Honeydew melon season is usually in between summer and the middle of fall. When the melons are in season, it is usually less expensive to buy. Honeydew will keep well at room temperature for two to four days and for a little longer in your refrigerator.
But, if you are planning to buy honeydews while they are in season you would be struck with the dilemma of how to preserve them.
Can you freeze honeydew? Yes, you can freeze honeydew. Honeydew that has been stored at 0°F will keep indefinitely but, for the best quality, it would only retain that for 10 – 12 months. Honeydew does not have a high water content like the other melons, so it is less mushy after thawing.
Honeydews would not ripen on the counter if you buy them unripe with the aim or purpose of storing them for longer. So, the right way to freeze honeydew is to buy it while it is ripe and fresh and freeze it before it starts to go soft or get overripe.
How to Freeze Honeydew
Honeydew tastes well in many forms, especially when it is still half frozen. Fruits are notorious for becoming mushy after freezing. But, because honeydews have less water content than other melons and some fruit, it would become soft after freezing but would not turn into a mushy mess. Honeydew can be frozen in more than one way.
- Freezing Honeydew
- Freezing Honeydew in Syrup
One of the trickiest parts of picking melons to freeze is how to recognize if they are ripe or not. But, if you catch the right one, it would freeze beautifully and give you an awesome result.
Step 1: Preparation
Select ripe melons and avoid overly ripe ones. Rinse the honeydew properly and pat it down with a dry towel to dry it. Using a sharp knife cut the honeydew into halves then slice the halves into strips. You want to cut the strips into sizes that are bendable. Hence avoid cutting them too thick.
Step 2: Slicing
Now that you have the melon in strips, you can cut the rind off the edible portion of the melon. You can use a melon baller to ball it up. Then, cut the edible part into chunks or slices, getting them ready for the next step.
Step 3: Flash Freezing
Fruits with high water content tend to clump together upon freezing. This action can be prevented by flash freezing. Get a rimmed baking sheet and wax paper. Place the slices of honeydew individually with enough space in between them, on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place it in the freezer and freeze for one hour or more. Once it is frozen solid, bring it out of the freezer.
Step 4: Storage
Airtight freezer bags or Store-bought Ziploc bags are good for storing them before freezing. Place the half-frozen slices of honeydew into the bags and suck out excess air before sealing them. You can freeze the honeydew in measured packs if you have a lot to freeze.
Do not forget to label the bags with a sharpie, stating the contents of the bag and the date of freezing. This helps you to keep track of what you have stored and for how long.
Freezing Honeydew in Syrup
Another option is to store your honeydew in sugar syrup. While preparing the syrup, make sure that the sugar constitutes 30% of the syrup. You can measure in parts or with whichever form of measurement suits you.
Place a pan of water on the stove at medium heat. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves entirely. Wait for the syrup to cool. The syrup helps the melon to retain its taste and color.
Get freezer-friendly containers, and put the chunks of honeydew into them. Pour in the now cool syrup until the chunks are entirely immersed in the syrup. Then cover the plastic. You can use a piece of parchment paper to ensure that the container is well covered.
Don’t forget to suck out most of the air before sealing. Label the container with the contents and the date of the freeze before placing it into the freezer to freeze.
How to Thaw Frozen Honeydew
Like most fruits, honeydew can be eaten while frozen or served half-frozen. If you do not want to use the honeydew while it’s still frozen, remove the pack from the freezer and leave it in the fridge to defrost slowly. However, do not let your frozen honeydew thaw completely.
Honeydew is not as watery as other melons like watermelon, so it doesn’t become mushy after thawing. But it can go soft. For better texture, it is better to eat or use them before it thaws completely.
How to Tell When Honeydew is Spoiled
When honeydew goes bad, the appearance will change. The color changes to dark yellow and the rind will go flabby and collapse. This odd appearance would be accompanied by an offensive odor.
Another sign that suggests that your honeydew is spoiled is that it will taste vinegary and bland. It is unhealthy to eat spoiled food items, so discarding such food items is the best bet.