Yes, you CAN freeze fresh as well as store bought orange juice. Learn tips and tricks to preserve the quality of your juice!
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Today, orange juice continues to be a staple breakfast beverage in many households, schools, and daycares in many parts of the world.
Orange juice lovers everywhere hate to run out of their favorite morning beverage but like many foods, the cost continues to rise.
Rather than give up their beloved orange juice, savvy consumers like myself, are looking for ways to continue making orange juice part of our cost-effective kitchen.
Let’s dive into the ins and outs of freezing orange juice!
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Can You Freeze Orange Juice?
Yes, you can safely freeze orange juice to significantly extend its shelf life. However, the consistency and texture may change after it is frozen and thawed. Orange juice with little to no pulp retains its quality the best. Orange juice can be frozen in its original carton, in plastic containers, in mason jars or other freezer-safe glass containers, and even in ice cube trays. If properly frozen, most orange juice can retain its quality 3 to 12 months.
Can You Freeze Store Bought Orange Juice?
Of course! Store bought orange juice can be successfully frozen.
Can You Freeze Fresh Orange Juice?
Fresh orange juice can also be safely frozen but it takes a little more effort to ensure the quality is good once thawed.
The sugars and pieces of pulp from oranges make freezing somewhat difficult as these can cause the juice to take on a grainy texture once thawed.
If your fresh juice has a lot of pulp, it is best to strain out the majority of the pulp. You don’t need to get every little piece of pulp, so don’t stress. A little should be ok.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In Cardboard Carton?
If you generally buy orange juice in a cardboard carton, don’t worry. Cardboard freezes just fine. And yes, you can freeze orange juice in a carton.
Should You Pour Off A Few Ounces Of Orange Juice Before Freezing?
The jury has mixed opinions on this one. There are definitely two camps of thought on this.
Some people, like myself, have frozen unopened containers of orange juice for years without any mishaps.
However, others will tell you they’ve had cartons explode so they always pour out a few ounces before freezing.
Even though I have never had a problem in the past, recently, I noticed some manufacturers have changed their cartons. They look different and feel a little less sturdy.
So, I no longer freeze unopened cartons of orange juice. Instead, I will pour off a few ounces before freezing the juice or I will pour the orange juice into a freezer-safe pitcher or container.
Once thawed, I will pour the juice into a container at home.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In A Plastic Container?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in a plastic container but do so with caution.
Many of the plastic containers you purchase orange juice in at the store are intended for one-time use and are not recommended for freezing.
However, in the past, I have ignored this advice. At times, things were fine. Other times, the containers expanded to the point they leaked. Fortunately, none exploded!
As I said before, if you choose to freeze your orange juice in its original plastic container, you run the risk of it leaking or worse, exploding all over your freezer.
Remember, to minimize this risk, at least pour out a few ounces before freezing the juice. Make sure you leave at least ½” of headroom (empty space) to allow the juice to expand.
If you freeze a lot of juice, you may want to invest in BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic pitchers or half-gallon glass jars instead of relying on the manufacturer’s plastic containers.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In Mason Jars?
Ah, the good old mason jar! I have many dozens in my kitchen. Yep, dozens of them. I use them for everything!
So to answer the question, Yes, you can freeze orange juice in mason jars if done properly!
Most of us are familiar will the Ball or Kerr brand of mason jars, which according to Business Insider, are now manufactured by the same parent company.
While both brands produce high-quality mason jars, not all of their jars are freezer safe.
The old-fashioned jars are NOT freezer safe. Those are the ones with rounded “shoulders” as they like to call them.
Some people still freeze in these jars with varied success. If you do try to use the jars with “shoulders”, be sure to fill your jars no fuller than two to three inches below the shoulders. This will allow for the frozen food to expand.
However, the wide-mouthed jars with straight or tapered sides are considered freezer safe.
As with any freezing, it is best to leave at least ½ inch headspace meaning leave at least ½ inch empty space in your jar before freezing.
Doing so will allow the liquids room to expand safely thus avoiding broken glass in your freezer.
Because I like to err on the side of caution and not create extra work for myself, I will leave about an inch of headspace to allow plenty of room for liquid expansion.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In Ice Cube Trays?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in ice cube trays.
As a matter of fact, it is my favorite way to freeze orange juice. The orange juice cubes are perfect for smoothies.
I will also use frozen cubes of orange juice in baked goods, marinades, vinaigrettes, sauces and as ice to flavor water or other beverages.
To protect your juice from picking up off-flavors when freezing, these covered BPA free ice-cube trays will get the job done!
How Long Does It Take For Orange Juice To Freeze?
Juice has a lower freezing point than water. Freeze the juice in the coldest part of your freezer.
Additives and things like sugars will delay the freezing process.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice In A Glass Bottle?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in freezer-safe glass jars.
How Long Does Frozen Orange Juice Last?
Store bought orange juice can last 8 to 12 months in the freezer without lost quality while freshly squeezed orange juice will retain its quality for 3 to 4 months.
However, the orange juice will remain safe to drink after this time if frozen at 0° F but its quality likely affected.
How To Tell If Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice Is Bad Or Spoiled?
If your orange juice has an off-flavor or odor or appearance after thawing of if you see mold, it should be thrown out immediately.
How Do You Thaw Orange Juice?
It is best to thaw the juice in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
If the contents have separated, stir the contents to mix the natural juices and sugars. Or if you have enough headspace in the container, shake vigorously.
How Long Does Thawed Orange Juice Last?
That depends. Some people recommend immediately, others within 2 to 3 days, and then there are those that recommend up to a week.
I recommend you always err on the side of caution with anything that could make you ill.
If you thaw orange juice in cold water or in the microwave, use it immediately.
If you thaw orange juice in the fridge, use within 2 to 3 days unless you froze it as it was nearing its end. Then, use it immediately.
Here’s a tip: I always put the date I froze a product on it so I can compare the printed use by, sell by, or best by date with the date I froze the product.
If I had only 1 day left before the use-by date when I froze the product, I will make sure I use the thawed juice within 1 day.
This is another way I help ensure I don’t let thawed orange juice go bad.
Can I Refreeze Previously Frozen Orange Juice?
No, it is always best to never refreeze previously frozen orange juice. Once your juice has been thawed, it should be consumed.
Orange Juice Recipes
Here are a few links to some of my favorite recipes using orange juice.
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Orange Chili Grilled Chicken from Plain Chicken
Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake Bars from Sugar Spice and Glitter
Can you tell I have a slight obsession for anything orange creamsicle?
Does Freezing Orange Juice Cause It To Lose Its Nutritional Value?
Orange juice provides vitamin C, potassium, hesperidin, magnesium, antioxidants, B6, thiamin, vitamin A, calcium and Vit D, folate.
It also has a high water content to help keep you hydrated.
But, does frozen orange juice lose its nutritional value?
Honestly, I don’t know. Being a former teacher and a mom living with chronic illness, I love to research.
The more I researched this question, the more opinions I got.
As with all scientific studies, some researchers said yes, some said no. Oh, and some said freezing had no effect at all on orange juice’s nutritional value.
But I did find this interesting article about a study which showed your body may absorb more antioxidants from previously frozen orange juice than juice never frozen.
So, while there may be a nutritional loss when orange juice is frozen, what’s left may be more absorbable by the intestines? Interesting.
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Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen
While I am just a mom with decades of experience, I will say this…whether or not orange juice loses some of its nutritional value or not after being frozen then thawed doesn’t matter to me.
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I still believe previously frozen orange juice, whether store bought or homemade, is more beneficial to my family and more cost-effective than many of the other overly processed options out there!
So I freeze away when I’ve found a great deal on orange juice or have some about to expire.
If your family consumes orange juice on a regular basis, stocking up when it’s on sale and freezing should be part of your plan in maintaining a cost-effective kitchen!