Every year, millions of people enjoy the incredibly well-liked fall beverage known as apple cider. It is a natural product with a lot of advantages. Unfortunately, it also means that its shelf life is quite short. Freezing it is the obvious fix. But is apple cider safe to freeze? Yes, to answer briefly. But there is a proper way to go about it. The flavor, texture, color, and general nutritional value of the unfiltered juice will be preserved thanks to this method.
In this post, we’ll look at a variety of efficient freezing techniques as well as strategies to keep apple cider’s flavor, color, and nutrients intact. We’ll also look at the most effective techniques for defrosting the liquid.
What Is Apple Cider?
Many individuals get apple cider and apple cider vinegar mixed up. While they share certain similarities, they are substantially different. As a result, they freeze in totally different ways! So, exactly what is apple cider?
Other names for this beverage are sweet cider, soft cider, and cider. It is a popular non-alcoholic beverage in Canada and the United States. It is more widely known as “cloudy apple juice” in other countries.
This beverage is created from apples. The main distinction between it and conventional apple juice is that apple cider is not filtered or sweetened – it is an unfiltered version of apple juice.
The hue of apple cider is opaque, ranging from golden to golden brown. It also has a very acidic flavor and, as previously said, is not as sweet as conventional apple juice.
This product can be created from a variety of apples. Whichever one is chosen while producing apple cider will have a significant impact on the flavor of the juice!
Can You Really Freeze Apple Cider?
Now, apple cider doesn’t have a very lengthy shelf life because it is a completely fresh and untouched product. Unfortunately, it frequently only lasts a week or less! To increase the juice’s shelf life, some manufacturers do add chemical preservatives. But in my opinion, it completely negates the purpose of fresh apple juice.
Other businesses boil the liquid to assist get rid of contaminants. But once more, it changes the juice’s flavor and even consistency. You ultimately get ordinary, unsweetened apple juice after the nutrients are removed.
So, is apple cider safe to freeze? Fortunately, you can freeze apple cider! There are a few different methods you can accomplish this, though. Each offers a unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Finally, only a few approaches might be appropriate for your needs.
What Changes Occur When Freezing Apple Cider?
Apple cider can be stored in the freezer forever. However, as we usually say, the longer anything is frozen, the more changes will occur – no ingredient is immune to spoiling! When apple cider is frozen for an extended period of time or improperly, ice crystals form. These crystals dilute the flavor of the cider and also remove the color from the juice, making it appear less appetizing overall. As a result, even if frozen products can survive considerably longer, it is always recommended to use them within a month.
How To Freeze Apple Cider
Let’s go on to the exciting part – learning how to freeze apple cider! Today, we’ll talk about a few distinct techniques and when they’re most effective. They are all quite simple and fairly effortless. One vital piece of advice is to allow the juice totally cool before freezing your apple cider, especially if you’re preparing your own at home. Before putting it in a container to freeze, you can even cool it in the refrigerator.
Method 1: In A Container
We weren’t sure what to call this technique. It literally only takes placing the liquid in an airtight container and freezing it. That’s all! If you don’t have a lot of apple cider to freeze, this method is ideal. A larger quantity can alternatively be divided into smaller containers and frozen separately. This will assist to avoid having to thaw a large batch for a single cup of cider.
Simply ensure that the container is absolutely clear of odors and stains. These will have an immediate impact on the flavor and color of the apple cider. If you simply have a standard container and are unsure about its airtightness, wrap it in plastic or saran wrap. This will keep the lid tightly closed. It will also keep the liquid within while keeping odors outside.
Method 2: Freeze In An Ice Tray
If you enjoy using fresh apple cider to create mixed drinks, freezing the batch in an ice tray will make it simple to portion the cider out for future use. It is simple to freeze, doesn’t take up much room, and is really simple to take out and thaw. You can group the ice chunks together in a sizable airtight container once they have completely frozen. They are kept and shielded from any roving scents in this manner!
Method 3: In Zip-Lock Bags
Many expert cooks utilize this strategy in their kitchens. You can freeze the liquid and place the bags in a flat container to freeze. Many individuals enjoy vacuum sealing special bags designed for long-term storage and freezing. If you use standard Ziploc bags, be sure they are freezer-safe. They are thicker and less likely to tear as the liquid swells inside the freezer. This is a simple method for portioning the apple cider and freezing the liquid in a space-saving manner. They can be layered on top of each other in one section of the freezer once frozen in flat sheets.
Tips And Tricks For Freezing Apple Cider
Always keep your apple cider in a bag or container that can be frozen. When containers expand too much in the chilly freezer, they can crack.
Glass is a fantastic container for keeping ingredients. It is not odor-absorbing and cannot be readily soiled. Sterilization is also quite simple.
Glass has one drawback: when placed in the freezer, it becomes incredibly fragile. So, if you do freeze your apple cider in it, be careful not to jostle it or expose it to sudden temperature changes because those actions will cause the glass to break.
Containers should provide enough space for the apple cider to expand. The container will explode or crack if you don’t.
Always make sure your apple cider is totally cooled before putting it in the freezer to keep.
Liquid will produce a lot more ice crystals if it is kept at normal temperature or even at a semi-hot temperature. Additionally, as we’ve already discussed, ice crystals make the beverage tasteless and lose its color.
You can wrap the entire container or bag with aluminum foil to further prevent any ice crystals from forming in the liquid. In a way, the foil serves as an insulator.
Always write the product name (in this case, apple cider), the date it was frozen, and the anticipated use-by date on the container or bag. You can use the oldest product first thanks to this.
How Long Can Apple Cider Be Kept Frozen?
Apple cider has an almost endless shelf life when it has been properly frozen. But, while it won’t spoil in the freezer, it will lose some of its fresh properties. So, to preserve the apple cider as fresh and nutrient-filled as possible, you should try to utilize it within one month of it being frozen. That will help keep the greatest flavor and color for the juice. After a month, the juice will start losing its quality. Apple cider should always be utilized within a year at the most. Again, it won’t spoil after one year, but it won’t be nearly as nice as it should be. And what’s the sense of using dull and colorless juice?
How To Thaw Apple Cider
The ideal way for thawing apple cider is slowly. We always remove our blocks of cider from the freezer and leave them in a bowl in the fridge.
This way, the ice crystals gently melt away. It helps prevent excessive flavor loss and keeps the color of the juice too.
Once your apple cider has been completely thawed in the fridge it should be used within 2 days. You cannot re-freeze the liquid safely after it has been thawed.
If you are in a hurry, you can defrost the apple cider at room temperature. However, this cider will have to be utilized quickly.
And, if you need to include the apple cider into a recipe, you can melt it over low heat in a skillet. Do not use excessive temperatures as they will change the flavor of the juice.