With summer time comes the time to harvest some fresh, juicy cantaloupes.
Cantaloupes are very popular owing to their versatility – they are very tasty and can be used in everything from smoothies to salads; they can even be cooked or simply enjoyed directly!
They are so enjoyable that you find yourself wondering – is there any way you can enjoy them throughout the year?
You’re in luck! Lots of people procure cantaloupes in bounty in the warm harvesting season and freeze them. Freezing cantaloupes is as easy as freezing any other fruit.
And as long as you are freezing fresh, good quality melons, you can rest assured!
Here is everything you need to know about how to freeze cantaloupes.
What to Note Before Freezing Cantaloupe
Remember to avoid freezing cantaloupes that you have bought in bulk on sale, as you cannot be sure about the exact time that since which they have been harvested.
Freezing cantaloupes should only be done if the melons are absolutely fresh.
Keep in mind, that like most melons, cantaloupes have a very high-water content.
After freezing, the cantaloupe may come out of freezer storage with a slightly more substantive and chewier texture than, say watermelons, whose flesh a cantaloupe’s is much denser than.
Aside from this slight, barely noticeable change in the texture of the cantaloupe, a frozen melon has the same sweet, lovely flavor that you would look for in a completely fresh one.
However, to ensure that, your cantaloupes must be fresh in the first place, before being frozen.
Look for fresh, ripe cantaloupes having solid, distinguishable rinds, where you can see the netting standing out on the surface.
Another way to ensure freshness is to check the fragrance. Be sure to ovoid cantaloupes that are overripe, which are too yellow and can have dark spots.
Further, you can cut open the cantaloupe and check for the flesh being firm and without any signs of discoloration anywhere.
If the cantaloupe has a mushy texture, freezing it should be fine, but note that it will get even mushier at the end of it.
It is best to procure fresh, locally grown cantaloupes at nearby farmers’ markets. That way you can be guaranteed of their freshness, and then proceed to freeze the lovely melons!
- Knife/hatchet/ice cream scoop
- Baking tray
- Parchment/wax paper
- Airtight freezer bags/containers
You can follow this method to use the frozen cantaloupes in a wide variety of ways.
It basically consists of you cutting the melon into either chunks or small cubes, or even balling them into scoops, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
- Wash and remove the seeds – This first step is essential. Make sure you wash the cantaloupes thoroughly and vigorously, with soap, if necessary, but ensure that you remove any dirt or soil on the rind.
Once washed and clean, cut the melons open and remove the seeds. You don’t have to worry about making the surface smooth.
- Remove flesh from rind - Then, start slicing the flesh from the rind. Make sure you properly and carefully remove the bright green area in the middle of the orange flesh and the rind.
- Cube, chunk or scoop the melon – Depending on which you are going with, use a knife or a hatchet to cube or chunk the cantaloupe into small bite-sized pieces, or use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to make into small melon balls.
- Flash – freeze on a baking tray – Line a baking tray with either parchment paper or wax paper, and then place the cantaloupe pieces on it evenly. Then, place the tray inside the freezer and flash-freeze your cantaloupe for at least 5-6 hours.
- Pack in freezer bags or containers, seal and freeze – Once your cantaloupes have frozen hard, transfer them from the baking tray into airtight freezer bags or airtight freezer-safe containers.
Make sure to get rid of all the excess air before you seal the bag or container tightly and securely.
Label the bags or containers, and stash them in your freezer. They can now be frozen for up to ten to even twelve months.
Freezing as Cubes
Time Taken: 7-8 hours
What You Need:
- Food processor/blender
- Ice cube trays
- Resealable airtight freezer bags
Freezing with the help of ice cube trays is a very popular method for freezing liquid food items.
So yes, you need to puree your cantaloupes for this method; read on to find out exactly how.
Puree your Cantaloupes
Pour the melon puree into ice cube trays. Do this carefully, and be sure not to fill the cubes to the brim with the puree as it may expand while freezing.
Transfer the Trays into the Freezer and Flash-Freeze
Let the cantaloupe puree cubes flash-freeze for at least 5 to 6 hours.
Remember that the top of the cube may have frozen, but not the entire cube. So be generous with the amount of time you keep them in the freezer.
Transfer the cubes to airtight freezer bags – Once they have frozen, do this process as fast as possible so that the frozen cantaloupe puree cubes do not start to thaw.
Seal securely, label and freeze. Once the bags are sealed securely and labeled, they are ready to freeze.
These cantaloupe puree cubes can also be frozen up to ten to twelve months. You can use the cubes to chill wine spritzers or even fruit teas.
In case you need further help, maybe in the form of a visual especially if you are not entirely sure which method to go with, feel free to consult this video:
How to Freeze Fruit Salad with Cantaloupe
Time Taken: 7-8 hours
What You Need:
- Paper towels
- Baking tray
- Parchment/waxed paper
- Plastic wrap
- Airtight freezer bags
Cantaloupes are a very popular and tasty addition to fruit salads, which make for delicious and healthy snack treats in any season.
The good news here is that you can also freeze fruit salads to excellence!
Not only does it save a lot of time and effort, freezing fruits has actually been proven to improve their taste and flavor!
Prep and Make your Fruit Salad According to your Recipe
Seriously, go all out.
Remember to wash and dry the fruits carefully using paper towels, and cut them properly into sizes suitable for a fruit salad.
Place Fruit Pieces on a Baking Tray Lined with Parchment/Waxed Paper
Once you have made sure all your fruit pieces are completely dry, spread them in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap securely, and then transfer it into the freezer to flash-freeze for a good 6-7 hours.
Transfer the Fruit Pieces to Airtight Freezer Bags
Once they have frozen, transfer the frozen fruit into airtight freezer bags.
Seal securely, label and freeze. Make sure to squeeze out all the air from the bag possible, before sealing them.
Once the bags are sealed securely and labeled, they are ready to freeze.
You can keep your fruit salad in the freezer for up to 8 to 9 months. Enjoy!
How Long Can You Freeze Cantaloupe?
If frozen properly following the right method and technique with all the steps having been followed properly.
If made sure that the bags or containers have been sealed carefully and made totally airtight and watertight, your cantaloupe should stay good for ten to twelve months.
How to Store Frozen Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupes can be kept in freezer storage in airtight freezer bags (after making them into cubes, chunks or scoops) or in airtight containers, as has been discussed earlier.
They can also be frozen into cubes first after pureeing and then kept in freezer storage for up to ten to twelve months.
How to Defrost Frozen Cantaloupe?
To defrost your cantaloupe chunks, you can simply transfer the freezer bags or containers from the freezer to the fridge and leave them to thaw overnight, or at least for to 6 to 8 hours.
Once thawed completely, you can eat the cantaloupes as they are, directly from the freezer bag or container.
You can use them in different beverages and other food dishes. The latter is recommended more with frozen food items.
You can also simply use the melon cubes/chunks/scoops in smoothies.
In that case, there is no need to defrost the cantaloupe. Just go ahead and stick them right into making your smoothie.
The frozen cantaloupe will make your smoothie iced and tasty.
Can You Re-freeze Frozen Cantaloupe?
It is never a good idea to refreeze fruit. Thawed fruits like cantaloupes can suffer significantly with regard to their texture, flavor, taste and appearance.
Therefore, it is best to avoid re-freezing cantaloupes.
Does Cantaloupe Freeze Well?
Yes, like all fruits, cantaloupes freeze quite well.
If prepped carefully following the right methods, they can even be kept in freezer storage for up to ten and even twelve months.
There are several recipes you can make with frozen cantaloupes, such as sorbets, ice creams smoothies and fruit salads.
Take for example a cantaloupe cayenne sorbet – the perfect icy dessert.
Yes, if left in the freezer for an extended period of time, say beyond a year or a year and a half, frozen cantaloupe definitely has changes of going bad. Once they pass their shelf life in the freezer, their quality, flavor and taste would deteriorate significantly.
Yes, cantaloupe seeds can also be frozen. Keeping them in freezer storage is bound to keep them fresh and edible for a long time. They can then be roasted, or added to salads, smoothies, soups and stews.
No, cantaloupe rind is thick, hard, and similar to that of watermelon; and is not intended to be eaten of frozen.
Yes! Frozen cantaloupe offers a nutrient-rich, low-calorie dessert or snack. With close to zero fat and loaded with Vitamins C and A, cantaloupe also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which are all preserved through the freezing process.
We have gone through the method to freeze cantaloupes, along with fruit salads made from the same, as well as a number of other guidelines and things you need to keep in mind.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to freeze cantaloupes safely at home.
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