How To Freeze Cantaloupe (And Other Preservation Questions)

This week, I found myself faced with a deal I just couldn’t turn down.  My end of the deal?  15 cantaloupe.  And as soon as I happily accepted them, the lady said, “I hope you can eat a lot of cantaloupe this week!”

I giggled and told her we would probably eat one or two and put the rest up.  Her entire face changed.  “How do you store them?”

I told her some of my plans and then I got pretty nervous as she appeared to understand.  I thought she might want her cantaloupe back.  But alas, she wished me well and I was off with my cantaloupe!

So…How do you store cantaloupe?  Do you dehydrate it?  Can you can it?  Does it freeze?  Can you put it in a cold cellar?  As good as cantaloupe is, many people don’t know how to store it very long.

Can You Dehydrate Cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe is about 95% water.  Yeah.  I would not suggest dehydrating it by itself.  If you wanted to mix it with another fruit, puree the two together and try for fruit roll-ups, you might be on to something.

Can You Can Cantaloupe?

According to thealkalinefoods.com cantaloupe has an average pH of 8.5–which means no water bathing.  I did some math and concluded that by the time I pressure canned cantaloupe at the pressure it needed for the time it needed, it would just be goop.  Sorry Friends.  I would never suggest canning cantaloupe this way.

I do however, plan to make pickled cantaloupe, vanilla cantaloupe jam and a cinnamon cantaloupe preserve.  I’ve got my pH paper out, and I’ll be starting these tonight.

Can You Store Cantaloupe In A Cold Cellar?

Yes, but not very long.  It’s good on the counter up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for 4 days, and in the cold cellar a week.  Bummer.  It doesn’t store as well as watermelon in the cold cellar.

How to freeze cantaloupe and other tips for preserving your melon.
How Do You Freeze Cantaloupe?

The first thing you want to do is clean the outside of the melon.  This step is often forgotten since it is the flesh in the inside that is eaten.  But remember that when you cut it up, the knife first passes the outer rind and if there are any buggies, they will be pulled along everywhere the knife goes.

Once you clean your melon, cut it in half.  You have two options from here.

1.     Slice the melon in long pieces, cut the rind and any green parts off, and then cube it.

or

2.     Use a melon scooper to make little balls out of the melon.  (This is what I did.)  If employing this process, realize there will be a lot of in-between pieces left over.  Be prepared to feed them to your family, or save them for making ice-cream, a jam, or a preserve (which is also what I am doing).

Now that you have your pieces, either squares or balls, place them on a flat cookie sheet.  Make sure they are not touching each other, and put them in the freezer.

How to freeze cantaloupe and other tips for preserving your melon.

Since cantaloupe have such a high water content, I find that they need to be in there 2-3 hours before they are frozen enough to the take off the cookie sheet and store in gallon zip-lock baggies.  I can put a little over 2 cantaloupes’ balls in a gallon baggie.  If I were to have cut squares, it probably would have been less.

If possible, store flat. I check on them the next day or two to make sure the balls are still loose in the bag and not stuck to each other.

Why Am I So Excited About Frozen Cantaloupe?

According to californiacantaloupes.com just 6 ounces of cantaloupe provides 100% of the daily need for vitamins A and C.  Around here, it’s hard to find extra sources of vitamin C in the winter.

These little babies are going to be wonderful during cold and flu season this year!

We will eat them as-is, in our yogurt, in our green smoothies, or possibly in an ice cream recipe if we get brave.  *Update: check out how we made cantaloupe sorbet with these.*

 

30 Comments

  1. I love your blog. You offer such practical advice that isn’t necessarily given anywhere else and I find that so useful. You’ve reminded me that I have a cantaloupe in my fridge right now that has been there for more than 4 days! Also, I won’t be shy about buying too much of it when I run across a good deal. Thanks!

    • Thank you Kristi. I really try to put things out that would benefit others that aren’t necessarily readily available. I’m also one to reduce the waste as much as possible and use every scrap available in a useful way.
      I’m so glad you find things helpful when you come by. That tells me I’m meeting my goal.
      Blessings,

  2. Oh this is so awesome! Our cantaloupe season is just ending now though. My daughter would love frozen cantaloupe though. Maybe I can find a few more somewhere.

  3. How does it feel, texture wise when you thaw them? I have frozen watermelon before and the texture was so yucky so we tossed it. I’m afraid to try again with other melons!

    • It’s just like normal on the orange parts. The green parts are definitely different though. I do freeze part of the green because it has pectin and I will make some spreads/jams later in the year with it. If you don’t need the pectin, I would not suggest freezing any of the green–assuming you would normally eat a bit of the green–I don’t think you’d like it after the freeze/thaw.
      Thanks for the question Anastasia.
      Blessings,

  4. Christen Spratt

    August 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Great tips! Love the idea of having summer fruits last a little longer!

  5. I never even thought of freezing cantaloupe! My hubby loves this stuff,not me so much though! Anyway, I am defintley gonna try this and not be afraid of having to much leftover!Thanks for sharing!

  6. Well . . . I never knew! I’m so happy to find out that I can freeze cantaloupe and how to do it. Great information. Thank you so much! Beautiful blog too!

  7. I love this idea, it would be great for morning smoothies. I don’t normally enjoy eating is unless it’s straight from the garden as it’s always sweeter. Thanks for the tips so practical and useful.

  8. Good to know that you can freeze them and when defrosted, they don’t lose the wonderful flavor. Your family will be enjoying this all fall and winter!

  9. You know, I have pureed it for baby food and frozen it that way for short periods. But I never considered freezing balls of melon. I bet that tastes like a nice treat to just eat frozen! Great suggestion.

  10. Thank you for this information. My husband loves to buy cantaloupe, and we can’t always eat it fast enough. Now I know I can freeze it before it goes bad.

  11. Love this idea!!! What a great way to preserve this fruit!!
    Cathy

  12. This is great news to me! I love smoothies and you have encouraged me to freeze cantaloupe so I can have some for my smoothies. Thank you for sharing.

  13. The cantaloupe balls look interesting. I’m into making gelatin, I might try cooking the cantaloupe then blending and adding beef gelatin, I don’t think I’ve done this yet. I sweeten with Stevia.

  14. I mixed peaches with my cantaloupe for jam, it was wonderful. Do you think I can make jam with the frozen cantaloupe cubes and peaches?

    • I use frozen cantaloupe to make this jam, so I would think it would work just fine. What I would be worried about however, would be the safety of bottling it for long-term storage. Perhaps you could make freezer jam?

  15. Cantaloupe and honey dew melon soup/sorbet. Puree cantaloupe with a tbsp or two of lemon juice, pour into a jug and put in the fridge. Do the same with honey dew but use lime juice. Pour the two mixtures together in a bowl – they meet but they do not mix. Presentation plus. Add a dollop of yogurt and a sprig of mint leaves. Cool, easy and yummy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑