It’s summer time and my friend has just harvested his cantaloupes. Being a health-conscious woman, I bought a bulk of his cantaloupes because they are good to eat for breakfast. Also, I bought a lot because these fruits are not available during autumn and winter. I want to know if I can freeze these long enough to last the cold season.
It is true that cantaloupes can only grow in warm seasons, making their availability limited during cold seasons. Cantaloupes make delicious treats so preserving them for autumn and winter is a good idea.
Yes, cantaloupes can be frozen. Frozen cantaloupes even taste better than ordinary ones. However, it is best to freeze them while they are still fresh to make sure that their sweetness will not fade. Note that freezing them will result to a change in color and texture, especially when no syrup is added.
Can you freeze cantaloupes?
Cantaloupes can be frozen. They taste best when they are iced up. They are well hydrated, with 90% water content, which means they can freeze easily.
The best cantaloupes to freeze are those that are not watered a week before harvesting period. By doing this, the cantaloupe’s natural sweetness would be stronger in taste. The flesh would also be firmer and more solid.
A cantaloupe should be fresh when being frozen to preserve the sweetness. A fresh cantaloupe has a webbed yellowish rind that stands out. Overripe ones have dark yellowish rinds and decaying spots.
Before opening, their covering must be rinsed first to limit bacterial growth. The flesh must be cut into chunks. In picking which flesh to include, those that are vivid in color are priority.
This fruit can be frozen with or without syrup. However, adding sugar helps preserve the original color and sweetness. Freezing without sugar may result to a less tasty flavor.
The chunks of cantaloupes are stored in freezer bags. Freezing of cantaloupes may increase their shelf life from 10 to 12 months when stored properly.
How to freeze cantaloupes
Cantaloupes are usually frozen to make them available during cold season. They are easy to freeze because they are mostly made up of water.
- Pick fresh cantaloupes. Fresh cantaloupes have yellowish rinds that stands out on the surface. Avoid picking those with decaying holes. Firm cantaloupes are better than the soft ones.
- Wash thoroughly under cold water. This is done to limit the possible microbes that may grow in the fruit.
- Cut the fruit into half. The seeds should be removed and the excess rind should be thrown away
- The flesh should be cut into bite size cubes. Place the cantaloupe cubes in clean freezer bags.
- You can opt to add sugar on top. Though not required, this will help preserve the sweetness.
- Place them in the freezer. They can last for 10 to 12 months when stored properly.
Cantaloupe cayenne sorbet is your typical icy dessert. The cantaloupe extract blends perfectly with ice, enough to satisfy one’s sweet cravings.
Cantaloupe smoothie is a delicious drink perfect for summer. This sweet healthy drink can quench one’s thirst during hot season.
Cantaloupe blackberry fruit salad is another healthy dessert that is easy to make. This is made from fresh cantaloupes and lush blackberries.