There’s nothing quite like refreshing fruit juice in hot weather. Fruit juices also make a quick and easy drink you can serve for unexpected guests. And if you’re going for a healthier option for your morning drink, fresh fruit juice will always be a great idea.
As much as we all love chugging down fruit juice daily, we all know how they don’t last long, even when refrigerated. Once you open them, you must finish them within a few days. So, how can you make your fruit juice last longer? Is it possible to freeze fruit juice for future use?
Can You Freeze Orange Juice?
Orange juice might be the most common drink in American households. Over the years, it has become a staple drink every breakfast or if you want to feel refreshed throughout the day.
If you ask if it is possible to freeze orange juice, the answer is yes! It does not only apply to orange juice but most fruit juice flavors. We all know that juice consists primarily of water, and water freezes at extremely low temperatures. Freezing orange juice is the best way to preserve your leftover juice so you can still enjoy it for weeks and even months later. (Read Can You Freeze Crisco)
How Long Does It Take for Orange Juice to Freeze?
There are a few factors to consider to determine the actual time to freeze fruit juices. It can depend on the type of juice you’ll freeze, the container of the juice, the temperature of your freezer, and how full the freezer is when you place the fruit juice.
In general, orange juice will take two to 12 hours to freeze. The exact time will depend on the container where you’ll store the juice and the freezing time of the juice. Note that the freezer’s temperature must be below the freezing point, about 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
For reference, store-bought orange juice packed in a cardboard box takes around two to four hours before it gets frozen, while fresh orange juice will only take about an hour or more to freeze. Frozen orange juice in a glass bottle, on the other hand, can take up to six hours to freeze.
How to Freeze Orange Juice?
There are different ways you can do to freeze orange juice apart from storing the carton box or bottled juice directly in the freezer:
Pick a container of your choice
It’s essential to choose a container depending on how you will use the leftover juice in the future. You can go for an airtight container, a mason jar, a freezer bag, or an ice cube tray, as long as it suits your needs best.
Pour the juice into the container
Proceed with pouring the juice into the container of your choice. Remember that you should leave a little room when you pour the juice to give way once the liquid expands when it freezes.
Place in freezer bags when needed
If you use ice cube trays as your container, you should transfer them to a freezer bag or any container afterward. This will prevent the ice cubes from being contaminated when left in the freezer, and you can still use the ice cube tray after.
How to Freeze Orange Juice Quickly
If you want to freeze your juices quicker, try to follow these steps:
Go for a shallow container
A shallow container will have less volume than bigger ones, making the orange juice freeze faster.
Add a bit of alcohol
If you didn’t know, alcohol freezes faster at a lower temperature than water. This means adding a bit of alcohol to your orange juice can make it freeze more quickly. However, ensure you don’t put too much alcohol since it might turn into frozen cocktails. (Read Can You Freeze Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Keep the temperature of your freezer consistent
Once you’ve set a standard temperature to freeze your juices, keep it that way until it’s frozen. Frequently changing the temperature will only slow down the freezing time.
Valuable Tips When Freezing Fruit Juice
Here are some tips you can follow to make the most out of your frozen juice:
Use fresh orange juice
Freeze fresh orange juice for the best results. A store-bought juice might not be as good when thawed after being frozen.
Turn them into popsicles
If you don’t plan on drinking your frozen juice, you can make frozen juice popsicles out of them! This is your best bet, so you won’t waste any leftover juices and still enjoy them. You can add some sugar or honey if you plan to turn them into popsicles to enjoy your sweet treat!
Add other fruits or juices
You can level up your frozen juice by adding fresh fruits or other juice flavors. In this way, you don’t just discover delicious drink combinations but also get the most out of fruits’ vitamins and minerals in a tasty treat.
Store them in plastic bottles
PET plastic bottles are the safest and most convenient option when storing leftover orange juice. Just ensure that they are airtight and thoroughly filled to avoid contamination.
Plastic vs. Glass: Which is better for storing frozen fruit juice?
Below are the pros and cons of using plastic bottles vs. glass bottles in storing frozen orange juice:
Pros of using plastic bottles
- Plastic can tolerate liquid expansion. Since they are made of flexible material, there won’t be any problem if your orange juice expands.
- Plastic is cheaper than glass. On average, plastic bottles only cost one to two dollars, while glass bottles cost around four or more.
Cons of using plastic bottles
- Concentrated acids from orange juice and other acidic juices tend to react with plastic. Hence, your juice can form harmful chemicals, which can be a health risk.
- Some plastic bottles are not as airtight. When a plastic bottle is only partially airtight, bacteria can get into the orange juice, which increases the possibility of contamination.
Pros of using glass bottles
- Glass bottles and caps are entirely airtight, which prevents bacteria from contaminating the orange juice.
- Glass is safe to use and easy to clean. Since glass doesn’t leach chemicals, you’re assured that you’ll be drinking safe, thawed orange juice.
Cons of using glass bottles
- Glass is prone to breakage at high temperatures. When your orange juice freezes and expands, its expansion can cause the glass bottle to crack if the cap doesn’t come off.
- Glass needs utmost care, unlike plastic. From handling to storing, you need to take good care of your glass bottles if you don’t want them to break.
How to Defrost Frozen Orange Juice
You can quickly thaw the orange juice by leaving it on your refrigerator overnight. You can then enjoy your orange juice like it’s new!
Another way to defrost it is to place it in a blender and blend until smooth. You might not get it like fresh orange juice, but you’ll get a nice orange smoothie.
Can You Refreeze an Orange Juice?
Yes, you can refreeze a thawed orange juice, but note that the quality of the juice will decline every time you thaw it. For best thawing practice, defrost only by portion, so you’ll only drink what you need.
Recipes You Can Do with Frozen Orange Juice
Apart from enjoying ice-cold orange juice, you can also try these other delectable recipes:
You can never go wrong with frozen popsicles made out of a fresh juice. If you want to spice up your classic popsicles, try mixing two or three fruit juices to create a unique flavor. Pour the fruit juices into the blender, add some honey, and put it in your popsicle mold. Let it freeze, and you’ll have a sweet yummy popsicle treat in no time!
You can also turn your frozen juice into a healthy drink by turning it into a smoothie. Just toss in some fresh fruits, yogurt, and honey along with your frozen juice in a blender, and you’ll have a yogurt smoothie!
With the help of an ice cream maker, you can create a healthy sorbet! Mix water and sugar in a pot over medium heat until it becomes syrup. Let it cool in the refrigerator for about three hours. After it’s thoroughly chilled, combine your frozen juice and syrup in an ice cream maker, and you’ll have a homemade sorbet! (Learn How Long Do Uncrustables Last In The Freezer)
There are many ways to extend the shelf life of your favorite orange juice, and freezing it is one. Now that you know how long it takes to freeze juice and the proper ways to store it, you’ll always have an icy cold drink at any time of the day.