Ideally, it is best to enjoy oranges fresh, especially if you want to maximize its taste and texture.
Depending on where you live, you might not have access to oranges year-round or, you got a deal on.
If you have excess oranges that you do not want to spoil, you can freeze them to keep them longer. You should be aware that when freezing, the quality of the citrus fruit may be affected.
We look at how freezing affects oranges and the best way to about storing and using the fruit properly, so that you preserve the taste and texture as much as possible.
Can You Freeze Oranges & Should You Be Doing It?
Can you freeze oranges? Yes, you can and it is a good storage option if you are looking to store the fruit longer.
Fresh oranges will often last about 3-4 weeks in refrigerator, before they begin to go bad.
While freezing oranges allows you to keep the fruit longer, please be aware that this storage method can significantly affect the quality.
When frozen, you will find that the texture of the oranges will change. As the water in the fruit’s cells freeze, an expansion occurs and ice crystals cause the cell walls to rupture.
When the orange is thawed, you will notice that the texture is much softer and oftentimes, mushy.
Due to the change in texture, most people will use frozen oranges in smoothies, in salads or other dishes, where the change in texture would not be noticed.
Related: Can You Freeze Lemons?
How to Freeze Oranges: A Step-by-Step Guide
It is best to have oranges fresh, but if you want to store them longer, you have two options you can use when freezing them (dry packed & stored in syrup).
Oranges can be peeled and packed in the freezer without the use of sugar. While this is the easiest and most common method, you will find that the taste and texture will be different and not ideal once the oranges are thawed.
- Peel oranges, removing as much of the white pith as you can.
- Divide the orange into sections, removing the membranes and seeds.
- Place the orange pieces into a freezer safe bag or container. It is best to try to get as much air out of the bag before sealing it.
- Label the bag/container with the date. This allows you to know how long the fruit has been in the freezer.
Stored in Syrup
If you want to preserve the texture and taste of the oranges, the better option is to freeze them in syrup.
You will have a better tasting orange when thawed or if you are planning on eating them.
This is a far superior option, compared to the dry pack method.
- Make your syrup mixture, by boiling 2 cups of sugar along with 3 cups of water.
- As the mixture boils, peel and divide the oranges you want to freeze and place them in a glass jar.
- Once boiled, pour the syrup mixture into the glass jar with the oranges till the fruit is fully covered.
- Allow some space in the jar before closing, as the syrup will expand once frozen.
- Label the container before placing in the freezer. This allows you to know how long the fruit has been in there.
Related: Can You Freeze Limes?
How to Thaw & Use Frozen Oranges?
If packed properly, you will be able to store frozen oranges for around will last in your freezer for 9–12 months.
When you are ready to use your frozen fruit, you can either let it sit overnight in the refrigerator or let it thaw at room temperature.
As indicated earlier, when thawing oranges that have been frozen, they will have a different texture, due to the cell walls of the fruit rupturing when frozen.
Frozen oranges are most suitable to be used in smoothies, salads and other dishes, where the change in taste would not be noticed.
Wrapping it up
If you want to store oranges for use at a later time and you do not want them to spoil, then freezing them is a viable option.
Freezing oranges will cause the texture to change and you will find that most people use them in smoothies, salads or other recipes.
Oranges can be frozen either as is (once peeled) or packed in syrup. Freezing in syrup, allows the oranges to retain more of its flavor and texture.