Mmmm I love the test of freshly squeezed orange juice, with some eggs and freshly made bread. A breakfast combination I often had when traveling in Latin America, and a tradition I kept for the weekends!
Orange juice provides the body with nutritious and healthy benefits. It is a drink enjoyed worldwide.
According to Rachael Link, on Healthline, there are numerous health benefits to drinking orange juice. Some of the benefits include:
- Providing your body with essential nutrients. These include protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and magnesium.
- High levels of antioxidants, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. These are needed in maintaining our general, overall health.
- Keeping your heart healthy and reducing the risk factors for heart disease.
- Reducing inflammation and problems associated with inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting off illnesses, infections, or injuries. The body produces more immune cells, white blood cells, and cytokines. Acute inflammation presents itself with signs like pain, swelling, redness, and heat, commonly seen in the legs, arms, hands, and feet.
Long-term inflammation occurs internally in the body without visible symptoms. It can increase the risks for illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Due to the popularity of orange juice, it is only natural to want to learn ways in which we can preserve this healthy beverage for long-term storage.
Storage and preservation become even more important when you have a box or multiple boxes of orange juice stored at home. Naturally, you don’t want to see them go to waste.
So, can you freeze orange juice to preserve it? Yes, you can freeze freshly-squeezed orange juice and store-bought orange juice to extend its shelf-life. This will ensure you can keep enjoying all the health benefits of orange juice for as long as possible.
Freshly squeezed orange juice will last:
In this piece, I’ll extensively discuss how to freeze orange juice following the best practices, so you can get the best results and have your frozen orange juice tasting fresh and full of flavor.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice?
Yes, you can freeze fresh orange juice. Whether you just got a deal on a sweet box of oranges or you bought just enough to blend your own sweet-tasting, fresh orange juice, you can prevent the oranges from going bad and preserve them for future use by freezing.
To get the best juice from your oranges, opt for Valencia oranges.
While Valencia oranges may not be best suited for eating out-of-hand, they do best when juiced.
Navel oranges, on the other hand, are great for out-of-hand consumption but do not produce enough juice when pressed (source: A.J. Andrews on Leaf).
Can You Freeze Store Bought Orange Juice?
Yes, you can freeze store-bought orange juice. There are times where we need to open a carton of orange juice, but cannot use it all; you may need small amounts to quickly include in a recipe or a few cups to accompany your meals. Irrespective of the reason, you still have a leftover carton of orange juice to deal with.
Freezing is a great way to keep what you have left from going bad.
Before freezing your store-bought orange juice or leftover juice, you have to decide on what you plan to use the orange juice for so that you can freeze it accordignly.
You can either freeze it whole in airtight containers, mason jars, or a freezer bags, or you can freee it in an ice cube tray for smaller portions.
If you are not sure of what you will be using your store-bought orange juice Tropicana for, it is best to opt for freezing the juice in ice cube trays.
This method of freezing will provide you with cubes of orange juice that can be used for various purposes.
We will take a look at how to freeze orange juice extensively in the ‘How to freeze orange juice’ section, later in this piece.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice From Concentrate?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice from concentrate. Whether it’s a homemade orange juice concentrate or store-bought orange juice from concentrate, both can be put in the freezer to preserve and extend their shelf-life.
According to StillTasty.com, orange juice from concentrate will:
- Last for 5-7 days in the refrigerator, once it has been prepared for drinking
- Last for up to one year, in the freezer, once it has been prepared for drinking
From the above, it is clear that freezing your orange juice from concentrate is a great way to preserve it, for as long as you want.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice With Pulp?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice with pulp, but it comes with a caveat. Freezing your orange juice with lots of pulp in it makes the pulp grainy and dry after thawing. So, if you are looking to get the fresh, soft and succulent feeling of orange pulp, it is best to drink the juice before freezing it.
If this does not sound desirable to you, it is advisable that you strain out the pulp of the juice before freezing it. In this way, you will not have to deal with dry and brittle pulp after thawing the juice.
How To Freeze Orange Juice
At this point, we all know freezing orange juice is a great way to keep it from going bad, extend its shelf-life, and preserve its flavor for future use. The next question that comes to mind is, how do we do that?
There are quite a few ways to freeze orange juice, whether store-bought or freshly squeezed. You can freeze your orange juice in:
- Ice cube trays
- Airtight containers (Freezer safe)
- Mason Jars (Freezer safe)
- Freezer bags
Let’s take a look at how you can freeze your orange juice using any of the above options.
Freezing orange juice in cartons is an option for store-bought orange juice. While this option may seem simple, it does require a little preparation.
Before freezing your orange juice in its carton, you have to open the carton and pour out a bit of orange juice, in order to create a one-inch, minimum headspace (empty space).
Water expands when frozen, and so will your orange juice when put in the freezer. While some people have reported nothing happening if they freeze their store-bought orange juice in the freezer directly, some have also reported cartons of orange juice exploding when frozen directly and without creating a headspace (source: Cost-Effective Kitchen)
Hence, it is best to err on the side of caution, since it is agreed that water does expand when frozen. Pour some orange juice out of a store-bought carton to make room for volume expansion. Afterward, place the carton in the freezer and allow it to freeze.
Freezing orange juice in ice-cube trays provides you with versatile orange juice cubes that can be used in so many different ways. You can use frozen cubes of orange juice in marinades, sauces, baked goods and even as flavored ice for other fruity beverages or simply the humble beverage: water.
Freezing orange juice in ice-cube trays is straightforward and frozen orange juice cubes thaw quickly when you need to use them.
All you have to do prior to freezing the juice is clean your ice-cube tray and carefully pour the orange juice into the individual cubes. Place the tray in the freezer and allow it time to freeze. Very soon, you will be rewarded with sweet and healthy cubes of orange juice.
Using freezer-safe, airtight containers is another great way to extend the shelf-life of your orange juice and preserve it for future use. While airtight containers are great for freezing orange juices, this does not include store-bought orange juice plastic containers.
Store-bought plastic containers of orange juices were intended for one-time use only – to store the orange juice you purchase. Hence, storing them in the freezer directly pushes them beyond what they were designed for and can pose some problems like puffing, leaking, and sometimes, explosion (source: Cost-Effective Kitchen)
As a result, if you plan to store orange juice in plastic containers, opt for freezer-safe airtight containers to prevent the above from happening.
To store, simply pour your orange juice into the container, leave a headspace of at least a half-inch to one inch, and place directly in the freezer.
Mason jars have been a staple resource when it comes to freezing a variety of items in the home. For orange juice, it is no different. You can use freezer safe mason jars to freeze your orange juice.
To freeze orange juice in mason jars, pour the orange juice in the jar, leaving a minimum of a half-inch to a one-inch headspace. This is to account for volume expansion that will make room for the orange juice as it expands, while freezing, and also prevent your mason jar from exploding in the freezer.
If you are making use of the old-fashioned mason jars that have ‘shoulders’, stop pouring the orange juice into the mason jar at about two inches below the ‘shoulders’.
Freezer bags are great for freezing orange juice but there is a simple procedure to follow. Unlike other options of how to freeze your orange juice, you cannot pour your orange juice directly into the freezer bags.
How do you use freezer bags to freeze orange juice?
Firstly, you start by pouring your orange juice into ice-cube trays and freezing them. Once frozen, remove the frozen cubes of orange juice from the ice cube trays and place them into the freezer bags. Proceed to put the freezer bag in the freezer, allowing the cubes to remain frozen.
The advantage of this is that it allows you to create large batches of frozen orange juice cubes that can be used conveniently at any point in time. Also, it’s a great way to prevent your ice-cube tray’s orange juice from picking up flavors from other items in the freezer while it is freezing.
So, it's a convenient method for a variety of reasons.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In A Carton?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in a carton, but how you do it is crucial. As explained comprehensively above, when freezing orange juice in cartons, make sure you pour out a small quantity in order to create a headspace for the orange juice in the carton.
What this does is leave more room for the orange juice to expand while freezing in order to prevent the carton from exploding.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In Ice Cube Trays?
Yes, freezing orange juice in ice-cube trays is feasible. Freezing orange juice in ice cube trays provides you with versatile orange juice cubes that can be used for different purposes.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In Freezer Bags?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in freezer bags but with a process. As explained extensively above, you do not pour the orange juice directly into the freezer bag. You start by freezing the orange juice first in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the orange juice cubes into freezer bags, place them in the freezer, and continue freezing.
How Long Does Frozen Orange Juice Last?
Freezing orange juice is a great way to keep your orange juice from going bad, storing it and preserving it for future use, whether the juice is freshly squeezed, store-bought, or orange juice from concentrate.
Freshly squeezed orange juice will last for two to three days in the refrigerator and three to four months in the freezer (Source: Still Tasty).
Store-bought orange juice will last for one week in the refrigerator when unopened and seven to ten days when opened. Whether opened or unopened, store-bought orange juice will last eight to twelve months in the freezer (Source: Still Tasty).
Orange juice prepared from concentrate will last for five to seven days after being prepared for drinking, in the refrigerator, and last for up to one year in the freezer, while still maintaining its best quality (Source: StillTasty.com).
How Do You Thaw Frozen Orange Juice?
You can thaw your frozen orange juice in the following ways:
Using the refrigerator to thaw your frozen orange juice comes across as the easiest and most straightforward method of thawing. However, it does require time and patience. All you have to do is to transfer your orange juice from the freezer into the refrigerator.
The amount of time needed to thaw frozen orange juice completely would depend on the quantity of frozen juice to be thawed. However, on average, this can take between two to twelve hours.
To save you the anguish of waiting for your healthy orange juice to defrost, you can put it in the refrigerator overnight and wake up to your cold, liquified orange juice in the morning.
Using the microwave to thaw frozen orange juice is perhaps the fastest method of thawing orange juice. Place your frozen orange juice in the microwave and use the defrost option to thaw your frozen orange juice.
If you are using frozen ice-cubed orange juice, these may not need thawing as they can be incorporated directly into smoothies or as additional frozen flavors for other beverages.
Frozen orange juice thawed in the microwave, should be consumed or used immediately.
This is because the microwave provides optimal temperatures for the natural bacteria in the foods to grow at dangerous levels, increasing the risk of food poisoning!
Can Frozen Orange Juice Go Bad?
No, frozen juice cannot go bad. If your frozen juice has a funny taste, it perhaps went bad before freezing.
Hence, examine your freshly squeezed orange juice or opened store-bought orange juice for smells that seem off. Look out for any change in flavor, appearance, or mold development. If any of these signs present in your orange juice, discard them immediately and do not freeze.
How Do You Use Frozen Orange Juice?
Frozen orange juice can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences and how creative you want to be. You can incorporate frozen orange juice, especially frozen orange juice cubes, into the following:
Smoothies are a great way to enjoy fruits without relinquishing their fiber content. Most smoothie recipes call for the use of ice-cubes. Instead of using regular ice-cubes, you can use your frozen orange juice cubes instead, for added flavour, color and enjoyment.
Water, Drinks, and Other Beverages
Instead of drinking regular water, shake things up a bit and add frozen orange juice to it for increased flavor and taste. You can also use frozen orange juice cubes in place of ice in other beverages and cocktails, in order to get creative with the resulting flavor.
Baking and Desserts
Some baking recipes like cakes and pies, call for the use of orange juice. Frozen orange juice can be incorporated into these recipes to make them full of flavor and taste.
Sometimes, all you want to do is enjoy the sweet taste of healthy orange juice. You can enjoy your frozen orange juice by thawing it and then simply drinking it as it is pure and sweet.
Depending on your personal preference, frozen orange juice can be incorporated in any of the above ways.
Orange juice is a staple drink in almost every home as it is one of the world’s most popular fruit juices. There will be times when you have more than enough orange juice in the home, whether it be freshly squeezed orange juice, store-bought or orange juice from concentrate.
The need to prevent any surplus juice from going bad and allow us to store the juice for future use leads us to freeze. In this piece, we have discussed how orange juice can be frozen, how it can be frozen for best results, how frozen orange juice can be thawed and much more.
All the information contained in this guide will have you enjoying all of the extra orange juice in your home without fear of wasting its deliciousness.