My wife being lactose intolerant means we always have an abundance of Almond milk in the house. But because nobody else in the family drinks it, it sometimes gets overlooked on the grocery list. After that happened once or twice, we went completely overboard in the opposite direction and now we usually buy far too much. There would be half-filled cartons everywhere and cartons started to become unusable and needed to be stored for longer. But can you freeze almond milk just like other dairy products?
The good news is that you CAN freeze almond milk, but whether you should do it is entirely your choice. Freezing Almond milk does not affect its overall nutritional value, but the consistency and texture of the milk might get compromised. The reason most almond milk manufacturers don’t recommend it is that there is a noticeable irregular separation of the contents that affects the taste and quality.
So honestly it’s not really advisable to freeze Almond Milk if it can be avoided, but if you follow some of the tips in this article, it can still be a good option. Homemade Almond Milk is also delicious and easy to make, so I’ve included a recipe and guide. If you are missing any essential kitchen items be sure to check out our Ultimate Kitchen Essentials Guide.
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Things To Keep In Mind Before Freezing Almond Milk
Almond milk is beneficial in many ways. It is the best alternative for lactose-intolerant people. One cannot throw away this healthy drink just like that. So, the best solution to store your extra almond milk is to freeze it and be assured of its safety. Just like cow milk, almond milk is also pasteurized before packing.
However, there are a few things you should know before you start the process of freezing your almond milk.
- Ideally, try to freeze the unopened carton (original container) as it would have minimal exposure to oxygen and ensure freshness.
- Freeze the almond milk before its expiry date. Put the dates on your storage packaging. This is necessary concerning the safety parameters and optimal freshness.
- Always shake/blend the milk (container/ homemade), so that the contents do not separate while freezing.
- You can freeze almond milk in small batches if you would need only small amounts of it each day.
- As almond milk is mostly water, it will expand when frozen, so do not overfill.
- Never re-freeze almond milk after you have defrosted it.
Correct Ways To Freeze Almond Milk
The two most optimal ways to freeze your almond milk (both homemade and commercial) are:
In Ice Cube Trays
Try this method if you plan to use almond milk in tiny quantities in the coming days and thaw only a small portion.
This method is a little time-consuming but it is efficient and worth all the effort. Here is how to go about it:
- Take a clean food-grade ice cube tray and pour the almond milk into it.
- Put the tray into the freezer overnight (solidifies within a few hours).
- The next thing is to take a freezer ziplock bag and transfer the cubes into it.
- Remember to remove any excess air present while sealing. The bag should be air-tight.
- Lastly, don’t forget to label the bag with the date and stock it back into the freezer.
In Small Airtight Glass Containers
This is a quick and straightforward method to freeze your almond milk. Freezing milk in airtight containers prevents it from absorbing the odors from other food items stored in the freezer. Moreover, it also minimizes contamination.
Read the following steps to follow this method:
- Pick a clean and dry glass container and pour the milk into it.
- Remember to leave some space on top as almond milk has the property to expand on freezing. Otherwise, it will leak out or break open.
- Seal the freezer-safe container tightly.
- Put down the date on the packages and finally place them upright in the fridge.
How To Thaw/Defrost Almond Milk
All frozen foods need to be thawed or defrosted before being consumed. Simply transfer your almond milk (cubes or containers) from your freezer to your fridge. It may take several hours to thaw in the refrigerator. So the best option would be to defrost almond milk overnight.
For quick defrosting, you can dip the container into lukewarm water. Avoid microwaves, hot water, or even room temperature. It may lead to bacteria activation that may spoil the milk.
Instead, you can directly defrost it while cooking. But don’t forget to stir, blend, or shake the defrosted milk to re-integrate the elements that may have got separated. You may notice a difference in the color and flavor of the milk after blending, but that’s normal.
Pro Tip: Consume the thawed milk for 2-3 days without refreezing it.
How To Use Frozen Almond Milk?
As discussed earlier, frozen almond milk will not retain the same flavor, color, and texture. However, it’s a good alternative to plain milk for making vegan-friendly and dairy-free meals.
Additionally, it’s easy to cook and contains fewer carbs. Let’s learn about some popular ways of using frozen nut-based milk in the best possible manner:
- You can drink it after thawing; it’s safe.
- Use it for baking. You can use this as a dairy substitute to make cookies and cakes.
- Frozen almond milk is best suitable for making smoothies. Blend fresh fruits with frozen milk to get delicious shakes.
- Chefs use them to make creamy curries and gravies.
- This non-dairy option is a perfect choice for making lactose-free desserts or having a cereal breakfast.
- Use it as a coffee whitener.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Frozen Almond Milk?
Freezing almond milk may increase its shelf life, but it has some serious drawbacks like:
- The freezing process changes the texture and consistency of the nut-based milk.
- The freshness and aromatic flavor are lost after thawing.
- The shelf life of thawed milk is very short. It turns bad after 3-4 days.
How To Make Almond Milk
Here’s a great video I found on homemade Almond Milk.
It is always advisable to use almond milk (or any dairy product) when fresh. But sometimes, we may need to freeze it too. The answer to the question “can you freeze almond milk” is in the affirmative. It is recommended to use frozen almond milk within two months of freezing it.
However, if you have bought a refrigerated almond milk container from a store, it should be used within seven days from opening.
If, after thawing, you notice a distinct sour odor, chunks, distended package, color change, etc., you must understand that your milk has turned nasty and is not fit for consumption.