Although most almond milk brands advise against it, you can freeze almond milk. Freezing can be done by using ice cubes of in a container. However, it’s essential to understand the effects of freezing and thawing almond milk as it may result in separation of milk and affects its shelf life and taste.
Keep reading to find out more!
Why Do Brands Advise Against Freezing Almond Milk?
Most companies sell their almond milk in sealed cartons, which usually have a shelf life of several months if unopened. Due to it’s already long shelf life, leaving Almond Milk in the cupboard is the best way to store it before it expires.
Why You should Not Freeze?
The main reason why brands recommends not to freeze almond is the separation of milk.
Freezing almond milk will affect the mixtures texture, color, and consistency. Although the nutritional value of the milk stays the same, you may notice a change in the taste. If you put the milk in the freezer, you should know that its shelf-life will only be 3-5 days after you thaw the frozen milk.
Despite these freezing affects, the milk remains safe to use and digest.
What Happens When You Freeze Almond Milk?
Time for a little science…
Almond milk consists of a mixture of small particles that are made up of water, proteins, fat droplets, cellulose, and fiber.
As the temperature drops, the water molecules start to group together, pushing the other particles towards the bottom away from them. These particles at the bottom dissolve into the thick layer – this takes longer to freeze than the water. This results in a visible color change in frozen almond milk.
Although you can shake the substance, Almond milk’s separation will remain visible after it has been frozen and thawed. Therefore, drinking almond milk isn’t a good idea if you are the type of person affected by changes in consistency and texture.
On the other hand, you can freeze this type of milk if you plan to use it for cooking and baking purposes.
How Do I Freeze Almond Milk?
There are numerous ways to freeze Almond Milk. Let’s look at the 3 main ways for freezing.
#1. Using Ice Cubes
This method is useful if you only want to use a little bit of almond milk at a time.
- Step-1: Take an ice cube tray and pour the almond milk into it.
- Step-2: Put the filled ice cube tray into the freezer. Keep the tray in the freezer until the liquid freezes. Milk usually freezes in a few hours but leaving the tray overnight is advisable.
- Step-3: Once the milk is frozen, remove the milk cubes from the tray and transfer them into a freezer bag. Try to squeeze as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Don’t let the warmth of your fingers thaw the milk.
- Step-4: Put the ice cube bag or tray into the freezer.
#2. In a Container
The next method is to freeze almond milk in a container. Here is how you do it.
Step-1: Consider Portion Size
When thawing, you will thaw all the frozen milk inside the container. So if you need one cup at a time and have 4 cups of almond milk, consider freezing 4 cups of milk separately (each cup apiece). If you are confused about the quantity of milk you need at a time, consider freezing the milk in an ice cube tray.
Once you have decided the portion size you want to freeze, pick the container and pour the selected quantity inside the container. As the milk consists mostly of water, leaving some space in the container as the milk will expand on freezing.
Pour the milk into the container and put it inside the refrigerator to freeze. Milk usually freezes in a few hours but leaving the tray overnight is advisable.
Once the milk is frozen, you can thaw the frozen milk depending on your need.
#3. In its Original Container:
You can freeze the almond milk into its original container. But there, you won’t be able to measure the exact quantity you are going to need at a time.
All you need is to put the original container inside the freezer and let the milk freeze. The only precaution you need to take is to remove some of the milk from the container as the milk will expand on freezing, so there should be some space for the milk to expand.
How Do I Thaw Frozen Almond Milk?
Now that you have frozen milk let’s talk about defrosting it. There are various ways you can follow to thaw the milk you need at a time. Have a look at them:
Leave it Overnight in the Fridge
Put the required frozen milk into the fridge the day before you need it. The next morning, your almond milk will be ready to use. This is quite a slow process, so there must be a gap of 12-16 hours before you use the milk.
In Cold or Lukewarm Water
If you have only a couple of hours available, this is the go-to way. Put the frozen milk inside the freezer bag, close the bag, and put the bag into the lukewarm or cold water. Similarly, if you have milk frozen inside the container, put the container into the pot with cold or lukewarm water.
Note: Make sure not to use hot water.
Defrost while Cooking
If you are using Almond Milk whilst cooking, all you need to do is throw the required quantity of frozen milk inside the dish without thawing it. This way, it will thaw for itself by the dish’s heat. Just make sure to give it a good stir so that the milk mixes well.
Signs of Spoiled Almond Milk
Many people think their almond milk is spoiled due to the separation of substance. As discussed earlier, this is a natural and normal process.
So, how do you know almond milk is spoiled? The easiest way to determine is to smell the milk. If the milk smells foul, it is probably spoiled and should not be used.
Uses of Frozen Almond Milk
You can use frozen almond milk several ways after you thaw it. Some areas following:
Smoothies and shakes: If you like your smoothie cold, use a frozen milk cube instead of an ice cube.
Coffee whitener: To use it as a coffee whitener, make sure to blend it.
Cook dishes: You can also use almond milk to make some delicious and creamy gravies and curry.
Desserts: As non-dairy milk, you can use almond milk to make some delicious desserts such as ice-creams, sorbets, pudding, etc. This is a perfect vegan and lactose-free option that most people enjoy.
Baking: You can use thawed almond milk to make many vegan-friendly baking recipes.