Creamy with a slightly nutty flavor, almond milk is a delicious and healthy non dairy drink. It serves well as a dairy substitute for lactose-intolerant or vegan individuals and is preferred by most people over soy milk.
Almond milk purchased in-store is about twice the price of cows milk, which makes it a commodity you don’t want to see go to waste. Although it is not recommended for freezing by its manufacturers, it can still be well preserved in the freezer.
You may not appreciate the altered texture on thawing in your tea, but it is the perfect dairy-free alternative for baking, smoothies, and for adding to any other cooked dishes. So go ahead and freeze your nutty blend.
This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about the almond milk freezing process and how to defrost frozen almond milk safely.
Types of Almond Milk
This creamy dairy milk alternative is made by blending almonds at a high speed with water and straining thoroughly. Once all the solids have been strained from the liquid you are left with smooth nutty milk which can be used to replace cows milk in any recipe.
In general, store-bought almond milk consists of added preservatives or stabilizers to prolong its shelf life. Most manufacturers offer boxed varieties sweetened, unsweetened, organic, and flavored with vanilla or chocolate.
Can Almond Milk Be Frozen?
There are pros and cons to freezing milk. Of course, placing fresh milk in the freezer will extend its shelf life significantly. However, you have to be aware that freezing affects almond milk. Thawed almond milk separates causing a textural change.
Despite the altered texture, it is still good to use, especially when mixed with other ingredients in cooking. You can also successfully use almond milk to make a variety of baked goods after its been thawed.
You might not find it very pleasant to drink as is, to add to your cereal, or to mix into a cup of coffee. However, the taste will remain unchanged and delicious and the altered texture can be somewhat rectified after thawing, so all is not lost.
Different brands of almond milk freeze with contrasting outcomes due to the specific constitution of ingredients. You may have to experiment to see which brand freezes the best.
How To Freeze Almond Milk
The same freezing method will apply to both homemade fresh almond milk and store-bought almond milk. Keep in mind that the nut milk should still be fresh and of good quality when freezing. Below are two methods for freezing almond milk.
Choose the best option according to how much almond milk you’ll need at a time. For example, if you are not going to use large amounts of milk in the next few days, rather freeze it in a smaller portion size to prevent waste.
You cannot refreeze almond milk once it has been thawed. Refreezing almond milk will further spoil texture, causing it to separate irregularly, and make it unappetizing.
Option 1: How To Freeze Almond Milk Ice Cubes
Step 1: Portion and Freeze Cubes
Pour almond milk in ice cube trays and place it into the freezer to freeze completely.
Step 2: Pack and Seal
Remove the fully frozen cubes from the ice cube tray and place them into zip lock freezer bags.
Keeping the almond milk cubes in an air-tight environment will prevent the milk from absorbing odors from surrounding foods which could affect the taste. You also want to prevent the formation of ice crystals as much as possible which further affects the texture.
Remove the air from the plastic bag by pressing it down before sealing.
Step 3: Label
Label the plastic bags with the date and place them back in the freezer.
Option 2: How To Freeze Almond Milk In Containers
Step 1: Decant
Portion the almond milk into airtight containers. The containers must be airtight to prevent the liquid from absorbing odors from surrounding foods. The exposure to air can also result in it spoiling faster.
Step 2: Close
Leave a little space open at the top of the freezer safe container. As the liquid freezes it will expand and may burst the container if filled to the brim. If you need to, rather use slightly larger containers. Close tightly.
Step 2: Label and Freeze
Label the freezer safe containers with the contents and date if necessary. Place them upright in the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Almond Milk
To defrost frozen milk, place the freezer bag or container in the fridge for a few hours or leave it overnight to thaw. Alternatively, the frozen sealed container can be placed in a water bath with cold water. Do not use warm water or lukewarm water to thaw almond milk. Do not leave it out at room temperature either since biochemical changes will speed up spoiling.
Once defrosted, you will notice that the liquid has separated and does not look very appetizing. This is completely natural.
To blend it back together, place the defrosted almond milk into a blender and give it a whizz for 20 to 30 seconds. It will also develop a little foam on top during blending.
Once opened, you should always store almond milk in the fridge. Most brands do not recommend freezing almond milk due to the separation of the nut milk once thawed. There are, however, many ways in which defrosted almond milk can be successfully used.
Once almond milk is thawed and blended on high speed for a few seconds, its creamy consistency will return. You may want to think twice about using it as an almond milk coffee creamer, but it can be used in any cooked recipes, for baking and will still be delicious in smoothies.
Use this lactose free milk as you would regular milk in any other recipe. If you see the almond drink on sale, freezing it makes the bargain worthwhile to make delicious food with great nutritional value at any time.
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