Maybe it’s harvest season for your orange trees, or there’s been a great sale on oranges at your local supermarket, and now you have one too many oranges to consume before they go bad.
You might be asking yourself, how can I make my oranges last longer? Can you freeze sliced oranges?
Freezing would be the best way to preserve and extend the shelf life of any type of orange or citrus fruit. While freezing whole oranges is possible, freezing sliced oranges is much more manageable, and you’ll be sure to have orange slices all year round.
Frozen oranges slices have so many uses. You can enjoy them on their own as snacks, in smoothies, or even as a garnish.
Keep reading to find out more ways you can use frozen sliced oranges. Importantly, learn the different ways you can freeze your orange slices at home, how long they will last and how to thaw them properly.
How Long Do Orange Slices Last?
Orange slices at room temperature will not usually last long. They tend to dry out and may go bad. Once cut, you should consume them immediately or store them in the freezer or fridge. Orange slices will usually last for up to a day at room temperature.
If you want your orange slices to last a little longer, cling wrap or store them in a resealable container and store them in the fridge. Orange slices can last for up to a week when in the fridge.
To further extend their shelf life, you can also freeze sliced oranges. When stored properly, orange slices can last from 6 months to up to a year in the freezer at their best quality. Afterward, the orange slices would probably still be safe to eat, but the orange texture may change and become unpleasant.
So, it’s best to consume orange slices as soon as possible to enjoy their freshness.
|Room Temperature||In the Fridge||In the Freezer|
|How Long do Orange slices Last?||Up to 1 day||Up to 1 week||Up to 1 year|
Do Sliced Oranges Freeze Well?
Surprisingly orange slices do freeze pretty well. However, proper freezing and storage are necessary to ensure it lasts as long as possible and does not dry out.
There are several ways to freeze oranges, as a whole or in slices. Freezing whole oranges is generally not recommended. This is because when thawed, they have a tendency to become a mushy mess.
I personally think freezing orange slices are the way to go. It makes freezing and defrosting much more manageable and practical.
How well your orange slices freeze also depends on how you freeze them. With the peel on? Or the peel off? With syrup? Each has its different uses and purposes. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Freeze Unpeeled Orange Slices
If you’re looking to use your orange slices as a garnish, maybe freezing them unpeeled will be the option for you. It is simple and saves you from having to peel your orange. Here’s how you can freeze unpeeled orange slices:
Wash your oranges. First, to ensure no contamination and good hygiene, clean your oranges by giving them a good wash. Afterward, wipe and pat them dry.
Slice orange. Cut or slice your oranges into segments. Cut to your preferred thickness of slices. It depends on how you would like to use your pieces.
Fill a baking tray with slices. Carefully place and line your orange slices on a baking tray. Ensure the slices do not touch each other to prevent them from sticking together when freezing.
Freeze slices. Cling wrap your tray to keep them safe from freezer smells and bacteria. Then, place the tray in the freezer and flash freeze for an hour.
Store slices in a bag. Once frozen, remove the orange slices from the tray and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label the bags with the date and content and keep them in the fridge.
How to Freeze Peeled Sliced Oranges
Frozen peeled sliced oranges are great if you want to use them in recipes and eat them as is. While this method will take a little more effort to peel the oranges, it is definitely worth it. So here’s how you can freeze peeled sliced oranges at home:
Slice the orange. Slice your oranges to your preferred thickness and shape. It can be quarters or thin slices. It depends on how you would like to use your slices once thawed. If possible, you can also peel your oranges.
Peel the skin. Once sliced, carefully peel the orange skin off. Be sure to remove any white piths and seeds of the orange and make it as clean as possible. Give the slices a good rinse and pat dry.
Lay slices on a baking tray. Place the orange slices on a baking tray. Ensure that they do not touch each other. They may stick to each other once frozen. Cover the tray with cling wrap to prevent the oranges from being contaminated from bacteria or freezer smells.
Freeze slices. Carefully place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 3 hours or until frozen.
Store slices in a bag. Once frozen, transfer the frozen slices into a freezer-safe resealable bag or container. Remember to label the bag with the date and content.
Tips for Freezing Sliced Oranges
- Add some seasoning. If you are feeling adventurous, add some seasoning before you freeze your oranges. Seasonings to try include lime and tajin.
- Vacuum pack orange slices. To save space in your freezer and keep it safe, vacuum packing your orange slices is a great option to make it last longer.
- Skip the baking tray. Short on time? You can skip the baking tray and freeze your orange slices straight in a freezer-safe bag or container. But be warned, they may freeze and clump together, making it harder to retrieve individual pieces.
- Freeze in syrup. Another way to freeze orange slices is in a simple syrup (water and sugar mixture). It helps retain its original flavor and moist texture rather well.
How to Use Frozen Sliced Oranges
Of course, you can eat frozen sliced oranges as it is. It makes an excellent cold snack for spring and summer parties. But there are so many other ways you can use frozen sliced oranges. So, here are some of my personal favorites that you can try at home.
Firstly, you can enjoy frozen peeled sliced oranges in smoothies and juices. It’s simple and easy and gives your drink an extra sweet zest. Frozen slices also make your smoothies extra thick, and often, you won’t even need ice.
Next, you can enjoy frozen sliced oranges in your fruit salads and regular salads. Toss it with some other fruits or vegetables, and it gives any salad a pop of color and flavor.
For a quick breakfast meal, frozen orange slices would be delicious with yogurt and some granola. Drizzle it with some honey, and you have yourself a hearty breakfast. You can also add frozen berries and bananas if you have any.
Unpeeled orange slices would be great as a garnish on the side of drinks such as cocktails or mocktails. It is a great and simple way to impress your guests at parties. You can also use the slices to garnish your dishes to give your presentation a little extra something.
Better yet, instead of freezing orange slices, why not try making some orange juice and freezing it?
How to Thaw Frozen Sliced Oranges
When you’re ready to use your frozen sliced oranges, simply remove the amount you need from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge. It will take around 4 to 5 hours to thaw in the fridge.
It’s also fine to leave it at room temperature, and it will thaw in an hour or less. However, with quick thawing, the quality and texture of the orange slices are often compromised. But nonetheless, they are still sweet and juicy.
Once thawed, your sliced oranges may not be what you expect, fresh and firm. The longer it has been frozen, the more the texture and flavor will deteriorate and not be like how it originally was.
You should consume thawed sliced oranges as soon as possible. It will generally last up to 3 days once thawed. And you are not advised to refreeze it once thawed. The texture and flavor will further deteriorate.
Tips for Thawing Sliced Oranges
- Grate orange zest. You can grate the zest of frozen unpeeled slices of oranges straight from the freezer. The zest will thaw as you grate it.
- Slow thawing is the best. When it comes to sliced oranges, slow and gradual thawing is the best way to retain their quality.