Oranges are probably one of the most popular fruits around. They are also one of the most accessible types of fruit. Almost everyone has had an orange, and most of us simply adore them!
Oranges are such a popular type of fruit, and there are endless ways to use oranges in making different food and drinks. It only makes sense to stock up and save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
Inevitably the question will arise: how do I keep my oranges nice and fresh until I am ready to use them?
So, can you freeze oranges? Yes, you can freeze oranges. There are several different methods that work, depending on how you will use the oranges later on. Oranges can be frozen peeled, unpeeled, sliced, or whole. Place the oranges in a freezer-safe bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze. The oranges will stay fresh for 6 months to 1 year.
It might seem that freezing oranges would be super simple, but the truth is that it isn’t as simple as just throwing the oranges into the freezer.
As with freezing other types of fruit, there are some procedures and steps you need to follow closely to ensure optimal results when freezing oranges.
Luckily, the guide below provides you with the step by step process that you need to know to successfully freeze oranges.
The Ultimate Guide To Freezing Oranges
Many people might think that oranges are readily available for the whole year, but this is actually not the case. Oranges have a peak season just like any other fruit.
They are harvested primarily in the winter, with the season starting in October and not ending until the middle of June.
It is also worth noting that there is a myriad of orange fruit varieties available. They vary in size, shape, and flesh color. Some varieties have a distinctive red color, others are more orange in color.
There is another factor at play- the maturity of the fruit. This can also affect the taste and longevity of the oranges.
Freezing oranges can be done quite easily and it is the most efficient way to ensure that they stay fresh. Frozen oranges can last 6 months to 1 year.
There are several options when it comes to freezing oranges. You can freeze them whole or you can slice them beforehand. You also have the option of peeling the oranges or leaving the peel on.
In order to make sure that you have all of the information that you need, we have decided to give you a step-by-step guide on several different methods for freezing oranges.
Whichever method you choose, you will know exactly what you need to do.
How To Freeze Oranges Whole
Freezing whole oranges is great if your primary use for them is to extract fresh juice later on. Freezing oranges will have an adverse effect on the fruit’s texture, so it will make the extraction process easier later on.
If you are a regular smoothie or juice drinker, freezing whole oranges is a great method for you.
To freeze your oranges whole, follow the steps below:
- Choose your oranges wisely – remember that the ripest and freshest oranges will always work best.
- Put the oranges in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Feel free to pack tightly, just don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is for the bag to rip in the freezer.
- Create a vacuum environment by squeezing out as much air as you can before you seal the bag up.
- Place the oranges in the freezer.
Whole oranges will stay good in the freezer for up to six months.
How To Freeze Unpeeled Orange Slices
There is another method that involves leaving the peel on. This method takes a bit more work and dexterity than the previous one.
These unpeeled orange slices will work great as a garnish for drinks and cocktails. If you are a regular drinker or if you are hosting a cocktail party, then this is the method you will want to know by heart.
Here is the method for freezing orange slices with the peel on:
- Prepare the oranges by slicing them into rings or semi-circles, whichever you prefer. Just remember to keep the skin intact.
- Put the orange slices on a baking sheet, making sure that the slices are not touching each other. Let them freeze for 4 hours.
- Take out the frozen orange slices and place them in a freezer-safe bag.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
When frozen in this way, the oranges will last for 10 to 12 months.
How To Freeze Peeled And Cut Oranges
This next method is perfect if you want oranges that are ready to be a quick snack. It eliminates the tedious process of peeling and cutting as you enjoy the orange – everything has been done ahead of time.
This method also helps the oranges retain much of the orange’s original flavor and texture.
Here is the process for freezing peeled and cut oranges:
- Prepare the oranges by peeling them and removing the white residue.
- Cut the oranges into bite-size pieces.
- Similar to freezing them whole, all you need to do is place them in sealable freezer-safe bags.
- Remove any excess air in the bag before sealing.
- Place in the freezer.
Oranges that have been frozen using this method will stay good in the freezer for 10 to 12 months.
How To Freeze Oranges With The Peel
This method is useful if you want to keep the peel intact. After all, there are many instances where you may need to use some of the orange peel.
The procedure form freezing oranges with the peel is as follows:
- Cut the orange into segments, careful not to cut off the peel.
- Place inside a freezer-safe bag.
- Take out any excess air and seal the freezer-safe container.
- Place in the freezer.
There you have it, our comprehensive guide to freezing oranges. All you need to do is decide on the method that will work best for you, depending on what you will use the oranges for.
Just follow the steps we’ve presented here!
How To Store Oranges Long Term
You might be surprised to know that there are several different ways to preserve oranges, other than freezing them.
Presented below are some other preservation techniques available to you aside from freezing. These include storing oranges in the fridge, dehydration, and canning.
How Long Do Oranges Last In The Fridge?
Since you have already learned the ins and outs of freezing oranges, we will now take a look at refrigeration. After all, we want to make sure that you know all the options available.
In terms of longevity, temperature plays a major role in extending the shelf life of oranges. This is true for all kinds of fruits and most kinds of food.
If you leave your oranges out at room temperature, perhaps in a fruit basket, they will only stay fresh for about one week.
If you keep your oranges longer than one week then you will start to notice changes in its appearance.
Namely, it will start to shrivel. Changes will also occur to the flavor of the orange- specifically, it will lose the intensity of its sweetness.
To delay this and effectively extend the shelf life of oranges, one of the things that you can do is refrigerate your oranges. If done properly, they can last you for 3 weeks to a full month.
Be sure to follow these steps for refrigerating oranges:
- Put the oranges into a plastic bag.
- Place them in the produce section of your refrigerator. Remember that the different sections of your fridge serve a specific purpose, so put your fruits in their proper place.
- Keep the oranges in the fridge and only take them out when you need them. This will prevent any undue fluctuations in the orange’s internal temperature.
It is worth noting that while the fridge can significantly extend the orange fruit’s shelf life, it can only do so much.
If you are serious about storing oranges for the long haul, then you need to consider freezing them.
As its name suggests, this method entails drying out sliced orange fruit in the oven. It is a simple process and does not take long.
Moreover, dehydrated oranges can last for up to 2 years, if the process is done correctly.
Here are the steps to dehydrating oranges:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Slice oranges and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet
- Cook for 2.5 hours
The Dehydrated oranges can be used in several ways. For instance, they make great garnish on a cocktail or cheese board.
Here are the steps for canning oranges:
Canning entails putting oranges into glass jars without pre-cooking them. This process is called ‘raw packing’ in the canning industry.
- Peel your oranges.
- Pack them tightly into a canning jar, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top.
- Pour boiling hot sugar syrup on top of the fruits.
- Seal the jar.
If done properly, you can expect your canned oranges to last for 18 months to 2 years.
As you may have noticed, both canning and dehydration require a high level of precision and skill to pull off correctly. Moreover, it may also require additional equipment to get the job done.
This is certainly not the case when you freeze your oranges. Freezing is probably the quickest and easiest way to go about storing oranges for the long term.
The Nutritional Benefits Of Oranges
Oranges have long been cited as one of the healthiest foods around and they can provide several long-term health benefits. The table below shows the nutritional content of a 100g serving of orange.
|Total Fat||0.1 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||12 g|
|Dietary fiber||2.4 g|
|Vitamin A||4% of RDI|
|Vitamin B-6||5% of RDI|
|Vitamin C||88% of RDI|
|Calcium||4% of RDI|
|Magnesium||2% of RDI|
*RDI = Recommended Daily Intake
Undoubtedly, as the table above shows, oranges are incredibly healthy. They come packed with all kinds of nutrients and minerals that can help protect the body from various diseases and conditions.
Down below we have listed some of the most important health benefits you can expect from regularly eating oranges:
- Daily Dosage of Vitamin C – This is perhaps the most apparent benefit you can get from regularly eating oranges. As the table above shows, oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C. This can be beneficial in several ways. Vitamin C helps to keep your immune system in great shape, cutting down on colds and infections. At the same time, vitamin C has been shown to drastically reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Minimize Chances of Heart Disease – The nutrients found in oranges can help do two things: keep your blood pressure in check and lower your cholesterol. Both of these things are precursors to heart disease. With oranges, being incredibly rich in Vitamins B6, they can encourage hemoglobin production, and their magnesium content helps keep blood pressure stable. At the same time, studies have shown that citrus fruits have a compound known as Polymethoxylated Flavones (PMFs) which can help lower a person’s cholesterol levels.
- Regulate Blood Sugar Levels –Another important component of oranges is their high fiber content. This serves several different purposes, one of the most important being its ability to help keep blood sugar levels stable. That is why, despite its sweet flavors, oranges are considered healthy treats for diabetes patients. At the same time, it contains fructose, a naturally-occurring form of sugar that prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking.
- Maintain Healthy Skin – Regularly eating oranges can help prevents skin damage from occurring. This is because oranges are rich in antioxidants, which help protect skin cells from elements known as free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause damage to our skin and trigger the signs of aging. In short, oranges can help you look younger!
- Lowers the Risk of Cancer – Oranges have a lot of anti-carcinogenic compounds that help lower your chances of developing cancer. One of these compounds, known as D-limonene, is reportedly effective in terms of preventing lung and skin cancer. Moreover, the nutrients found in oranges are preventive. After all, Vitamin C is known to help develop the immune system while also actively fighting against free radicals., as mentioned above.
- Maintain Great Eyesight – Another important benefit of regularly eating oranges is that it can help you maintain your eyesight. Oranges have a high level of Vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining the eye’s mucus membranes. At the same time, they help prevent macular degeneration caused by aging. If left unchecked, this condition can quickly deteriorate as you get older and may even lead to blindness.
- Regular Bowel Movements – This is another important benefit of oranges that you shouldn’t ignore. Constipation is a serious health concern that can be easily prevented by the inclusion of this fruit into your regular diet. Remember, oranges have high levels of fiber, which is crucial to keep your stomach and intestines running smoothly. Moreover, the fiber found in oranges also helps alleviate irritable bowel syndrome.
With its numerous health benefits and its wide array of vitamins, it only makes sense that you would want to keep oranges on-hand at all times.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Lime Juice?