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Can You Freeze Watermelon? How To Save The Summer Fruit + A Recipe To Try

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Picnic Of Cherries, Watermelon And Fruit
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Watermelon may just be the unofficial fruit of summer fun. This hydrating fruit is, of course, a popular feature on picnic blankets and in barbecue spreads alike, but finishing the large melon on your own may be a bit of a challenge. So while we've covered that it's possible to freeze avocados, what about watermelon?

The short answer is yes, you can. But it will limit what you can do with the fruit after. Unlike some other fruits and veggies, watermelon won't thaw nicely back to something resembling its original texture. When thawed, the watermelon tends to get quite mushy due to its high water content. However, there are ways to freeze the fruit that make it usable for a variety of fun and flavorful options.

How to freeze watermelon.

If you are opting to freeze leftover watermelon, there are a few ways to go about it. But the first step to perfectly usable frozen watermelon is always the same: Pick the best melon you can.

From there, you'll want to break down the watermelon—in cubes, or using a melon baller. Don't forget to take advantage of the watermelon rind, which actually has some health benefits (and can even be used in a face mask).

After cubing it, you've got two options: If you don't mind having to hack apart the frozen pieces of watermelon when you want to use it, you can simply put it in a container. But "the best way to freeze watermelon is to cube it and place it on a baking tray," says Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh, recipe developer and founder of Healthyish Foods.

It will take a few hours for the watermelon to freeze, and then it will last from eight to 12 months—so you can stretch your watermelon supply long beyond the summer months.


What can you make with frozen watermelon?

Just because you can't thaw watermelon to eat on its own doesn't mean there aren't some great ways to enjoy it as a frozen treat. One of the simplest ways to bring the flavors of summer into even the deepest depths of winter and fall is with a watermelon margarita—like this one from Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN.

Thomas-Drawbaugh has a slightly more family-friendly recommendation, but one that's no less summer-inspired: incorporating frozen watermelon into a batch of this quick and easy nice cream:

Watermelon Nice Cream Recipe

  1. Toss the frozen watermelon into a food processor.
  2. Add some frozen banana slices, a touch of almond milk, and maple syrup.
  3. Blend everything together until it's smooth and creamy.
  4. Serve immediately for a softer nice cream, or freeze for a few hours to get a more firm feel. 

Some other places to use the watermelon? Add it to a smoothie or juice, or you can just blend the watermelon into a juice of its own—it pairs well with herbs like basil or mint for a hydrating treat.

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