Juicy, sweet cantaloupe wedges are one of the most evocative summertime foods. Can we find a way to have access to cantaloupe all year round rather than just during the summer months when they are in season?
Can cantaloupe be frozen? That question has a loud yes as a response. This is a simple method for keeping this fruit fresh for a long time. There are a few ways to freeze cantaloupe. We advise freezing cantaloupe in cubes, wedges, or pureed form after it has been peeled and seeded. Frozen cantaloupe in simple syrup is another option.
This article will teach you how to freeze cantaloupe in a variety of methods, as well as what happens to cantaloupe when frozen, how long it will keep in the freezer, how to defrost it, and how to utilize it.
Can You Really Freeze Cantaloupe?
The cantaloupe is a member of the muskmelon family and is often referred to as “rockmelon” or “sweet melon.” It is a cooling fruit of the summer that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Summertime is when cantaloupes are in season, thus this is also when they are at their tastiest. Cantaloupes can be enjoyed year-round regardless of the season if they are frozen.
Fortunately, you can! Although you won’t find frozen cantaloupes very often when shopping in the frozen fruits section, this fruit does freeze fairly nicely. Cantaloupes contain a lot of water. In fact, these melons contain more than 90% water. High water content fruits often don’t freeze as well as fruits with lower water contents.
Cantaloupes can still be properly frozen if you adhere to a few basic guidelines. If you’ve never frozen cantaloupe, you might want to for the reasons listed below: Cantaloupe has a longer shelf life when frozen. The shelf life of cantaloupe is about 4 days at room temperature and 10 days in the refrigerator. However, the shelf life of cantaloupe is extended by several months in the freezer!
Seasonal fruits include cantaloupes. Only the summer months are when they are in season. You may consume cantaloupes year-round by freezing these delicious and healthy fruits!
Cantaloupes’ ripening process is halted by freezing. Cantaloupes have a variety of flavors and textures depending on their stage of maturity. Consider freezing overripe cantaloupes if you don’t like them.
How Does Freezing Affect Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe, as previously stated, has a high water content. When you freeze it, the water molecules expand and cause cell walls to rupture. As a result, defrosted cantaloupe is softer than it was before. The flavor of cantaloupe is unaffected by freezing. Some folks even prefer cantaloupe when it is still slightly frozen.
Get a cantaloupe that is ripe but not too limp and soggy to keep the texture variations to a minimum. It is also critical to carefully package cantaloupe before freezing it. Cantaloupe that has not been properly wrapped will develop freezer burn. As you may be aware, freezer burn has a significant impact on the flavor and texture of food!
How To Prepare Cantaloupe For Freezing
There are a few procedures you should follow to get cantaloupe ready for freezing, regardless of the method you use:
Look over all the cantaloupes that are available before selecting one that is ripe. A cantaloupe that is ripe has bright green lines all over it and a tan tint.
The cantaloupe should feel hefty for its size when you feel it. A cantaloupe should have a firm but not crushing texture.
Cantaloupe scent, please. A ripe cantaloupe smells deliciously sweet and musky.
Cantaloupe preparation (see more below)
Clean up the cantaloupe.
Cut the cantaloupe in half after trimming the ends.
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
The cantaloupe can be peeled and chopped anyway you choose.
Put in your preferred freezer-safe container, then start freezing!
Best Ways To Freeze Cantaloupe
There are several methods for freezing cantaloupe. How you choose to freeze cantaloupe depends depend on how you intend to use it in the future and how much time you have to prepare it. Here are some of our favorite cantaloupe freezing methods!
1. Freezing Cantaloupe In Slices And Wedges
If you only plan to consume the fruit as a snack or if you don’t want to do much slicing, freezing cantaloupe in wedges is an excellent alternative. Additionally, you can chop cantaloupe into smaller pieces if necessary if you freeze it in slices.
How to freeze cantaloupe in slices is described here:
To obtain wedges of the necessary thickness, split the cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut it lengthwise.
By cutting each wedge between the flesh and the skin, the rind can be removed.
Trimming the melon’s edges and placing the fruit on one of the flat sides is another simple method for removing the cantaloupe skin.
Following the cantaloupe’s shape, slide the knife down and move it back and forth between the flesh and the skin.
Use parchment paper or plastic wrap to line a chopping surface or a baking tray. Make sure the cantaloupe wedges are not touching each other when you arrange them in a single layer on the tray.
Cantaloupe wedges should be flash frozen until solid in the freezer.
Cantaloupe wedges should be taken out of the freezer and placed in Ziploc bags or airtight plastic containers.
For an additional layer of defense against freezer burn, you can take a few minutes to individually wrap each of your cantaloupe wedges if they are on the thicker side.
Place the cantaloupe wedges in the freezer after marking the freezer bags with the date. To preserve the integrity of the slices, don’t place other frozen products on top of them.
2. Freezing Cantaloupe Chunks
Cantaloupe frozen in chunks is ideal for smoothies, fruit salads, and other applications where smaller bits of cantaloupe are required. Cantaloupe pieces are also easier to keep in the freezer and thaw faster!
Cantaloupe can be frozen in chunks as follows:
Wash, peel, and seed the cantaloupe as directed above.
Cut the cantaloupe into wedges first, then into cubes of your choice.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap, then place the cantaloupe chunks in a single layer on it. Make sure they don’t touch.
Freeze the cantaloupe until it is firm.
Cut the cantaloupe into 1-2 cup chunks (or portion size of choice).
To assist avoid moisture loss and color changes, sprinkle the cantaloupe chunks with granulated or powdered sugar.
Fill resealable plastic containers halfway with frozen cantaloupe chunks. Excess air should be pushed out of the bags or removed with a straw.
Place the bags in the freezer and label them with the date.
3. Freezing Pureed Cantaloupe
Puree your cantaloupe before freezing it if it is too soft to freeze in wedges or chunks. Smoothies and homemade ice cream both taste fantastic when melon is pureed!
How to freeze cantaloupe puree is as follows:
Cantaloupes must be washed, peeled, and seeded.
Cantaloupe should be cut into pieces.
Use a food processor or blender to puree the cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe puree should be divided into pieces and frozen.
Cantaloupe puree can be frozen in airtight plastic containers or strong zip-top bags. Zip-top bags take up less room because you may flatten and stack them one on top of the other.
Additionally, you can freeze cantaloupe purée in ice cube trays or popsicle molds. To keep the fruit from having freezer burn, if your ice cube tray isn’t covered, wrap it in plastic wrap.
Date the label, then freeze.
4. Freezing Cantaloupe In Sugar Syrup
Freeze cantaloupe in sugar syrup if you don’t mind the added calories and carbs!
Cantaloupe frozen in syrup mimics canned fruit when thawed. Cantaloupe can be frozen in sugar syrup and used in cocktails, smoothies, and other sweet delicacies.
To freeze cantaloupe in sugar syrup, follow these steps:
Cantaloupe should be washed, peeled, and seeded.
Set aside while you create the simple syrup and cut the cantaloupe into little cubes.
Combine 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a pot, then reheat it on the stove over medium heat.
You can alter the water-to-sugar ratio to make the syrup sweeter or less sweet.
Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves.
Remove the sugar syrup from the heat after it has changed color. The syrup should be clear and free of cloudiness.
Allow the mixture to cool completely.
Cut the cantaloupe into sections and combine with equal amounts of syrup.
To keep the cantaloupe in syrup, use heavy-duty zip-top bags. Airtight containers can also suffice.
When using a container, place a piece of food wrap or parchment paper on the surface of the cantaloupe before covering with the lid.
Label with the date and place in the freezer.
Can You Freeze An Uncut Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe shouldn’t be frozen whole. Even if you have a large freezer, freezing an entire cantaloupe is difficult and definitely not space-efficient. It is far simpler to cut a fresh, entire cantaloupe than it is to defrost and thaw one. Additionally, you can part out a cantaloupe by cutting it before freezing. Cantaloupe that has already been chopped up is easier to defrost and you can do as much as you need without worrying about food waste.
Can You Freeze Cantaloupe With Skin On?
Cantaloupe may be frozen without having to peel it. Make sure to thoroughly wash the cantaloupe skin before cutting it if you decide to do this. If you are freezing cantaloupe in slices or wedges, freezing it without the skin works great!
How Long Does Cantaloupe Last In The Freezer?
Cantaloupe will remain edible for up to 6 months when properly frozen. Cantaloupe will keep even longer in the freezer as long as the temperature is consistent. However, the longer the cantaloupe is stored in the freezer, the more likely it is to experience flavor and texture changes as well as freezer burn.
Cantaloupe can be frozen again. Cantaloupe should not be refrozen as the texture may significantly alter. In light of this, you should return defrosted cantaloupe to the freezer as soon as you can if you won’t be using it. For dishes where you will be mixing the cantaloupe and the texture changes of the fruit won’t be as obvious, use refrozen cantaloupe.
Can You Refreeze Cantaloupe?
It is not suggested to refreeze cantaloupe because it may result in significant texture changes. Having said that, if you have defrosted cantaloupe that you will not be eating, return it to the freezer as soon as possible. Use refrozen cantaloupe in dishes where you will be mixing the fruit and the textural changes will be less evident.
How To Defrost Cantaloupe
To thaw cantaloupe, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator. Cantaloupe should not be defrosted at room temperature for two reasons. To begin, chopped fruit should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial contamination. Second, thawing frozen cantaloupe in the refrigerator reduces textural alterations.
To speed up the thawing of pureed or sugar-preserved cantaloupe, give it a quick toss every now and again. Defrosted cantaloupe is delicious as a snack or in fruit salads. If you’re going to eat cantaloupe on its own, don’t defrost it completely because icy cantaloupe has a delightful, enjoyable feel!
Ways To Use Frozen Cantaloupe
Before freezing the cantaloupe, make sure it is in good condition. Give the cantaloupe a sniff test before cutting it to freeze it. When cantaloupe is fresh, it smells sweet and musky, whereas when it’s spoiled, it smells sour. Examine the flesh’s tone and texture as well. Don’t freeze cantaloupe flesh if it is highly discolored and mushy.
Cantaloupe that has been frozen should be thrown away if it has suffered severe freezer burn. Cantaloupe that has been freezer-burned is still safe to eat, but its flavor and texture will be unpleasant. Before using the cantaloupe, taste and smell it after it has defrosted. There is a possibility that mold will develop on cantaloupe if it has been frozen and defrosted numerous times. If you see any mold, throw the cantaloupe away.