Are you a vegan with a carton of almond milk that's nearing its expiry date, and wondering- can you freeze almond milk and extend its shelf life?
Well, the short answer is, yes you totally can!
Almond milk is a popular dairy-free, plant based alternative to regular milk and has a delicious creamy texture with a slightly nutty flavor.
From lending creaminess to your pastas to turning into a nice base for your smoothies and milkshakes, this versatile plant based milk does a lot, and here's helping you make the most of it.
Why Freeze Almond Milk?
Freezing any leftover almond milk you may have is a great way to extend its shelf life and use it for later. I've done it tons of times, and there's no reason why you can't too.
Does Almond Milk Go Bad in the Refrigerator?
Almond milk, unfortunately, can curdle in the fridge, especially if it has been opened and is nearing its expiration date.
Curdled almond milk may not exactly be harmful, but it doesn't seem very appetizing, and I usually have a tough time using it in my recipes too.
If you're really keen on refrigerating the almond milk and not freezing it, just remember to close the lid on the box tightly, and keep it cold and refrigerated at all times.
An important tip to note is to avoid exposing the almond milk to any extreme temperatures, or leaving it out of the fridge for too long, as it can speed up curdling.
If the almond milk in your refrigerator seems to have any odd flavor or odor, and seems slimy or has a change in color, it could be a sign of spoilage, and it is best to discard the milk.
How to Freeze Almond Milk
In my opinion, freezing almond milk is the way to go.
Whenever I'm hosting my vegan friends I tend to use almond milk quite frequently. When they watch me prepping stuff or just adding finishing touches to my meals, they often ask me- can you freeze almond milk?
The idea of freezing milk, then thawing it and using it can seem a bit tricky or cumbersome, but it actually isn't.
All you need to do is transfer the almond milk to a container or just freeze it directly in the carton, making sure you leave a little space room at the top for the milk to expand.
I like to use a freezer safe container to freeze almond milk or practically any other liquid. This helps prevent freezer burn, and helps me use the creamy, delicious milk without causing too much mess.
Tips For Freezing Almond Milk
There are several ways to freeze almond milk successfully. While it may not seem like a big deal, remember that frozen milk, when thawed, can end up having two separate components- the liquid and the solid, creamy portion.
- To get the almond milk to its original creamy consistency, you can use an immersion blender to blend it together before using it for any recipe.
- You can also choose to freeze small portions of almond milk in different containers (ideally airtight, freezer safe ones) or just use an ice cube tray.
- I would suggest using silicone ice cube trays with lids on them to freeze your leftover plant based milk. Using these trays helps prevent any spillage and also makes it easier for you to use smaller portions of the almond milk whenver you need.
- Another big plus of using covered containers to store your frozen almond milk is the fact that it helps keep freezer smells away!
- As an extra step, you can the pop the frozen almond milk cubes out and transfer them to an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and then pop it in the freezer again.
- When freezing almond milk, remember to label the container or freezer bag with the date and contents. This is super important especially if you're someone who meal preps a lot and likes to freeze foods.
Does Freezing Almond Milk Cause Loss in Nutrition?
Freezing almond milk can help extend its shelf life and make it more convenient to have on hand. However, it's important to note that the texture and taste of almond milk may change slightly after it has been frozen.
That said, freezing does not cause any loss of nutrients, and you can easily enjoy the benefits of having the almond milk.
Can Frozen Almond Milk Go Bad?
Food frozen at sub zero temperatures usually doesn't go bad, and this applies to almond milk too.
That said, you might find certain textural changes to the milk once you defrost it. The milk might appear grainy and have a separate liquid portion.
Also remember to do a quick check for any signs of spoilage within the milk after it has been thawed.
While frozen almond milk itself usually doesn't go bad, it is advisable to consume it or use it up quickly after it has been defrosted, just like you would do with regular almond milk.
What Does Frozen Almond Milk Taste Like?
The taste of frozen almond milk can be slightly different from fresh almond milk, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is bad.
Most people notice that frozen almond milk can be slightly grainy and have a more pronounced nuttier flavor.
However, these changes are usually minimal and should not be a cause for concern. The taste and texture of frozen almond milk can vary depending on how long it has been stored, how it was frozen, and how it was thawed.
Just remember to give the frozen almond milk a good shake or stir after it has thawed to redistribute any solids and to help improve its texture and taste.
How to Defrost Frozen Almond Milk
Defrosting frozen almond milk is super simple. Follow these easy steps and you're sorted.
- Move the container with the frozen almond milk to the refrigerator and let it slowly thaw there overnight. Doing this can help the almond milk defrost slowly instead of rapidly, and can reduce the risk of spoilage and bacterial contamination.
- The time it takes for the almond milk to defrost completely will depend on the amount of milk and the kind of container you're using. It can take anywhere between 4-8 hours.
- Once the almond milk has thawed, give it a good shake or stir to help redistribute any solids and get it to the perfect, uniform texture and consistency.
- You can then use this thawed almond milk immediately, or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
Can I Defrost Almond Milk at Room Temperature?
Thawing slowly in the refrigerator is the best way to preserve the quality of the almond milk.
You might be tempted to just pop the container in the microwave for a few minutes or to let it sit at room temperature to rapidly defrost, but I would highly advise against it.
I've done it before and the results aren't great. If you really want a rapid defrost, you can simply use it for the recipe directly.
For example, if you want to use almond milk to thicken your pasta sauce, just add the frozen almond milk cubes into the sauce and let the sauce simmer for a while- easy peasy!
How to Use Frozen Almond Milk
You can use frozen almond milk pretty much the same way you would use regular, unfrozen almond milk. Here are a few good ideas for inspiration.
Into your Smoothies
Frozen almond milk can be an excellent base for your smoothies and shakes. You can easily blend it with your favorite fruits and other ingredients and whip up a nutritious and delicious drink.
Thanks to its rather versatile flavor, it can work well with almost any flavored smoothie.
For your Baked Goods
Frozen almond milk can also be used in your baked goods like muffins, pancakes, and cakes.
Just remember to thaw the milk first, and then use it in place of regular milk in your recipe. Of course, you'll also need to follow the measurements as per the recipe.
For Homemade Ice Creams
I love making ice cream and popsicles using frozen almond milk. These dairy free sweet treats work wonderfully with most fruits and sweeteners, and can be turned into a delicious summer treat in minutes.
To Thicken Soups
Frozen almond milk can be used as a base for soups or can be added to them to thicken them up and lend them a creamy taste.
I used some of my frozen almond milk to make my vegetarian broccoli soup more creamy, and it turned out fab!
For Pasta Sauces
Your frozen almond milk can also be used to thicken any pasta sauce, and can be a wonderful replacement for heavy cream in most creamy pasta dishes.
For Tea and Coffee
You can use frozen almond milk to add a creamy and nutty flavor to your coffee or tea. Just thaw the milk first and then add it to your drink as you normally would.
I also recently tried making my favorite Ayurvedic golden milk by using some of my frozen almond milk as the base, and was amazed at how delicious it turned out!