Lychees are a delicious treat often served in Indian restaurants. However, you don’t only have to eat them as raw fruit. They can be made into ice cream, used in jellies and cakes, and can even be added to a savory dish, in particular, chicken.
You can make a stunning cocktail out of lychees. For example, a lychee martini is delicious. Just blend the lychees into a juice, and add vermouth and vodka. Another choice is a cranberry and lychee gin cocktail (see also Can You Freeze Damsons?). It is tart, sweet, and fizzy, the ultimate combination.
The easiest way to buy lychees is in a can but perhaps you are keen on eating fresh lychees without all the added sugar. They’re not that easy to find but if you do, you could be tempted to stock up on them.
However, you will probably then discover that you can’t use all of them before they go bad. So, what can you do? The simple answer is to freeze them. They freeze well and although you will find that the outer skin turns brown, this isn’t eaten as it is tough. Underneath this outer skin, you will find that the inside is deliciously sweet and juicy.
In this article, we will tell you how to freeze lychees and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Lychees
1. Clean the lychees
You don’t want to freeze them covered in dirt or bugs.
2. Put the lychees in a freezer bag.
If you have a lot of lychees, it is a good idea to freeze them in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as many as you need in one sitting. This saves on waste. Squeeze out all the air from the bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of food and depletes the nutrients. Put labels on the bags with the date you put them in the freezer.
3. Put the bags in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Lychees
- Keep the skins on the lychees even though you won’t be eating them. They protect against oxidation in the freezer.
- Lychees are best frozen whole. Don’t peel them and make juice or syrup out of them. This is best done after they have been defrosted.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur.
- Divide into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as many lychees as you need.
For How Long Can You Freeze Lychees?
Lychees can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. After this time, their taste and texture will deteriorate, and they will start losing their nutrients. This is why it is important to mark the date you put them in the freezer on the freezer bags.
How Do You Defrost Lychees
The best way to defrost lychees is to do it slowly and steadily so that they retain their texture as much as possible. Put the freezer bags in a bowl and put them in the fridge to defrost overnight. However, the lychees can still become a little soft. The best thing to do is to remove the outer skin while they are defrosting so that you don’t damage the insides.
If you want to make a smoothie or a cocktail, you can also put the lychees straight into a blender while they are still frozen. You will need to remove the skins as they can be bitter.
Can You Refreeze Lychees?
No, it’s not a good idea to refreeze lychees. When you freeze any item of food, ice crystals are formed. If you freeze twice, the ice crystals will turn the lychees soggy. This is why it is a good idea to freeze in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you are going to use.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Lychees?
Yes, lychees freeze well. They might be a little softer than when you put them in the freezer but they will still be delicious. When you take them out of the freezer, the outer skins will be brown but they won’t be bad. The insides will be fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing lychees but in case you still have questions, we have answered a few here.
What do lychees taste like?
Lychees have a sweet and sour taste and pair well with other tropical fruits. They are certainly a bold flavor.
Can you freeze canned lychees?
Canned lychees have a long shelf life. In fact, they can last for years so there is no point in opening a can and freezing the lychees. However, if you open a can and have leftovers, you can freeze them in the same way as fresh lychees.
Can you eat frozen lychees?
It would be difficult to eat them frozen because the outer skin has been left on as a layer of protection. However, if you let them thaw a little, you will then be able to remove the skins and enjoy them. The experience will remind you of a delicious sorbet.