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Can you freeze watermelon juice?

Watermelon juice is a refreshing summertime drink. Its sweet, fruity flavor is perfect for quenching thirst on a hot day. Many people enjoy making fresh watermelon juice at home using juicers or blenders. But did you know that you can also freeze watermelon juice for later? Freezing is a great way to preserve the flavor and nutrients of fresh watermelon juice. In this article, we’ll explore the process of freezing watermelon juice, including how to prepare and store it properly so it maintains quality and taste.

Benefits of Freezing Watermelon Juice

Freezing watermelon juice offers several advantages:

  • Lets you enjoy fresh, homemade watermelon juice year-round
  • Preserves the flavor and nutrients of peak summer watermelons
  • Allows buying watermelons in bulk when in season and at best price
  • Saves money versus buying juice year-round
  • Provides easy access to cold, refreshing juice any time
  • Avoids waste – freeze extra juice instead of letting it go bad

Freezing is an excellent storage method for watermelon juice. Properly frozen juice retains its flavor, color, natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals even when kept frozen for months. Having a stash of frozen watermelon juice on hand gives you the ability to make cold watermelon drinks and smoothies whenever you want.

Choosing Watermelons for Juicing

To get the best results from freezing watermelon juice, start with ripe, flavorful watermelons. Look for watermelons that are heavy for their size with a smooth, bright exterior. Avoid melons with bruises, dents, or discolored rinds. When thumping a watermelon, listen for a deep hollow sound rather than a dull thud. Examine the yellow underside spot – it should be creamy/yellow rather than white or pale. Choose sweet seedless varieties like Jubilee, Safari, or Crimson Sweet if your main goal is juicing rather than eating the watermelon flesh. Seedless types will produce a smoother textured juice.

Watermelon Variety Description
Jubilee Sweet, tropical-flavored dark red flesh, seedless rind with light green stripes
Safari Crisp, tangy, deep red flesh, early ripening seedless type
Crimson Sweet Bright red, very sweet flesh, seedless, large fruits up to 25 lbs
Sugar Baby Round 6-10 lb fruits, sweet red flesh, dark green rind with dark stripes

For best flavor and sweetness, juice watermelons at their peak ripeness. The juice of overripe watermelons can taste fermented or slightly alcoholic.

Juicing the Watermelon

Watermelons have a high liquid content, so they are simple to juice. You can use a centrifugal or masticating juicer. Or make watermelon juice by pureeing chunks in a blender and then straining out the solids. Follow these steps for juicing watermelon:

  1. Wash the watermelon thoroughly before cutting.
  2. Slice the flesh off the rind, removing all green parts.
  3. Cut the red flesh into chunks that will fit into your juicer’s feed tube.
  4. Juice the watermelon chunks in your juicer according to its directions.
  5. Pour the fresh juice through a strainer to remove any foam or solids.
  6. Store the strained juice in airtight containers in the refrigerator if juicing ahead of time. Use within 3 days.

Expect about 1 cup of juice per pound of watermelon flesh. One large watermelon can produce 16 cups or a gallon of juice.

Freezing Watermelon Juice

Follow these simple steps for freezing watermelon juice:

  1. Pour freshly made watermelon juice into freezer-safe containers, leaving 1 inch headspace. Wide-mouth Mason jars or BPA-free plastic containers work well.
  2. Seal containers tightly. Attach lids tightly on Mason jars; use tight sealing lids or freezer bag zip seals on plastic containers.
  3. Label containers with the contents and date.
  4. Lay containers flat in a single layer on a freezer shelf. Avoid stacking them until fully frozen.
  5. Freeze for at least 24 hours before using or transferring to long-term storage. Check containers to ensure juice is solidly frozen.
  6. For storage longer than 1 month, double wrap frozen containers in plastic freezer bags or foil. This prevents freezer burn.
  7. Use frozen juice within 8-12 months for best flavor and nutrition retention.

Always thaw frozen watermelon juice in the refrigerator overnight before using. Do not thaw at room temperature or in the microwave, as this raises the risk of bacterial growth in the juice.

Tips for Freezing Watermelon Juice

Follow these tips for successfully freezing and storing watermelon juice:

  • Wash produce well before juicing to prevent bacteria contamination.
  • Only freeze juice made from fresh, high-quality watermelons for best flavor.
  • Juice and freeze watermelon when it’s in peak season for your region.
  • Don’t fill containers to the brim – allow headspace for expansion during freezing.
  • Use Mason jars, plastic freezer containers, or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • Exclude as much air as possible and seal containers tightly.
  • Cool juice before freezing for fastest freezing.
  • Store frozen juice flat on a freezer shelf, not on the door.
  • Label everything clearly with the juice name and freeze date.
  • Organize oldest frozen juice in front to use first.

Following proper handling and freezing methods will retain watermelon juice’s taste, texture, color, and nutrients when thawing it after long frozen storage.

Serving Frozen Watermelon Juice

Frozen watermelon juice can be enjoyed in many ways:

  • Drink straight as a slushy beverage
  • Blend with ice into smoothies
  • Make popsicles by pouring into molds
  • Use in place of ice cubes in lemonade, iced tea, etc.
  • Mix with vodka or rum for frozen cocktails
  • Create agua frescas by diluting with water and sweetening to taste
  • Use as a base for sauces on fish, chicken or fruit salad
  • Sweeten and reduce to a syrup for drizzling over desserts

Enjoy the bright, refreshing taste of summer by freezing watermelon juice to use all year long!

Nutrition Facts for Frozen Watermelon Juice

Watermelon juice is very nutritious, and its natural nutrient content remains high even after freezing. Here are some of the key vitamins, minerals, and health benefits found in frozen watermelon juice:

Nutrient Amount in 1 Cup Frozen Watermelon Juice
Calories 82
Carbohydrates 21 g
Sugars 20 g
Dietary fiber 1 g
Vitamin C 21 mg (35% DV)
Vitamin A 840 IU (17% DV)
Potassium 441 mg (13% DV)

Thehigh vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content of frozen watermelon juice provides:

  • Immunity boost from vitamin C
  • Vision support from vitamin A
  • Heart health benefits of potassium
  • Anti-inflammatory effects from lycopene antioxidants
  • May lower blood pressure due to citrulline

Conclusion

Freezing fresh watermelon juice at the peak of watermelon season lets you enjoy the taste and nutrition all year round. Properly frozen juice retains its flavor, texture, color, vitamins, and minerals even when stored long term. Freezing watermelon juice is simple – just juice or puree fresh watermelons, pour into airtight containers with headspace, seal, label, and freeze. Thaw frozen juice overnight in the fridge before serving. Enjoy frozen watermelon juice straight, blended into smoothies, made into popsicles, and more. With its stellar nutrition and versatility, frozen watermelon juice is a refreshing and healthy addition to recipes and beverages year-round.