Mandarins are delicious and healthy. You can eat them on their own or you can add them to a recipe such as mandarin and almond cake, mandarin upside-down cake, or slow-cooked duck la mandarin.
You can use them to make a marmalade or add them to a smoothie. However, what do you do if you have a glut of fresh mandarins or you have opened a large can of mandarins for a fruit salad and have leftovers? The answer is simple. Just freeze them.
However, you will find that you can freeze fresh mandarins for longer than canned mandarins. In this article, we will be taking a look at how you freeze both fresh and canned mandarins.
How To Freeze Mandarins
It’s not difficult to freeze mandarins but you need to be aware that the texture will change so they are best eaten frozen like sorbet or used in dishes.
How To Freeze Fresh Mandarins
You can freeze mandarins either whole or in segments. It all really depends on how you want to use them. If you want to have a frozen snack, freeze the mandarins whole but if you want to use the mandarins in a dish or a smoothie, freeze them in segments. The method of freezing is the same whether you freeze them whole or in segments.
1. Prepare the mandarins.
Peel the mandarins and then wash them. If you want to freeze them in segments now is the time to slice them.
2. Flash freeze the mandarins.
To ensure that the mandarins don’t stick together when they are bagged up, it is a good idea to flash freeze them. Get a baking tray and put a piece of parchment paper on it. Put the whole mandarins or mandarin segments on the tray, making sure that they aren’t touching each other. Put the baking tray in the freezer and leave for about two hours. The mandarins should be frozen solid by this time.
3. Put the mandarins in freezer bags.
Put the whole mandarins or segments into a freezer bag, making sure that you squeeze out as much air as possible. If you don’t, freezer burn can occur, and the taste and texture of your mandarins may change. Alternatively, you can put them in an airtight container. Put a label on the bag or container with the date you put it in the freezer so that you don’t keep it in there for too long.
4. Put the bag or container in the freezer.
How To Freeze Canned Mandarins
You will find that the texture changes a lot when canned mandarins are frozen. This is because they have a high water count. This is the way to freeze them.
1. Drain the mandarins.
Allow them to air dry after draining them. You don’t want to freeze them if they are wet as ice crystals can form and this will make the mandarin segments mushy.
2. Flash freeze the mandarin segments.
Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray and lay out the mandarin segments. Make sure that they aren’t touching each other so that they don’t stick to each other when they are bagged up. This will mean that you will be able to take out as many or as few mandarin segments as you need. Put the tray in the freezer for around two hours. This should be sufficient time to freeze your segments.
3. Put the segments in a freezer bag or airtight container.
If you are using a freezer bag, make sure that you squeeze out all the air so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag or container with the date.
How To Freeze Mandarin Juice
As well as being able to freeze fresh and canned mandarins, you can also freeze mandarin juice (see also How To Freeze Fruit Juice). This is the way to do it.
1. Put your mandarin juice into the slots of an ice cube tray.
Don’t fill the slots up to the top as the juice can expand. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer for about two hours or until they are frozen solid.
2. Put the mandarin cubes in a freezer bag.
Don’t fill the bag to the top just in case the cubes expand. Put a label on the bag with the date you put it in the freezer.
3. Put the bag in the freezer.
If you freeze your juice as ice cubes, you can just pick out as many cubes as you need. However, if you think that you will be using all the juice at once, you can freeze it in an airtight container. Remember to leave a gap at the top in case the juice expands.
Tips For Freezing Mandarins
- Make sure that you either use an airtight container or squeeze out all the air from a freezer bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. If it does, the mandarins won’t be as tasty as they should be even though they will still be safe to eat.
- Flash freeze the mandarins, whether you are freezing them whole or in segments. You may think that this is a bind but it does stop the mandarins from sticking together. This enables you to use just as many mandarins or mandarin segments as you need. This avoids food waste.
- Eat whole mandarins while they are frozen. They are delicious and taste just like a sorbet. Segments can be added to dishes.
For How Long Can You Freeze Mandarins?
Canned mandarins don’t last as long as fresh mandarins. They will keep for two to three months in the freezer. However, you can freeze fresh mandarins for up to ten months. You will be able to enjoy them even when they aren’t in season.
How Do You Defrost Mandarins?
You can defrost mandarins in the fridge but they do change the texture and can end up mushy. However, in this situation, you could use them in a cake. With whole mandarins, they are best eaten frozen. However, frozen segments can be thrown straight into a savory casserole such as Asian-style mandarin chicken. You can also put the frozen segments straight into a blender when you are making a smoothie. You could even add a frozen mandarin juice ice cube to a glass of water to give extra flavor. Perhaps you throw a cube or two into a cocktail to give a citrus kick (see also Freezing Grapefruit).
Can You Refreeze Mandarins?
We’re afraid that you can’t refreeze mandarins. The taste and texture will change too much, and they definitely won’t be tasty. Every time you freeze and defrost, moisture is lost, and the mandarins could become dry.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Mandarins?
If you want to eat mandarins raw or add them to fruit salads, it isn’t a good idea to freeze mandarins as they lose their texture. However, if you want to use them in recipes, then, yes, it is a good idea to freeze mandarins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing mandarins, but in case you have further questions, we have answered a couple here.
Can you freeze other citrus fruits?
Yes, you can freeze other citrus fruits including tangerines, satsumas, clementines, oranges, lemons, and limes. Just use the same methods to freeze them as for freezing mandarins.
What else can I make with frozen mandarins?
If you want to have a different sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas, make a mandarin orange cranberry sauce. It goes brilliantly with turkey. You could make stewed fruit with other fruits. Pork ribs with mandarins and veggies is a delicious dish as is slow-cooked mandarin chicken. You can even use frozen mandarins to make wine or a liqueur. As long as you don’t want to eat them raw, the possibilities are endless.