly.
Regardless of the type of container you use, it’s always a good idea to leave some air in it, never fill it completely. Remember that frozen liquids expand, and this could spell a little mess in your fridge, depending on the type of container you use.
Place the container in the freezer. It’s done!
Pretty simple, right? Now, you are probably wondering what type of container is the best to store orange juice in the freezer, right?
Can you freeze orange juice in a plastic bottle, for example?
Yes, you can! Plastic is a very practical material and it comes in handy for this purpose. In fact, many people reuse plastic bottles from other drinks they have bought, while other people go and buy plastic containers at the store.
The advantage that plastic bottles have compared to other plastic containers, is that screw cap bottles don’t allow even a drop of liquid to spill.
Now, you can also use carton containers and even glass jars.
Are you wondering if carton containers can explode when they are stored in the freezer?
Well, remember our first golden rule: always leave enough space in the container, so that when the liquid expands, it doesn’t break the container or make Boom!
How to defrost orange juice
Your delicious juice has some time frozen, but right now, you want to use it in some way. The procedure is very simple.
- First remove the container from the refrigerator and put it in the fridge for a few hours, either during the day or overnight. The defrosting process can take between 6 to 10 hours, depending on the volume of the container. That’s the reason why it’s important that you organize yourself when it comes to consume the juice.
- Once enough time has passed, check out that the juice has the consistency you prefer. Place it in the sink and start giving it a few good shakes so that the pulp and sugars mix well with the water, so the juice regains some of the properties it had before being frozen — the appearance, consistency and flavor improve with the shake, for example.
- If you’re short on time, you can also defrost the juice by placing the container in a pot of warm water for a few hours. This process obviously helps a lot to reduce the necessary defrosting time.
And remember to strain it before drinking it, if you prefer a less lumpy drink.
How long can orange juice be frozen?
Well, many experts say that orange juice can be kept frozen for months. In fact, you can perfectly keep your orange juice in the freezer for up to a year, and it won’t lose much of its flavor or its quality in general.
Now, there are several “types” of orange juice. Let’s see.
- Frozen orange juice concentrate can last up to a year without losing quality, as long as it hasn’t been previously opened.
- Bottled commercial orange juice can last up to about a week after the expiration date on the bottle.
- Canned orange juice is normally kept at room temperature, and it can last up to two years, but once the can is opened, if you put it in the freezer, it can last up to a week.
- Now, regarding freshly squeezed orange juice, this can last up to four months without losing its original flavor, but after that period, it begins to lose a little of flavor and can be kept for up to 12 months.
How to use frozen/thawed orange juice
There are many ways to consume orange juice that has been frozen for some time.
You can consume it directly or prepare some smoothies with it. You can also use it to prepare certain types of party drinks, or in case you have made ice cubes of frozen orange juice, you can add these cubes to other drinks, preferably sweets of course.
Just a tip here: once you’ve consumed your orange juice, if you have something left over, don’t think about freezing it again, it’s not a good idea because the juice will degrade even more than the first time.
Also, consider that after thawing, orange juice can last up to 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.
Here are other ways you can use orange juice:
- Marinades. You can mix orange juice perfectly with other spices such as garlic or oregano, soy sauce, etc. This is perfect to use with pork or fish.
- Popsicles. Surely you thought about this option in first place. You can add other ingredients — like yogurt — and prepare a delicious dessert for the little ones in the house — and even for yourself, be honest.
- Cakes and breads. Instead of using water or milk, you can use orange juice for this purpose, and the result is spectacular when done right.
- Citrus glaze. Another excellent idea to prepare something sweet. Simply combine the juice with sugar, then take it to the fire until you get that juicy caramel that you can later use on many other types of sweets.
How to know if the orange juice has gone bad?
Knowing this is easier than it seems. You just have to use your sense of smell a little.
As a general rule, when orange juice goes bad, it tends to smell similar to alcohol, albeit a little more disgusting and nauseating — I’m not saying I don’t like liquor either, huh.
You can also try checking the packaging for mold. If so, immediately discard the juice.
What is the freezing point of orange juice?
Due to the water content within orange juice, the freezing point is around 0 degrees Celsius, however depending on the pulp content, this could vary by 1-2 degrees.
The best way to find out, is to take your favourite orange juice that you regularly buy, and place it in a freezer bag, stick it in the freezer at 0 degrees, and after 12 hours if it’s not frozen, drop the degree by around 1 or 2 degrees until you find the right temperature for freezing.
Alternatively, you could use ice cube trays if you do not have a freezer bag, as an ice cube tray is easy to fill, and doesn’t require much orange juice. Plus you can use the oj cubes in those hot summer days!
We hope you found the answer to the question, can you freeze orange juice? If you like this then check out some of our other content!