For many lactose intolerant households, almond milk is a much-loved staple. But, sadly, almond milk has a fridge life of only seven days once opened, and this short shelf life leaves many wondering if they can freeze almond milk for later use.
You can freeze almond milk for up to six months. However, freezing almond milk will cause the milk to separate or change color, taste, and consistency. That said, it’s better to use frozen almond milk for baked goods rather than for drinking.
Keep reading as I discuss the following:
- How to freeze your almond milk
- How to fix almond milk separation
- Pros & cons of freezing almond milk
- How to thaw frozen milk
- Alternatives to freezing almond milk
Freezing Almond Milk (Pros & Cons)
Almond milk is a favorite for those trying to cut out lactose and can be used as a milk substitute in dozens of recipes. While you can freeze almond milk, bear in mind some of the pros and some of the cons of freezing milk made from almonds.
Pros of Freezing Almond Milk
- You’ll always have almond milk on hand, ready to use. Almond milk is a popular baking ingredient for those who wish to avoid dairy. Also, there won’t be any effect on the almond milk’s nutritional value if you freeze it.
- You can take advantage of sales on almond milk. Almond milk that is on the verge of expiring will often be placed on sale, and this is the perfect time to save money by scooping up the extra milk.
Cons of Freezing Almond Milk
- The milk will separate and discolor. Almond milk that has thawed separates, leaving a strange watery layer and chunky milk layer that must be recombined.
- It won’t taste as fresh as the day you froze it. When you freeze almond milk, that will alter the taste. Many people prefer using frozen almond milk in their cooking rather than drinking.
- Freezing your almond milk doesn’t extend the best by date. You’ll still only have seven days to use up your milk once it has been thawed. Freezing pauses the expiration timer and will resume spoiling once thawed.
So, there are quite a few drawbacks to freezing your almond milk. However, I’ll go over how to freeze your almond milk properly and how to fix the separation that happens when you thaw your almond milk.
How To Freeze Almond Milk
Both Silk® and Blue Diamond (the makers of Almond Breeze®) don’t recommend that their products be frozen as the freezing process can alter the milk’s taste, texture, and quality.
However, there are some ways to combat these concerns, and it should be noted that homemade almond milk seems to thaw best after being frozen.
Freezing almond milk is a relatively straightforward process and should only take you a few minutes.
So let’s get started with the four steps for properly freezing almond milk for later:
- Find an airtight container. Your almond milk should be frozen in an airtight container or the original packaging to prevent the freezer air from contaminating the milk with unwanted odors from your freezer.
- Fill the container. Make sure to leave a little air in the container to allow the milk room to expand when it freezes. If you’re using the original packaging, you can simply pour a small portion out and place the lid back on tightly.
- Label and date the container. It’s important to label and date your milk so that you know how long it’s been in the freezer.
- Place in the freezer. Simply place your container in the freezer and leave for up to six months.
As you can see, the process of freezing your almond milk is relatively simple and can be accomplished quite quickly.
Use Ice Cube Trays and Ziplock Bags (Freezing Almond Milk)
Another excellent method you might consider is freezing your almond milk in ice cube trays and then moving them into a freezer-grade ziplock bag to store for later.
This method will give you quick access to small portions of milk that you can readily cook with. For example, if your recipe calls for two tablespoons of almond milk, you can simply retrieve two milk ice cubes from your freezer and warm them up before using them in your recipe.
Another thing to remember is that many people recommend freezing homemade almond milk rather than store-bought since the lack of preservatives makes it easier to return the separated milk to its normal consistency.
How To Thaw Frozen Almond Milk
Now that you’ve successfully frozen your almond milk, it’s time to learn how to thaw that same milk for the freshest taste.
Silk® recommends that if you freeze their almond milk (they don’t guarantee the same fresh taste as frozen milk), you should slowly defrost the milk in the refrigerator. After which, you should vigorously shake the almond milk container to recombine all of the separated liquids.
- Retrieve your almond milk from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. This could take a day or so, depending on the temperature of your fridge.
- Shake the container of milk to fix any separation of the liquid. Shake the container well until the milk is once again a creamy color and all signs of separation have disappeared.
- Enjoy! You can now drink your almond milk or use it for cooking.
If you’re in a rush to use your almond milk in a recipe, you could try heating the milk on low heat in a saucepan or microwaving a small dish of it before using it immediately in your cooking. However, this thawing method is not recommended for the freshest tasting almond milk.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your almond milk may begin to separate again over time and should be used up relatively quickly to avoid this.
How To Fix Almond Milk Separation From Freezing
One of the main drawbacks of freezing almond milk is the fact that it separates, leaving you with a watery layer of yellowish liquid and a chunky white layer of creamy milk. Shaking up the milk can help resolve this for a time, but many people report that the flavor and texture of the milk are still a little off.
So how can you go about fixing this?
Money Smart Family has a fantastic video on how to return your almond milk to the original state you acquired it in. Check out the video below:
To fix the milk separation in your almond milk, you’ll need:
- A measuring cup.
- A good blender.
Once you’ve acquired these items, it’s time to get blending!
- Retrieve the thawed milk from your refrigerator.
- Shake the milk to remix the liquids as much as possible.
- Pour three cups of milk into the measuring cup.
- Pour the three cups of almond milk into your blender.
- Blend for about 10 seconds until the milk begins to look white and frothy.
Your milk should look and taste almost as good as new! It is still recommended that you consume your thawed almond milk relatively quickly to avoid the milk separating again or spoiling.
Be sure to pay attention to your expiration dates!
How Long Is Frozen Almond Milk Good For?
Now that you’ve learned how to freeze and thaw your almond milk, the main question you probably have is how long will your milk last?
Frozen almond milk is good for up to 6 months in the freezer. However, freezing the milk won’t extend the product’s use-by date, and the taste is better suited for use as a cooking ingredient.
Once opened, it’s essential to use up your almond milk quickly. Freezing your milk simply pauses the expiration date timer, which restarts the moment it is thawed.
For example, if your milk was set to expire three days before you froze it, you should consume the thawed milk within three days to avoid consuming spoiled milk.
How To Tell if Your Almond Milk Has Spoiled
Almond milk tends to spoil more slowly; it’s also less offensive than regular cow’s milk. However, almond milk still goes bad, and no one wants to consume rotten milk.
So what are the signs that your almond milk has gone bad?
- The milk has turned a different color. Almond milk is usually a bright, creamy whitish color and will often turn a darker dingy shade or yellowish when spoiled.
- The almond milk smells or tastes sour. When bad, almond milk can take on a sour smell and flavor. If you suspect your almond milk might have spoiled based on a whiff you caught upon removing the lid, it’s best just to throw it away and purchase some new milk.
- The texture of the milk is chunky. If your almond milk has developed a thick chunky texture, it has definitely gone bad and should be thrown out.
If your almond milk smells or tastes sour, the color looks off, or it appears chunky, it’s best to throw the milk out and not risk consuming something that’ll make you sick. Always check the expiration date before consuming regular or thawed almond milk.
Alternatives for Freezing Almond Milk
Freezing your almond milk can be a great way to further your milk and reduce food waste. Storing your almond milk in the freezer is just one way to prolong the life of your milk.
Some other ideas for storing your almond milk are as follows:
- Dehydrate your almond milk. Dehydrating your almond milk into a powder that can be stored in your cupboard for later use is a great way to build up food storage and always have some milk on hand when you need it. To do this, you’ll need a good dehydrator like the Colzer Dehydrator (available on Amazon). This dehydrator doesn’t make much noise, and it comes with stainless steel trays.
- Freeze dry your almond milk. Freeze drying almond milk is a less common form of storing your milk, but it is still a great way to give your milk a longer shelf life; plus, you can store it more efficiently in a jar in your pantry.
- Buy shelved almond milk. Another great alternative is to purchase almond milk from the store’s baking section. This milk can be stored in your pantry for longer but must be refrigerated once opened.
Whatever method you choose, almond milk is an excellent source of nutrients and makes for a fantastic cow milk substitute. This is why it has become such a popular choice of milk over the years.
So, can you freeze almond milk? The answer is yes!
There are certainly some drawbacks to freezing almond milk, such as liquid separation, color differences, and an altered taste.
However, you can always try using the blender technique to re-incorporate the milk once it has separated, or only use your freezer almond milk for recipes where it will be cooked or baked into the dish.
Ultimately you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons yourself. It may take a little time but freezing your milk for later is possible, and many people do it every day.