Can You Freeze Watermelon for Smoothies?
There is nothing quite so refreshing and healthy as a good smoothie made with fresh ingredients chilled from the fridge.
The natural question is then to ask if the ingredients can be frozen when they are in season to provide a supply for the rest of the year.
One common ingredient is watermelon.
Surprisingly enough, even with its high water content, you can freeze it for smoothies.
The issue with freezing it, and why some people do not recommend freezing watermelon is because it tends to be mushy when thawed out.
While that isn’t attractive for eating it as a dessert, that should not be an issue with smoothies, because it’s going to be liquidized anyway.
It’s mushy because freezing creates small ice crystals in the fruit. These sharp crystals break up the internal cells of the watermelon and it loses its structural firmness. It will lose a little flavor, but not much.
Steps To Freeze Watermelons
- Wash your hands.
- Wash the watermelon thoroughly. Use a vegetable brush if necessary
- Cut the watermelon into halves, then quarters, perhaps even into eight bits
- Remove the rind and seeds and then cut up the watermelon into small pieces, usually cubes. If you are adventurous, try slices, wedges or even balls. Cubes and balls are the easiest to freeze. Since you are going to use the watermelon to make smoothies, don’t worry too much about making the pieces pretty.
- Place the pieces of watermelon on a flat tray, say a baking sheet. It is very important that the pieces do not touch. If they do, they may freeze together. This will make them more difficult to pack, and separate when you need them later. You could use baking or parchment paper on the baking sheet
- Transfer the tray to the freezer, and leave for about a couple of hours, or until they are firm to the touch
- Transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container and put it in the freezer. Watermelon sometimes sticks to the baking sheet, but the heat of your hands will usually release them.
Tips For Freezing Watermelons
By freezing the cubes individually, you can then use as much as you need, when you need it.
Just take a few from the container and put the container back in the freezer. Frozen watermelon will last for about twelve months in the freezer, just enough time for watermelon season to come around again.
You can also add other ingredients to the freezer mix –fruit juice for example. The process is the same, but after transferring the watermelon to a container, cover it with the juice.
The container needs to have some headspace, about half an inch, because the juice will expand when frozen. The watermelon must stay submerged, so cover the watermelon with wax paper. All-year round smoothies with watermelon are possible.