Freezing orange juice is as easy as it sounds, but you can make it better. Your finished product is only as good as the starting ingredients, so choose oranges at the height of ripeness within a day of harvest to freeze. Then do the prep work. It takes a little heat and finesse to extract the most juice from an orange, and you have to do it manually for the purest taste. Valencia oranges have an undesirable texture for out-of-hand eating, and do best when juiced; navel oranges, however, don’t yield much juice and are best reserved for out-of-hand eating.
Things You'll Need
Rinse the oranges under cool running water while rubbing your fingers over them. Towel dry the oranges then poke them all over several times using a fork; don’t pierce the skin all the way through.
Place the oranges in a bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Let the oranges sit for 30 seconds, then drain the water from them.
Roll the oranges on the work surface, lightly pressing down as you do, until you feel them soften. Cut the oranges in half.
Squeeze the juice manually, by spinning the halves over a citrus juicer or by squeezing each half manually. If squeezing by hand, run a wooden spoon inside the orange halves afterward to extract more juice.
Remove the pulp from the juice by pouring it through a strainer into a container, if desired, or add pulp from the inside of the orange halves, if desired. Take out any seeds if they made it in the juice.
Transfer the juice to a freezer-safe glass jar or rigid-plastic freezer container, leaving 1 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Orange juice keeps indefinitely in the freezer.
To make defrosting and serving frozen juice easier, freeze the juice in ice cube trays; pour the juice in the trays, freeze them uncovered then slide them into heavy-duty freezer bags.
Reserve the orange peels for drying. Peel the orange zest from the peels in strips and dry them in a dehydrator at 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 hours. You can also wrap the zest in a layer of cheesecloth to protect them from insects and dry them outside if you have low humidity and a temperature of 85 F or above. Simmer the dried zest for use as a home fragrance.