Watermelon, the quintessential taste of summer, need not be confined to the warm months alone. With a little know-how and your trusty freezer, you can savor its juicy sweetness all year round. Yes, you read that right – watermelon can be frozen! While it won’t give you that crisp, sun-kissed bite in the dead of winter, it opens up a world of possibilities, from Creamy Watermelon Smoothies to Watermelon Gazpacho. So, let’s dive into this super-simple process, and discover how you can freeze and enjoy watermelon anytime you please.
How to Freeze Watermelon in 4 Steps
Learn From the Best
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s crucial to start with the best watermelon you can find. Look for those with solid rinds and a hollow, resonant sound when you tap them gently. Avoid any with decaying or dark spots. The flesh should be firm, fully colored, and, of course, juicy.
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Prepare the Watermelon: Start by cutting the watermelon open. You can either cube it, freeze it in large chunks, or use a melon baller for small, delightful spheres. Don’t forget to remove the seeds as you go along.
Freeze in Layers: Arrange your watermelon pieces in a single layer on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. This initial freezing prevents the pieces from sticking together. It’s particularly helpful if you’ve sliced the watermelon into thinner pieces.
Pack and Label: Once your watermelon chunks are frozen solid (usually after several hours), transfer them into freezer bags or containers. To preserve freshness, squeeze out excess air using a straw or vacuum sealer, and don’t forget to label and date your bags. Watermelon can stay frozen for up to eight months.
How to Thaw and Enjoy Watermelon
The best way to thaw watermelon is in the refrigerator, but here’s the catch: as it thaws, its texture becomes more pureed. So, if you want firm chunks for snacking or for blending into drinks, only partially thaw it. Partially thawed watermelon is also ideal for frozen blender drinks, desserts, and treats.
More Ways to Use Frozen Watermelon
Your frozen watermelon is a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire. You can use frozen cubes and balls as fruity ice in beverages, like cocktails or mocktails, straight from the freezer. Combine frozen watermelon chunks with other fruits for smoothies or create delightful ice pops with fruit juices.
For a twist, try freezing orange juice. Blend seedless watermelon chunks in a blender and store the juice in an airtight container, leaving some room at the top for expansion. This refreshing juice will keep for about two months and can be enjoyed as is or used as a base for inventive summer drinks.
The Best Way To Freeze Watermelon
Our love for fresh watermelon knows no bounds during the summer. But when faced with a massive watermelon, don’t shy away! Instead, follow these simple steps to freeze watermelon cubes, and you can enjoy its sweet goodness for months to come.
What You Will Need
Fresh watermelon – Whether seedless or not, it works just as well.
Parchment paper – Prevent your juicy watermelon from sticking to the pan.
Cookie sheet – Choose a large baking sheet that can accommodate all your watermelon cubes.
How To Freeze Watermelon
Prepare Your Watermelon: Begin by cutting the watermelon into large chunks. Remove the rind and seeds, then cut the flesh into strips and cube them.
Freeze in Layers: Place the watermelon cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other. This prevents them from freezing into a solid block.
Quick Freeze: Pop the baking sheet into the freezer and let the watermelon chunks freeze for 1-2 hours or until they are frozen through.
Pack and Store: Once frozen, transfer the watermelon cubes to a zip-top bag or airtight container. Remove excess air from the bag, and remember to label and date it. Your frozen watermelon can be stored for 9-12 months!
What To Do With Frozen Watermelon
Frozen watermelon is incredibly versatile and perfect for beverages and sweet treats. Here are some delightful ways to enjoy it:
Watermelon Smoothie: Blend frozen watermelon with yogurt or juice for a refreshing summer smoothie.
Watermelon Cocktail: Elevate your patio experience with a Watermelon Cocktail – a sweet twist on classic drinks.
Sorbet and Popsicles: Puree frozen watermelon for homemade sorbet or add it to popsicle molds for a cooling summer treat.
Refreshing Popsicles: Combine frozen watermelon cubes with other fruits and juices for kid-friendly popsicles.
Innovative Beverages: Use watermelon puree to enhance fruit teas, wine spritzers, or even cocktails like the traditional daiquiri or mojito.
For best results, enjoy your frozen watermelon slightly thawed, preserving its firm texture. It’s perfect for a low-calorie snack, dessert, or as an ingredient in various beverages.
In conclusion, freezing watermelon is not only possible but also a great way to extend the taste of summer throughout the year. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll always have the refreshing essence of watermelon at your fingertips, no matter the season. So, grab a watermelon, follow these simple steps, and freeze away to enjoy this beloved fruit in a variety of delicious ways!