Almond milk is handy for a myriad of things, but sometimes you don’t want a whole carton of it. Maybe you only use it occasionally, and now that you’ve opened it, you’re worried about wasting it.
Yes, you could buy a smaller carton, but you have the caveat of it being much more expensive.
While almond milk manufacturers will suggest not to freeze almond milk, that doesn’t mean you can’t do so safely. It depends on personal preference as to how happy you are with the results, as it goes through some noticeable changes.
To discover how to freeze almond milk, and whether you should freeze it, continue reading.
Should You Freeze Almond Milk?
While it makes some business sense for almond milk manufacturers to largely say “don’t freeze our product”, and encourage you to buy more, that’s not the reason why they warn against freezing these products.
The reason why is that almond milk goes through some noticeable changes after freezing and thawing it.
By noticeable, I mean the almond milk completely separates into its solids and liquids, and it’s not exactly an appetizing sight, and barely resembles its fresh counterpart.
The best way of ‘fixing’ thawed almond milk is to blend it, but there’s still a noticeable difference.
It won’t mix the components completely, and the consistency will be much thinner, and there’s a foam on top.
But it really depends on what you want to use the almond milk for. Thawed almond milk by itself in a glass won’t be a great experience.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t add it to your coffee, or use it as part of a smoothie or baking recipe.
It’s also worth noting that different brands of almond milk will freeze differently, as their recipes are different.
It’s worth experimenting with different brands to see which freezes the best, according to how you want to use it.
Can You Freeze Homemade Almond Milk?
Homemade almond milk freezes much the same as its store-bought brethren. The consistency and quality dramatically changes once you thaw it.
While store-bought almond milk can have a relatively long shelf life, homemade almond milk needs to be frozen pretty much as soon as possible.
As with all homemade items, the shelf life is significantly shorter.
But how do you actually do it?
How Do You Freeze Almond Milk?
There are two main ways of freezing almond milk, and it largely depends on how much almond milk you need to freeze, and how much you’ll use at any one time.
If you’re not sure how much you’ll use when you come to defrost it, or you have no idea what you’ll use it for, but you know it needs to go into the freezer, it’s much simpler to freeze at least part of it into ice cubes.
At least this way, you’ll only defrost what you need. You can always freeze the rest into different containers as it suits you.
It’s also helpful to know that you’ll need to use thawed almond milk within two days of defrosting it, or the quality will plummet.
If you’re sure about when you’ll be able to use it, and you’ll be able to use it all, you can go ahead and use a single container.
How To Freeze Almond Milk Using An Ice Cube Tray
While it’s a little more hands-on than the second option, this method is worth the extra few minutes.
It means that you’ll only need to thaw as much almond milk as what you think you’ll use.
You need at least one ice cube tray, depending on how much almond milk you need to freeze.
Pour the milk into the tray, and freeze it for either a few hours or overnight. You’ll need to wait until the almond milk has completely solidified before you move onto the next step.
Remove the cubes of almond milk from the tray, and put them into either a resealable freezer bag or another container.
Make sure it’s airtight, and there’s as little excess air in there as possible.
Label it if you need to, and put the cubes back in the freezer within their container. This will ensure that the cubes won’t stick together completely, and you’ll be able to separate them easily.
How To Freeze Almond Milk In Containers
This is the more low-effort method of the two. It’s also incredibly quick, and works best if you have a lot of almond milk to freeze, and you know you’ll use it within a day of defrosting it.
Before you get started, it is worth considering how much you’ll be freezing and then thawing at the same time.
If you’ll only want to use some of it in a coffee or in a smoothie, and you might not use the rest so soon, consider freezing the almond milk in smaller portions.
Choose the containers to freeze the almond milk in. As almond milk has a high water content, it expands readily as it freezes, so you’ll need to leave at least some room at the top of the container to avoid any mess.
You could use the original packaging that the almond milk came in. Keep in mind, however, that most almond milk products are not designed to be frozen, so the packaging won’t have enough space at the top to let it expand.
Label the containers with the date and the contents (maybe the brand too, if you’re experimenting), and put them into the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Almond Milk?
There’s several ways to defrost almond milk, and which one you should go for largely depends on how soon you need the almond milk, and what you might use it for.
The easiest way is to put the whole container in the fridge, and leave it overnight to defrost. It may take longer if it’s a particularly big container of almond milk, so plan accordingly.
If you don’t have that long, you can use cold water. Make sure the container of almond milk is still sealed (otherwise this invites disaster) and put the whole thing into a large bowl or pan of cold water.
This method takes a couple of hours, but you may notice more separation occurring once the almond milk has completely thawed.
If you use the ice cube method, you can use these cubes without defrosting them at all, if you’re using them as part of a cooked dish, or if you want a smoothie.
Whichever way you choose, aim to use the almond milk within two days of defrosting it, as the longer you wait, the more quality it will lose.
How Do You Fix Defrosted Almond Milk That’s Gone Grainy?
While freezing and then thawing almond milk is easy, the separation that occurs after both of these processes can be tricky to fix.
The almond milk can become grainy and watery, making it very unappealing. Stirring it helps, but it doesn’t exactly fix it.
In order to get the almond milk back to a similar consistency to the fresh stuff, you’ll need to blend it. After that, you’re best adding it to other things rather than trying a glass of it on its own.
The Best Way To Use Thawed Almond Milk
There are many ways to use thawed almond milk, but the best ones largely use almond milk as a component in other things.
Thawed almond milk works well to lighten coffee and to make it more palatable for those who don’t like extremely strong coffee, or as it comes.
It is worth noting though that almond milk does have a lower boiling point than dairy milk.
If you’re planning to use almond milk in a cappuccino, you’ll need to use the kind which is especially formulated for that. The label should also tell you if it’s suitable or not.
Otherwise, you risk having a lumpy coffee rather than a nice one, as almond milk will readily curdle if heated improperly. This is the same for any lactose-free milk alternative, such as soy or oat milk.
You can also use thawed almond milk in smoothies as a base, and you’ll barely be able to tell the difference.
Baking and cooking recipes are also a good option when it comes to using almond milk.
Can You Safely Refreeze Almond Milk?
Having successfully frozen and defrosted almond milk, you’ve realized you didn’t need as much as you removed from the freezer.
You’ve probably heard horror stories about re-freezing food products before, and how it’s ended badly in the past.
Well, it largely depends on what you’re freezing, and how you defrosted it. If you defrost the almond milk in the fridge, there’s a chance that it will be okay to refreeze it.
Just keep in mind what happened to the texture the first time you froze and defrosted the almond milk, and remember it will happen again.
It will lose a significant amount of its consistency and taste, but you could do it if you were at a loss to try anything else.
Worst case scenario, you defrost it, blend the separated bits back in, and it still looks horrible. In which case, you should bin it, and you’ll know for next time.
What’s The Shelf Life Of Almond Milk?
How long almond milk lasts really depends on the form you buy. Many people will buy the unrefrigerated form, and you can keep this somewhere dark and cool for a few months.
The label will tell you exactly how long you can keep it like that until the quality will start to deteriorate.
If you do forget about it, and it does expire, sometimes it will still be safe to consume if it’s within a month of that date.
When you finally open this form of almond milk, you should use it within 7 days at most. If you know you won’t get through the whole carton, freeze the excess as soon as possible.
The almond milk that you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, however, you can treat the same as you would homemade almond milk.
That is, keep it in the fridge at all times, and both will last a week at best. With the supermarket almond milk, you may find that it can last a week after its best before date.
It’s always best to go by the label as a guideline, as this is the optimum amount of time before the quality starts to suffer.
How Do You Tell If Almond Milk Has Spoiled?
It’s helpful to check if the almond milk has spoiled. If it has, there’s zero point in freezing it, as it won’t make it any fresher.
The good news is that you can check if it has spoiled fairly easily. If you haven’t opened the carton, take a quick look at it.
Does it look the same as when you bought it, or has it distorted or become bigger?
If it has, this could be a sign of gases building up in the container, suggesting that the almond milk has gone off.
The way to confirm this is to open it. Pour it into a normal glass, and smell it. If it has gone lumpy, changed color, or smells sour, it’s time to put it in the trash.
If all smells and looks okay, take a small sip. If the flavor is different from what you were expecting, or it has left a sour taste in your mouth, dispose of it.
You can always get a fresh carton, and it’s best not to risk it if you’re unsure.
Freezing Almond Milk: FAQ
When Should You Freeze Almond Milk?
As store-bought almond milk usually has a long shelf life, it’s not necessary to freeze it if it’s still unopened.
If you’re adamant that you won’t use it before it goes out of date, it’s time to freeze it.
If you’ve made some home-made almond milk, it makes sense to make more than you need, as you can freeze it.
Because a home-made version of almond milk doesn’t have any added preservatives, it will go off fairly quickly, so you should freeze it as soon as you can to prevent any waste.
How Does Freezing Affect Almond Milk?
Most almond milk manufacturers advise against freezing their products. It’s not because you can’t, or that the products are unsafe once you have frozen and defrosted them.
It’s because the quality of the almond milk suffers once it has been through these processes. While it doesn’t affect its safety or the nutritional value, the texture and the visual quality both take a hit.
This means that what you use it for becomes more limited, as though you can reconstitute the almond milk by blending it, it won’t be the same.
It entirely depends on your personal tastes when it comes to using thawed almond milk, or using it fresh. Some people don’t mind the thawed version, while others prefer to only use it fresh.
It also depends on what you’ll use the thawed almond milk for, as it will be better for some things than others.
If you only use almond milk as a drink on its own, you probably won’t like the taste of thawed almond milk.
Can You Freeze Almond Milk In Its Original Packaging?
While you can freeze almond milk in its original packaging, this will likely result in a big mess.
Because most forms of almond milk are not recommended for freezing, these containers don’t have enough room for the milk to expand.
Instead of saving you time and money, you’ll be spending both once the carton throws almond milk all over the freezer drawer.
To avoid the risk entirely, transfer the almond milk into a freezer safe, airtight container.
Can You Freeze Smoothies That Have An Almond Milk Base?
Sometimes it’s better to freeze a smoothie than to try and have the whole thing at once. It also helps to have a ready-made smoothie at hand for when you want it.
Maybe you’ve tried freezing almond milk before, and it didn’t end well. What about freezing a smoothie that has an almond milk base?
It largely depends on the ingredients you use. You can freeze almond milk smoothies, but the results will largely depend on the entire water content of the smoothie.
There will be some change in texture, and the smoothie may go a little watery. The best way to fix this is to put the whole smoothie back into the blender, and add more ingredients to taste.
Can You Use Frozen Almond Milk To Make Smoothies?
Using frozen almond milk in smoothies is a great way to use the almond milk, as well as making sure that the taste of the smoothie isn’t too diluted. It also depends on how you like your smoothie.
If you prefer an ice-cold smoothie, throw the cubes of almond milk in, as they are. If you prefer a warmer one, you can wait until the almond milk has defrosted, and add as necessary.
Can You Make Ice Cream From Frozen Almond Milk?
If you freeze almond milk and expect anything different from well, frozen almond milk, you’ll be a bit disappointed.
In order to make ice cream from frozen almond milk, you’ll need an ice cream maker or, at the very least, a blender which has a high speed setting.
You can do it perfectly well with thawed almond milk, but it might not have the right consistency, depending on how well the almond milk froze in the first place.
With the almond milk being such an important component of ice cream where you cannot or do not want to use dairy, it’s better to use it fresh.
Can You Freeze Almond Milk Coffee Creamer?
Similar to almond milk, almond milk coffee creamer will separate after being frozen and then defrosted. You’ll need to stir it, but you’d be better blending it to get it back to a more normal consistency.
That doesn’t mean you can’t freeze it, but you might prefer the fresh version.
Can You Freeze Almond Milk Yogurt?
Similar to normal yogurt, you can freeze yogurt, which is made with almond milk. It will, however, separate to some degree.
Even after you stir it, the texture and consistency will be noticeably different after thawing frozen almond milk yogurt.
So while you can freeze almond milk yogurt, it would be better using the thawed version in recipes that require baking or cooking, where the changes won’t make the slightest difference in the final product.
Like drinking thawed almond milk, eating thawed almond milk yogurt will not be as nice or as smooth as the fresh version.
But this does depend on personal preference, and it doesn’t mean the almond milk yogurt is inedible after thawing it.