Cantaloupes grow in gardens where the climate is warm and tropical. But what if one would like to enjoy them throughout the year? Can you freeze cantaloupes?
During harvesting, several people collect bountiful amounts of them and preserve them with the freezing method so they can enjoy the tasty melon throughout the year since finding them fresh and appetizing in autumn and winter months is extremely difficult. However, you should never freeze cantaloupes you have bought on sale in bulk because you do not know the exact amount of time they have been plucked from their vines. When freezing cantaloupe melons it is always best to freeze them as fresh as possible. This will help make sure the melons contain a truly sweet and desirable melon flavor.
Image used under Creative Commons from Kabsik Park
Harvesting the Right Cantaloupes to Freeze
When harvesting time comes around it is best not to water you melons the week you plan to harvest them. This will help the natural sugars in the cantaloupes to become concentrated as well as keep the flesh nice and firm, instead of soft and watery. Once you are ready to harvest your melons, make sure you pick ones that have no rot and are firm to touch. You never want to try freezing a melon that is too soft because it does not freeze well and has the ability to breed bacteria.
Preparing the Cantaloupes for Freezing
When you have harvested the amounts of cantaloupes you desire to freeze make sure you rinse them well under cool water to wash any dirt, debris and bacteria away. After, cut the melons in half and scoop the seeds out of the center of them. Then, remove the rinds away from the flesh carefully.
Next, you can cut the yellowy orange flesh of the melons into bite size chunks. After, you will place the chunks into freezer containers and sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top of them. The sugar will help preserve their gorgeous color and satisfyingly sweet melon flavor.
After, you will place the lids onto the counters and place them melon chunks into the freezer to preserve for up to a year. Storing them in the freezer any longer than that will change the color of their flesh as well as their flavor. Freezing the melons in general does change their texture a bit to a slightly mushier one that can sometimes be a bit slimly.
This means you should not expect your melons to have the same fresh firm texture they did have before freezing. Frozen cantaloupes taste the best in smoothies or for making melon sorbets, ice creams and fruit salads.
Defrosting the Cantaloupe Chunks
When you want to defrost your cantaloupe chunks you simply remove a container from the freezer and along them to defrost in the refrigerator for up to 6 to 8 hours. After, you can try to eat them as they are from the container or use them in beverages and food dishes, which is usually best.
However, if you are simply using the melon chunks in smoothies there is no need to defrost the fruit. Instead, just stick them right into the blender and make your smoothie. The frozen melons will make your smoothie ice cold and delicious.
End Notes to Keep in Mind with Freezing Cantaloupe
In general, if you love the fresh firm texture and flavor of cantaloupes is always best to eat them as they are during their harvesting season. Freezing them is a great method for preserving extra melons on hand, but freezing does change the flavor, color and texture of the melons, but frozen melons still taste excellent in salads and smoothies as mentioned.