When eating watermelon, it's common to end up with more leftovers than other fruit because of its size. You can freeze a leftover watermelon for next time, but how should you do it? And what else can you do with frozen watermelons? We looked these up for you and summed up the answers in this post.
You can freeze a watermelon in three simple steps. The instructions are as follows:
- Prepare the watermelon.
- Cool it until it hardens.
- Transfer it to a container for further freezing.
Freezing watermelon can be done in several ways, depending on what you prefer. Usually, they are cut into smaller bits to make freezing quicker and more efficient.
Frozen watermelons can go in several recipes before they go bad. While freezing extends their shelf life, note that using them at their freshest will produce better tasting results. Keep reading for more insight on how to freeze watermelons, how to make them last longer, and how to use them when frozen.
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What Is The Best Way To Freeze Watermelon?
The best way to freeze watermelon is by cutting it up. Watermelons are bulkier compared to other fruits. It makes them harder to freeze since it would take longer, and they may take up too much freezer space.
Watermelons contain about 92 percent water, so there's no doubt they would freeze well. That said, the freezing process is quite simple. The steps are elaborated below:
Preparing The Watermelon
How you prepare your watermelon mainly depends on how you will be consuming it later. Freezing it whole is possible, but it is large and so takes longer to freeze completely. An efficient way to prepare it is by cutting it into slices or cubes. It saves space and allows the fruit to freeze faster.
You can leave the watermelon's rinds when slicing it but cutting it off makes it easier to freeze and use. If you are considering using it in different recipes, it's best to separate the rinds.
Part of the preparation is removing the seeds. When you leave them in the watermelon during freezing, it makes them harder to take out. It also allows you to use the watermelons on-the-go, or use it in recipes by simply adding them in.
Flash-Freezing The Watermelon
Watermelons contain a large amount of water as opposed to other fruit. Although this makes it easier for them to freeze, it could cause the slices to stick when they are brought to a freeze immediately. Thus, it's crucial to flash-freeze them before letting them freeze any further.
To flash-freeze the watermelon, place it on a tray or dish. Leave enough space between the slices to keep them from sticking to each other. If you are dealing with thinner slices, line the tray with wax paper or parchment paper for smoother removal. Pop them in the freezer and leave them for about 2 hours or until they become firm.
Final Freezing The Watermelon
After flash-freezing, prepare them for final freezing and storage. Transfer the slices to a freezer-safe container or bag. To retain its sweetness, you can add sugar to the container or bag.
Store them in the freezer to extend their shelf life and for extra freezing. You can take them out whenever you need them.
What To Do With Frozen Watermelon
There are various treats where you can make use of frozen watermelon. Freezing the fruit preserves its overall quality, including the flavor. Thawing slices or cubes could affect the texture, so they work better for recipes that don't require them thawed.
Here are five recipes you can make with frozen watermelons:
Easy Watermelon Smoothie
You can't go wrong with a watermelon smoothie. Here's how you can make this refreshing drink:
- Prepare frozen watermelon (preferably cut into cubes), fresh milk, sugar, and ice.
- If you want to add other fruits, we suggest using strawberries or bananas.
- Add your ingredients into a blender, starting with the fruits, sugar, and then the milk. You can add water to the mix if necessary.
- Blend them until you achieve a smooth texture.
- Add in the ice and blend them again.
- Serve the drink in the glass. Top it with more fruit slices.
Mini Watermelon Ice Pops
Ice pops are a fun and quick treat to try during the summer. Start with the instructions below:
- Take out the frozen watermelon. Slice it into wedges or cubes if it was frozen whole.
- Carefully poke each slice with a popsicle stick.
- Line a tray with parchment paper and place the popsicles.
- Give them about an hour or two of refreezing to make them hold better.
- Pop them out when they are firm and serve!
If you have a popsicle mold, you can follow these steps:
- Blend the frozen watermelon with around half a cup of water.
- Keep blending until smooth. You can add sugar and more water if needed.
- Pour the mix into the popsicle molds.
- Let them freeze until they are ready.
Refreshing Watermelon Sorbet
For a healthier ice cream option, consider making a watermelon sorbet by following these steps:
- Ready the frozen watermelon, lime juice, water, and sweetened syrup such as vanilla or maple.
- Place the cubed watermelons and a bit of lime juice into a food processor. You can also use a blender but be sure to blend carefully.
- Blend the watermelon until the texture is smooth.
- Add 1 tablespoon of syrup, then blend. Repeat this step until you achieve your preferred sweetness.
- If it's sweet enough, add 1 tablespoon of water, then blend. Keep repeating this until you get your desired consistency.
- When done, serve in a bowl or cup!
Iced Watermelon Juices
Add a twist to your usual watermelon juice recipe with a touch of watermelon ice cubes. You can make them by following the steps here:
- Prepare an ice mold or tray, frozen watermelon, and water.
- Fill the ice tray with frozen watermelon, leaving about 1/3 of the mold. Be sure not to use all the watermelon.
- Add water to each mold until the tray is full.
- Store in the freezer until they completely harden.
- Blend the remaining watermelon with sugar or syrup and water until smooth.
- Serve the juice with the watermelon ice cubes.
On-The-Go Watermelon Bites
These watermelon bites are a cold snack you can take on the go! Follow the instructions as follows:
- Take the frozen watermelon cubes from the freezer container or bag.
- Prepare a bowl of gelatin.
- Dip the watermelon cubes into the bowl one at a time, making sure to coat them well.
- Place each watermelon cube on a tray lined with parchment paper after coating.
- Poke a toothpick into each coated watermelon cube.
- Store the cubes in the freezer for 2 hours or until they harden.
- After freezing, let them sit for a few minutes before serving.
What Happens If You Freeze A Whole Watermelon?
Freezing a watermelon whole causes changes in its texture when thawed. Whole watermelons won't freeze as well as cut watermelons. They have high water content, but they also contain a lot of air inside.
When frozen, the water in them expands, but the air compresses. As a result, the inside of the watermelon isn't likely to be frozen completely. Instead, you can expect it to change in texture, particularly becoming softer.
If your freezer is big enough, there's no harm in freezing a watermelon for preservation purposes. But generally, it is not recommended.
How Long Does Frozen Watermelon Last?
If frozen, watermelons can go for as long as 12 months. Without freezing, they can last for weeks fresh with proper storage. Storing them under the appropriate conditions is vital in ensuring they won't spoil quickly.
Whole watermelons last a week to 10 days when stored at room temperature. You can leave them on your kitchen counter or any location where the temperature is stable and where it is not humid. To get the best quality, consume them within a week or two after you purchase them.
Storing whole or cut watermelon in the fridge retains its quality for a few weeks. When you refrigerate them whole, they are good to use for 2 to 3 weeks at most. If the watermelon is cut, it should stay fresh for up to 5 days.
If you are looking to freeze it, it will likely last between 10 months to a year. Frozen cut watermelon is good for 10 to 12 months. With whole watermelons, you can start counting down the months starting from when you cut them but they shouldn't exceed 12 months frozen. Keep in mind that freezing can affect the texture of the fruit and cause it to gain a puree-like consistency.
How to know if Watermelon Has Gone Bad
You can tell the condition of watermelon by looking out for unusually soft areas or patches of mold, either in a greenish-blue, black or white color. In some cases, spoiled watermelon won't show on the exterior. If so, check if its flesh has dark spots, a slimy coating, or is growing something fuzzy.
Some watermelons won't show these signs even when they are spoiled. If this is the case, smell the fruit or taste it. Any foul odor or unpleasant sourness means the watermelon is not safe to consume. If no signs come up, then it's likely still good to use.
How Do You Store Watermelon For A Long Time?
A popular long-term storage method for fruit is freezing. Freezing slows down the activity of enzymes, delaying the time it takes for food to spoil. As with other food products, it works the same with watermelons. In freezing them, they can remain in storage for up to 5 times as much as their original life span.
Providing a proper storage temperature plays a role in the extension of watermelon's shelf life. Once the watermelon is under freezing conditions, the freezing temperature should be maintained without sudden drastic changes.
Most recommend freezing the fruit for only up to 10 to 12 months. Like other fruit, its quality decreases over time. By consuming them before this period, it provides you with fresher flavors.
Freezing watermelon is one way to store leftovers from the fruit for extended periods. The process mostly requires you to prepare the watermelons, flash-freeze them, and ready them for final storage. However, they freeze better when they are cut rather than when whole. Once the watermelon freezes, it goes on different recipes with retained freshness and quality.
Before you go, check out these posts on other frozen fruits: