You may prefer drinking nut-based milk instead of animal-based dairy for health, ethics, or other reasons. But the chances are that once you open the carton of nut milk, you may wonder how long you can preserve it, whether you can freeze it, and whether or not it will go bad.
The good news is that you can freeze almond or other nut-based milk, and if stored properly, it will last for up to six months.
Here is a brief guideline on how to best freeze this type of plant-based milk. Also included are tips for thawing it and fixing it if it separates during the freezing.
Can almond milk be frozen?
You may have noticed on the labels of your preferred brand of almond milk that the manufacturer advises against freezing the product. The main reasoning behind this is that due to how almond and other nut milk is made, there is a risk of the product separating, thus the thinning of its consistency after it has been thawed.
The truth is that yes – almond milk will most likely separate after being frozen and defrosted. This means that the more solid parts will remain on the bottom of the container, and the watery liquid will end up on the top.
The good news is that you can easily resolve this problem with the help of a blender.
The secret to Fixing Separated Thawed Almond Milk
Once you let the frozen nut milk thaw, all you need to do is to pour it into a blender or use an immersion blender to blend it for 20-30 seconds.
This will help bring back the original consistency of the almond milk by mixing the separated liquids and solids back together.
But will it taste as good as fresh almond milk?
Well, the truth is that it will likely not be as tasty as it did when you first opened the carton or when you first made it. But you don’t really have to drink it like that. There are ways to use frozen and thawed almond milk without ending up with a disappointing taste or texture.
When should You Freeze Almond Milk?
You should freeze leftover almond milk to prevent food wastage. But it is recommended to freeze it only if you plan to use it for cooking or for preparing a recipe with it.
Freezing almond milk is not the best idea if you plan to use it for drinking directly.
The reason is that after it is thawed and blended, its texture and its taste may change slightly.
This is barely noticeable if you use the thawed milk to prepare a dish or make a protein shake.
It makes sense to experiment with the different brands of almond milk to see which ones freeze best, especially if you plan on freezing it regularly.
Overall, it always makes sense to try to reduce the wastage of food, but for this type of plant-based milk, it is recommended that you use it in a recipe once you thaw it, instead of pouring it in a cup and consuming it directly.
The Two Methods for Freezing Almond Milk
There are different ways to freeze almond milk, which are suitable for different needs and usages.
It is advisable to plan ahead and think about what you will be using the frozen milk for before deciding on the best way to freeze it.
Here are the two best ways to freeze this type of lactose-free milk for the best results.
If you can’t decide how exactly you will be using the product in the future, then we recommend that you use the more versatile of these two methods, which is the ice cube method.
Using an Ice Cube Tray for Freezing the Almond Milk
This is a fast, easy and versatile method for freezing and storing leftover almond milk.
It requires several quick and simple steps as follows:
- Get a clean ice cube tray.
- Pour in the leftover almond milk, as you would do with water and regular ice cubes.
- Place the tray in the freezer and allow the cubes to freeze completely.
- Once they are solid, you can remove them from the tray and place them in a well-sealed freezer bag or container.
- You can leave the milk in the ice cube trays overnight and transfer them into airtight containers or bags in the morning.
- Place the container or bag in the freezer. Before doing that, it is a good idea to label it with the date and type of product for easier storage management.
The most significant advantage of this method for freezing and storing almond milk is that you can take out and thaw as much of the milk as you need for a particular recipe instead of defrosting the whole thing.
It is a good idea to measure the quantity one cube holds to know how much to take out and defrost for the different drinks and foods you will be preparing in the future.
If you are using larger quantities of this plant-based milk in the future, you can use muffin trays instead of ice cube trays.
Using Containers for Freezing Almond Milk
This method is even faster and simpler than the ice cube tray one. All you need is one or more airtight containers and space available in the freezer.
Here are the simple steps for freezing almond milk in containers:
- Get as many airtight freezer-safe containers as you will need.
- Pour the almond milk into each one, portioning it as you will need it in the future.
- Make sure to leave free space in the container because the water will expand when it freezes.
- If necessary, label the containers with the name of the product and the date.
- Close the lids, making sure that they are secured and sealed.
- Place the containers in the freezer, ensuring that they remain upright, at least until the almond milk becomes solid.
- This method for freezing almond milk is the better choice if you have a clear idea of what you will be using the frozen nut milk for. It is also easier and faster.
It is a suitable freezing method for all types of nut milk, such as soy or coconut milk too.
How Long Can Almond Milk Stay in the Freezer?
Although it will probably last even longer, it is advisable to try to use the frozen nut milk within the next six months after freezing it. The reason is that the longer it remains in the freezer, the lower its quality and the worsened its taste and texture will be.
Labeling the containers or freezer bags will help remind you that you have it frozen so that you don’t forget the milk over time and leave it in the freezer, causing clutter.
This is especially useful if you tend to freeze other similar products such as buttermilk, heavy cream, or sour cream, which can be hard to recognize and differentiate in a frozen state, especially after months of being stored in the freezer.
The Right Ways to Thaw Frozen Almond Milk
As with most other frozen foods and beverages, there are several ways to defrost almond milk correctly, including:
Let it thaw in the refrigerator. This is the safest but the slowest method. All you need to do is place the container or ice cubes in a bowl or glass in the fridge and leave them overnight to defrost at a safe temperature. Of course, keep in mind that almond milk in larger containers will thaw slower than that in ice cube forms or smaller boxes.
Place it in lukewarm water. You can speed up the defrosting by placing the freezer bag or the container in a larger vessel filled with lukewarm water. Since water conducts heat faster and better than air, this will help make the thawing faster than using the fridge method. But avoid using warm water for this because it can be unsafe and can lead to disappointing results.
Thaw it as you are cooking. In some cases, you can pop the frozen almond milk directly into the dish or dessert you are cooking using heat straight out of the freezer. If you choose to use this method, make sure to keep stirring it so that it defrosts properly without separating.
When thawing the almond milk, make sure to blend it or at least stir it vigorously after it has returned to its liquid form. This will help preserve the taste and the texture of the milk when used for preparing a drink or dish.
After you have defrosted the frozen almond milk, you should try to use it within the next couple of days. Do not be tempted to place any leftover defrosted almond milk back in the freezer!
The Best Ways to Use Frozen and Thawed Almond Milk
As mentioned, the best way to utilize almond milk that has been frozen and thawed is to use it for preparing a recipe rather than for drinking it by itself.
Here are some ideas for the best ways to utilize defrosted almond milk:
- Make shakes or smoothies. You can even use the almond milk ice cubes instead of regular ice if you want to make a cool drink.
- Use it for your coffee. This is possible. Just make sure you have blended or stirred it well before that.
- For baking. You can use the thawed milk for baking any recipes which call for this type of milk.
- For cooking. The defrosted almond milk can be added to most dishes that require the use of milk. You can even put it in the pot without thawing it first if you cook the dish on the stove. Just make sure you stir it well as it defrosts.
Hopefully, we have helped you learn how to freeze almond milk for the best results and how to use it after it has thawed.
It is always a good idea to prevent the wastage of food. Only make sure that you follow the procedures for proper freezing, storage, thawing, and usage of the leftover almond milk if you want the best results at the end!