Apple juice is one of my favorite juices. Homemade apple juice or store-bought packs are really tasty and refreshing when served cold. If you’ve ever had a glass of cold apple juice after some rigorous exercise, you’ll know just how tasty and refreshing it can be.
One reason apple juice is so refreshing is that majority of its constituent is actually water – about 88% of it. In addition to apple juice’s hydration ability, it is also rich in polyphenols, which are known to shield our body cells from inflammation and oxidative damage.
Maybe you have a favorite brand of store-bought apple juice and you’ve just gotten a huge batch of it. If you do not want your apple juice going to waste, you’ll need a way to prolong its shelf life.
If you’re also one of those people with one or more apple trees growing in their backyard, you may have a large amount of apples ripening at the same time. The fresh apples can be squeezed into delicious apple juice, but you’ll have a lot of it to deal with.
So, how do you effectively preserve your batch of freshly squeezed apple juice? Can you freeze apple juice? Yes, you can freeze apple juice. Apple juice freezes well in the freezer. Once the juice has been packed correctly, it can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. There are some things that you should know and do when you’re freezing your apple juice.
Freezing Apple Juice
Although apple juice can be frozen over a long period of time, it will eventually experience a few changes in the freezer. Because apple juice has so much water, there’s a high probability that will go through some expansion when left to freeze. The possible expansion of apple juice must be accounted for when you’re packing it for the freezer. Ideally, there should be some space left for expansion in whatever container you decide to pack the juice in.
One other likely change that apple juice may have is a change in its color. Frozen apple juice may appear to be cloudy; however, the juice’s original color is usually restored upon defrosting. Other changes to the juice may include increased sweetness and altered consistency – a little of the juice’s nutrients may also be lost after months of freezing.
How to Freeze Apple Juice
Correctly freezing your apple juice will ensure that you have good results after freezing for a while and defrosting. Here are some easy steps to follow when freezing apple juice:
Step 1: Pick the Freshest Apples for the Apple Juice
It is much better to freeze apple juice made out of the freshest batch of apples. Once apples are in their peak season, you can purchase them in bulk with the intention of making them into a tasty juice and freezing it till later dates – you may also pick fresh and ripe apples if you have them growing in your backyard.
Make sure that the apples are just ripe – not overripe and already going bad. Once you’ve picked out the best apples, you can go ahead to make your apple juice. If you’ll be buying cartons of apple juice from the store, you should make sure that the best before date isn’t already close or past.
Step 2: Transfer the Apple Juice into a Freezer-Safe Bag or Container
You can transfer your store-bought apple juice from the original carton into a freezer-safe bag, a plastic container, or even a glass jar; note that any glass jar to be used must be strong enough not to break when subjected to freezer conditions. If you’ve just made your fresh squeezed apple juice, you can also transfer it into any of the mentioned containers.
Make sure you leave enough room in the containers for the apple juice to expand. Failure to leave space will cause the juice to leak from the container and create a mess inside the freezer. Before sealing the container, you also need to remove as much air as possible.
Step 3: Alternatively Pre-Freeze the Apple Juice in Ice Cube Trays
Instead of freezing the apple juice in a single container in large quantity, you can pre-freeze it in ice cube trays. Doing this will make things easier for you when you want to defrost the frozen juice later on. Simply fill the ice cube tray with the apple juice and leave it to freeze totally in the freezer for about 2 hours. Once the cubes are solidly frozen, take them out of the freezer and transfer them into a resealable freezer-safe bag.
Remove as much air as you can from the freezer bag and label the bag with the present date. Leave the apple juice to keep in the freezer till you want to use it later on.
How to Defrost Frozen Apple Juice
Defrosting frozen apple juice is a simple process. You may choose to defrost it by placing in the refrigerator overnight or by submerging in room temperature water. Thawing by refrigeration takes several hours – about 12 hours. If you want to use this method, it is best if you leave the apple juice to thaw overnight.
A faster method of defrosting frozen apple juice is to fill a large bowl with room temperature water and submerge the freezer-safe bag with apple juice in it. Leave the bag of apple juice submerged in the water until it is completely thawed.
Once you’ve thawed your frozen apple juice, do not refreeze it. That is why you’re only expected to thaw a portion that you can finish at once – freezing in ice cube trays really helps with this. You can easily pick out the number of frozen apple juice cubes that will be just enough for you.