Can you freeze watermelon?

a watermelon slice
a watermelon slice © Aline Ponce / Pixabay

In summer, watermelon is a welcome and healthy refreshment. But what if you can’t eat it all? Can you freeze watermelon?

Watermelons are a fruit vegetable from the cucurbit family (Cucurbitaceae). The individual fruits grow to about the size of a basketball and can weigh up to 3 kg / 6 lbs. With a water content of up to 95 percent, they are a wonderful thirst quencher on hot summer days. What’s more, watermelons contain little sugar and are a sweet, low-calorie and healthy alternative to ice cream or lemonade. Stored in the freezer, a watermelon will keep for two to three months. It’s best to freeze them in halves right after you buy them, when the fruit is still fresh and flavorful. If you want to freeze watermelon that has already been cut, you should do so on the same day if possible. Although the fruit will keep for two to three days in the refrigerator, germs and bacteria quickly gather at the cuts. Therefore, you should always wrap watermelon pieces in cling film promptly.

What happens when you freeze a watermelon?

Freezing a watermelon in one piece is not particularly recommended, because it changes its consistency after freezing. Unlike asparagus, for example, which also has a very high water content, watermelon flesh becomes soft and mushy after thawing. This is due to the unstable cell structure of the flesh. Nevertheless, watermelon can be frozen if further use depends less on the consistency and more on the refreshing taste. Thus, frozen melon makes a wonderful addition to smoothies or sorbets and replaces conventional ice cubes in refreshing cocktails.

Freeze watermelon: How to do it?

To store watermelon in the freezer, first remove the skin from the flesh and remove the seeds. Then cut the melon into slices or cubes and place them in portions in freezer bags or containers suitable for freezing. To prevent melon pieces from being crushed in the bag, it is best to place them in an empty freezer compartment or on top of other frozen food. Alternatively, you can puree the fruit before freezing. Another simple method is to make ice cubes from melons. To do this, cut the fruit in half, use an ice cream scoop to form balls from the pulp and freeze them in several portions.

How long will a whole watermelon keep in the refrigerator?

Freshly purchased watermelons can be stored whole in the refrigerator for about three weeks. Stored at cool room temperature, the fruit will also keep for up to two weeks. If you don’t have space in your freezer, why not use leftover melon to make hearty dishes? There is a whole range of recommendable recipes with a hearty, fruity note. For example, melon and tomato salad, watermelon salad with feta or grilled watermelon?

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