Got a half-open carton of almond milk and no good way to use it in the next few days? You figured you could freeze it, but you’re not entirely sure if the nutty drink even freezes well. Can you freeze almond milk? And if so, how to do it?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk, and it retains best quality for around 6 months. Unfortunately, thawed almond milk separates and tastes bad when you drink it, even if you blend it. But you can still use it in cooked and baked dishes.
There are more and more people using almond milk these days, but not everyone is an Olympic smoothie drinker who goes through a container in a few days. Some of us use it only from time to time, and if that’s you, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we talk about how freezing affects almond milk, when it makes sense to freeze it (and when not), how you can do it, and finally, what are some good ways of using it once you defrost it. If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.
Can You Freeze Almond Milk?
Freezing Almond Breeze causes the product to separate irregularly and greatly reduces the consistency of the product upon thawing.
And that’s true, no doubt about it. Here’s how thawed almond milk looks like:
Do you see how it’s separated and the solids are on the bottom while the liquids are on top? That’s what you end up with right after thawing. Doesn’t look particularly tasty, right?
Fortunately, we can fix that with a blender.
How To Fix Separated Thawed Almond Milk?
All you need to do is to blend the thawed almond milk for 20 to 30 seconds. After that, you end up with foamy, but looking quite alright, almond milk. Something like this:
And if you wanted to see how fresh, thawed, and thawed and blended almond milk compare, here’s the photo:
Is that blended nut milk as good as a fresh one? Almost, but not quite. You should be able to feel a slight change in taste and texture. So drinking it straight from the glass isn’t all that great, but there are other options.
When To Freeze Almond Milk?
Most people recommend freezing this nut milk only if you’re going to use it in a recipe, and I agree. If you blend it after defrosting and make it a part of a dish, the texture and slight taste change don’t matter that much (or at all). I use it in protein shakes and don’t see any taste difference, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t either.
So if you have some leftover almond milk (homemade or store-bought), freeze it, and find a recipe to use it in.
If you’re freezing almond milk often, try different brands to see which freezes best. Some freeze better than others, and choosing the best one is a matter of personal preference.
Now that you know what happens to this lactose-free milk during freezing, it’s time to talk about how to do it.
How To Freeze Almond Milk
Below, I cover two ways of freezing this vegan-friendly drink. Both have their advantages and downsides, and you should choose one that makes more sense for your situation.
If you don’t know how you are going to use the thawed almond drink, now it’s time to think about it. Knowing that allows you to choose the more appropriate freezing method. If you can’t be bothered with it right now, I’d suggest freezing in ice cubes, as they’re more versatile to use.
Freezing Almond Milk in an Ice Cube Tray
All you need is an ice cube tray and around 5 minutes. Here’s how to go about it:
- Pour the liquid in an ice cube tray, and put it into the freezer. Just like you would do with water when preparing ice cubes.
- Once the almond milk freezes solid, transfer the cubes into a freezer bag or container. You can leave the tray as is, but we don’t need it anymore. I usually leave it overnight, so I’m sure it’s fully frozen in the morning.
- Put the bag or container back into the freezer. If you want, label it with a name and date. I use transparent freezer bags, so there’s no need for that.
Having the milk frozen in cubes makes it super easy to thaw precisely as much as you need. If your recipe calls only for a couple of tablespoons of this nutty drink, cubes are perfect.
Measure the volume a single cube holds so that you know how many cubes to thaw for a recipe.
Freezing Almond Milk in Containers
This method is even more straightforward than the previous one. You need some airtight containers and a couple of minutes to get it done. Here’s how:
- Portion the milk into containers. If you already know how you’re going to use the milk, pour as much liquid as you need for a single dish into each one. This way, once you defrost the container, you’re good to go. Make sure there’s some head-space in each container, as the milk expands once frozen. Again, if need be, add a label to each one.
- Put the containers in the freezer. Make sure they stand upright until the liquid freezes.
Using containers is best for freezing larger amounts of this dairy-free milk, and is usually the better choice if you know how you’re going to use the milk once thawed.
You can use the same technique to freeze coconut milk or soy milk.
Related: Can you freeze soy milk?
How Long Can You Freeze Almond Milk?
Try to use your frozen almond milk within 6 months of freezing.
Of course, it’s not like it’s going to spoil in the freezer, but the longer it sits there, the worse its quality will be. Plus, at some point, you’re bound to forget about its existence, and it’s going to become yet another thing that clutters the freezer.
(That’s why adding labeling containers is helpful. Sure, you remember what’s in it for some time, but sooner or later you forget. And after half a year it’s difficult to tell if that white thing is sour cream, heavy cream, or buttermilk.)
How To Defrost Frozen Almond Milk
There are a couple of options when it comes to defrosting the almond drink. Here they are:
- In the fridge. The recommended method, that takes quite some time but is the safest. Just chuck the cubes or containers into the refrigerator in the evening to have it ready in the morning. Please note that larger containers might take even longer to thaw, so you should account for that in your planning.
- In lukewarm water. Put the freezer bag or container into lukewarm water to speed up the process. Water conducts heat better than air, so the process speeds up. Please note that you shouldn’t use warm water. Cold or lukewarm is best in terms of both efficiency and safety.
- Defrost while cooking. If you’re using the frozen almond milk in something that’s cooked on the stove, you might be able to get away with skipping thawing and adding it right in. Make sure to give it a good stir once it defrosts.
Once the liquid is defrosted, make sure to blend it, or at the very least give it a proper stir. I once added frozen almond milk cubes to my coffee and didn’t run it down with a blender. In short, that was one of the worst cups of coffee I ever had. On the other side, when I add my whey protein to defrosted almond milk and mix it with a hand blender, it tastes perfectly fine.
Once the nutty drink is defrosted, use it within a day or two.
How To Use Defrosted Almond Milk
There are many ways of using thawed almond milk, and the list below is by no means complete:
- Smoothies and shakes. If you like your smoothies cold, use frozen almond milk cubes instead of ice cubes.
- Coffee whitener. Make sure to blend it, though.
- Baking. A lot of vegan-friendly baking recipes call for almond milk.
- Cooked dishes. Anything that’s cooked on the stove and calls for almond milk is a good candidate.
Freezing Almond Milk Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on freezing almond milk. Here are the main points:
- Can you freeze almond milk? Yes, but you need to remember that it separates after thawing. Blending it helps somewhat, but it’s still a far cry from fresh almond milk. Because of that, it’s good only in certain uses, such as smoothies and cooked and baked dishes.
- Can you freeze almond milk in ice cube trays? Sure. If you only need a bit of almond milk at a time, an ice cube tray, or perhaps a muffin tray, is a great option. If you’re freezing it for baking or cooking, a container might be a better option.
- Can you freeze almond milk for smoothies? Yes, smoothies are, besides cooked and baked dishes, the best option to use frozen and thawed almond milk. Please note that the thicker the smoothie, the less visible the changed texture of defrosted almond milk.