Freezing almond milk is definitely the first thing you think about when struggling to find a way of storage for longer use, but is it worth doing so? Will freezing take away all its nutrients or is it better to use frozen almond milk instead of liquid almond milk?
Almond milk has become so popular in dietary meals and baking recipes for its limitless use and tremendous health benefits. And certainly freezing it will be one of the biggest concerns that raises a lot of questions.
In this post, I will give you some pros and cons of freezing almond milk, some quick and easy methods you can use to extend its shelf life, plus some useful information to enrich your kitchen knowledge.
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a popular nut-based drink made from blended almond nuts and water. It has a rich, nutty flavor, creamy white color, and a thick, smooth texture.
There are various brands of commercial almond milk in the marketplace. Most store-bought almond milk contains a certain amount of stabilizers, preservatives, and additives. If you want to enjoy the most original and freshest flavors, you can make homemade almond milk,.
Manufacturers also try to increase product diversity to fit their customer’s preferences with unsweetened almond milk for sugar-free diets or chocolate-flavored or vanilla-flavored almond milk to encourage children to consume this healthy drink.
Is Almond Milk Good For Health?
For this question, I dare give a big yes. Their two major ingredients are fresh almonds, which is a completely natural product, and clean water. For those who don’t know, almonds are widely recognized and prized for their health benefits.
As a dairy-free and lactose-free beverage, it is a perfect substitute for cow’s milk. It is widely used in baking, a great option for those who want to enjoy a vegetarian meal.
And it is also safe for people with lactose intolerance or insensitivity and helps enrich the meal with lactose-free substitutes.
It has been scientifically proven as totally safe for toddlers and pregnant women. Fibers and alkaline substances found in almond milk help neutralize acidity in the body’s stomach and alleviate acid reflux symptoms in adults.
Almond milk is significantly low in calories and proteins because there is only a small amount of almond in it, but the flavors and mouthfeel are almost the same as dairy milk. People consume almond milk and still feel satisfied and hardly bothered by any difference.
Low-calorie content in almond milk helps it land an important place in the list of Paleo diet ingredients, and it has been proven extremely helpful for efficient weight loss without harmful side effects.
Almonds are also loaded with nutrients that help decrease the rate of heart diseases and facilitate the brain’s development.
Furthermore, most of the store-bought almond milk is enriched with calcium so parents have started to add it to their children’s meals as a change of taste from time to time without fearing that their kids do not take in enough essential nutrients.
It packs with low bad cholesterol and is a rich source of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant that helps boost skin rejuvenation and slow down wrinkle development. Studies show that a cup of almond milk counts for 20 to 50% required vitamin E intake for a day.
One more noteworthy advantage is that almond milk is more nutritious than other nut-based beverages like oat or coconut milk.
For nutrition facts, on average, one cup (249 grams) of almond milk contains:
- 56 calories
- 0.2 g of saturated fat
- 0 g of trans fat
- 0 mg of potassium
- 8.1 g of carbs
- 0.6 g of dietary fibers
- 7.2 g of sugar
- 1.1 g of proteins
Popular Recipes With Almond Milk
Almond milk offers limitless uses. People drink it directly as a daily drink to hydrate their body or mix it with cereal to make a quick, delicious morning breakfast. It makes breakfast more fulfilling and loads you with refreshing energy for a hard-working day.
Almond milk also does a great performance in baking and cooking recipes. It is a perfect replacement for animal milk as it has a neutral flavor and similar texture. Cakes made from almond milk are fluffy and soft, with very distinctive and interesting nutty flavors.
I have listed some of the most common uses of almond milk. Make sure to try them all, you will be impressed with the delicious taste and may be hungry for more!
- Cereal with almond milk (most basic use!)
- Garnish and add flavors to coffee and tea with a layer of almond milk
- Almond milk smoothies and milkshakes
- Dairy-free almond milk pudding, almond milk popsicles, ice cream, yogurt, custard, etc.
- Use almond milk instead of dairy milk in baked goods: almond milk crepe, pancake, bread, cookies, cake, etc.
- Almond milk used to make dressing in salads and soups: ranch dressing, pasta sauce, vegan sauce, etc.
Why Do We Freeze Almond Milk?
Now I will answer the question that was raised in the headline. Can you freeze almond milk? The short answer is yes. And there is more than one plausible reason why people do so.
Fresh almond milk is perishable and goes rancid quickly. Most brands of commercial almond milk available in the marketplace have expired duration stated on the label from 7-10 days once open.
With homemade almond milk, its shelf life depends on the type of almond used to make it. Moreover, homemade almond milk does not go through a strict sterilization process like those manufactured in the factory, so it usually lasts from 3-5 days.
And shelf life also depends on the number of preservatives they put in almond milk. Some almond milk does not contain preservatives, and they spoil faster than other regular almond milk. For that, people usually leave them fresh in the refrigerator after opening.
With unopened almond milk, its shelf life lasts longer. If stored at room temperature, unopened almond milk can last for several weeks after the “best consumed” date. There is absolutely no need for complicated storage.
Freezing at least will stop the development of bacteria and delay spoilage to some extent. As I know, bacteria will stop growing when the temperature is below 0F.
However, it is noticeable that most almond milk brands do not recommend freezing their products. Most concerns come from potential customers’ complaints as they cannot guarantee the change in taste, and customers may blame them, so they have to put a warning label.
But it doesn’t mean you cannot freeze almond milk. Obviously, there is no better option than to freeze it if you want to prolong its shelf life.
Uses Of Frozen Almond Milk
While some love the taste and smooth texture of fresh liquid almond milk, others prefer to use almond milk in frozen form because it offers interesting uses.
Frozen almond milk is widely used to make smoothies or yogurt. Undoubtedly, the quality of a good smoothie is the thickness, and in this case, the use of frozen almond milk is much better than fresh milk; it makes smoothies thicker.
It is also quick and convenient for a morning drink. All you have to do is pop some frozen almond milk with a few slices of fresh fruits, and you have a refreshing smoothie ready to go.
What’s more, you can easily make some homemade sorbets or ice cream or popsicles to banter with your friends at a pool party. Its frosty bite, thick consistency with icy cold taste makes it the perfect dessert to slake their thirst and carry them away from the scorching heat of the summer.
And there are many cooking and baking recipes that call for this special ingredient. Cream cake with frozen almond milk or almond milk ice cream is both good choices for a lovely dessert.
How To Freeze Almond Milk?
With all the information above, I hope you have made a firm decision whether you want to freeze almond milk or not. Without further ado, I provide you with detailed instructions about how to freeze almond milk properly.
Freeze Almond Milk In An Ice Cube Tray
It is perfect for those who want to use frozen almond milk directly for specific purposes. As almond milk is frozen into small and neat cubes, it is much easier to handle and calculate the specific amount that you want in a recipe.
Although it will take more time to freeze a large amount of almond milk, it is definitely a go-to for those messy
What To Prepare:
- Ice cube trays
- Almond milk
- Freezer bag/ Airtight container
How To Do:
Step 1: Clean and sterilize ice cube trays thoroughly. You can do this by boiling it in water and drying it with a clean towel.
Step 2: Pour almond milk into the trays and put them in the freezer. But before that, you should check if there is any other smelly stuff in the freezer, and you’d better take it out or handle the odor first.
Stock the trays in a convenient order to make the most use of spaces.
Step 3: Wait for 4-5 hours until almond milk is completely frozen. If possible, you should leave it overnight to save time.
Step 4: Take the almond milk out and pop them into a freezer bag or airtight container.
Step 5: Put the freezer bag/ airtight container back in the freezer and store it there until you need to use it.
Freeze Almond Milk In A Carton
Most of the commercial almond milk comes in airtight carton boxes, so you can make use of that and freeze the whole content in the original package. The purpose of this is to make minimal contact with air and save you time for preparation.
After use, just put the package directly into the freezer. The freezing process will expand the milk as it freezes, but you don’t need to worry because it won’t leave any mess in the fridge.
Freeze Almond Milk In An Airtight Container
If you don’t have ice cube trays and want to freeze almond milk in a separate container, you can try this method. This method is recommended if you want to freeze almond milk for preserving purposes and intend to use it in liquid form after thawing.
What To Prepare:
- Almond milk
- Airtight container
How To Do:
Step 1: Clean and sterilize the airtight container thoroughly.
Step 2: Pour almond milk into the container. You can estimate the amount needed for specific recipes and fill in that amount.
Step 3: Put the container into the freezer and leave it there until you need it.
Pros And Cons Of Freezing Almond Milk
You might be convinced by the benefit its frozen form provides, but there are considerations that you need to take. You will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of freezing almond milk in order to decide if you really need to freeze it.
Pros Of Freezing Almond Milk
- Freezing offers quick, convenient storage for later uses. You don’t have to go to the grocery store every time you need it. There is always almond milk on hand and ready to go when a recipe calls for it.
- It can also extend almond milk’s shelf life for a substantial amount of time and make it last several months or even years.
Freezing almond milk becomes greatly useful, especially when you make a batch of homemade almond milk and cannot use it up within its shelf life period.
- You can also be relieved because there is hardly any loss of health benefits when nutrients in almond milk are well preserved in the freeze.
Cons Of Freezing Almond Milk
Of course, you cannot expect perfection in this method. There are certain changes in its flavor, color, and consistency once almond milk is put into the freezer.
- Almond milk is an emulsion, which is a combination of insoluble components that are held together by an emulsifier. In almond milk, the oil and proteins act as an emulsifier which makes it an integral form.
- Besides, almond milk generally contains a small amount of water. Therefore, the freezing process will cause the separation of substantial components from the water.
- After thawing, you can see clearly that its consistency is broken, with a thick layer of solid contents on the bottom and water on top.
Sometimes there are ice crystals and frosts from frozen water particles. Its original, appealing look is no longer maintained.
- The color also changes from creamy white and develops a hue of yellow. The taste also changes a little bit and will not be that flattering to the tongue.
If you like the fresh taste and intend to use it directly for drinking, or want to bring the fresh taste into other dishes, then you should not freeze it.
- Another point worth noticing is that thawed almond milk after freezing also has a shorter shelf life. It becomes quicker to go rancid in only 3-5 days.
Dos And Don’ts When Freezing Almond Milk
With the instructions above, you will surely have clean and nice frozen almond milk. However, any process can be a little tricky, and carelessness can forge bad results. Therefore, I have gathered several tips to make sure the freezing process brings satisfying results.
- Store almond milk in an airtight container to preserve them the best. Besides preventing air that facilitates bacteria development, airtight containers also prevent almond milk from unpleasant odors coming from the freezer.
As people use the freezer mostly to store raw meat, and in such a tight place, there are heavy odors. Almond milk will absorb the unpleasant odor from it and cause a bad tasting afterward.
- It is also preferable to freeze a small amount of milk at once for convenient use and avoid waste. In this way, you can identify if there are any mistakes during the freezing process and timely correct them.
- Leave a little space in the container; it is ideal for filling up to 3/4 content of the container as the water in almond milk will expand during the freezing process and pop the airtight container open. In the worst case, it can totally deform the container, making it worthless for the next use.
- Try freezing samples from different brands of the best almond milk to determine the best ones suitable for freezing purposes.
Although all almond milk is made from almond and water, commercial almond milk contains different amounts of nutrients, additives, and preservatives; therefore, they respond differently to the freezing process.
Some can retain their fresh taste, color, and smooth consistency after thawing. It’s noteworthy that if manufacturers label their products as “Do not freeze”, then you’d better keep it fresh in the fridge.
- Add a date label to the container to help you track down the starting date of freezing. In this way, you can indicate how much time has passed from the expiry date.
- Do not re-freeze the milk after thawing. If you have thawed a carton of almond milk, try to consume the whole content within 3-5 days.
- Do not change the container in the middle of the freezing process. Keep the milk in just one airtight container; air comes in and creates a favorable condition for bacteria.
How To Thaw Almond Milk?
After a period of staying idle in the freezer, your frozen almond milk is ready to be used. If you want to use almond milk in its liquid form, you will need to learn how to thaw almond milk properly.
Leave It In The Refrigerator
If you are not in a rush and want frozen almond milk to give the best thawing results, then you should leave it to defrost in the refrigerator.
It may take a fairly long time to completely return to its original liquid form, from several hours to a full day. You can save a great deal of time by leaving it there overnight.
You should never leave it out at room temperature, although it will boost the thawing process, and you do not have to wait that long. A sudden and substantial change in temperature will further the separation of water and solid contents.
A mild change in temperature allows ice crystals to defrost gradually, and the milk’s separated components are incorporated properly. In this way, the thawing result is similar to its original form.
Give it a good shake, or for more satisfying results, process it a little bit with a blender to incorporate separated parts back into the original creamy texture.
Defrost It Directly On The Stove
If you intend to use thawed almond milk to incorporate in your cooking rather than consume it separately, then you can defrost it directly on the stove.
You simply toss some frosty cubes of frozen almond milk directly into the pot, saucepan, or whatever dish you are making that calls for it. Let the heat do the rest!
While the block of frozen almond milk is melted, give it a regular stir to incorporate it into the dish. Either it is a sauce or soup, or pudding, you need to make sure almond milk completely dissolves, and there are no visible chunks.
As I mentioned earlier, a sudden and sharp change in temperature will cause the almond milk to separate further, and the flavor can be badly affected. However, you can feel relieved because it does no harm to your dish.
When added during the cooking process, the flavor and texture of defrosted almond milk will become less apparent as other flavors from other ingredients will be more dominant.
Once it’s completely blended into the overall texture, its chunky separated consistency will no longer be detectable.
How To Tell If Almond Milk Goes Bad After Thawing?
If you do not freeze it properly or make some mistakes in storage, almond milk can still go bad even in the freezer. Plus, after thawing, the changes in color and texture make it look like it has gone rancid. So it is better to take a test to determine if it is usable or disposable.
Spoiled almond milk has some distinguishable features that you can detect at first glance. Its consistency, color, and flavors change drastically from fresh ones.
Its texture is broken, with detectable separation between solid components and watery parts. The solid part will turn into clumps and curdles.
Moreover, the color turns quite yellow. You can pour a little bit of almond milk into the sink to check the consistency. Once spoiled, it is not smooth anymore.
What is most discernible about its spoilage is the smell. Take a good whiff, and you can immediately detect an unpleasant sour stench. It smells weird and funny, and nutty flavors dramatically wear away.
If your thawed almond milk has gone bad, then you’d better throw them away. Spoiled, fermented almond milk includes bacteria and toxins that are harmful to the body. Consuming spoiled almond milk can lead to vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
What If You Don’t Want To Freeze Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a wonderful ingredient. Whether you drink it directly whole or use it in baking recipes, it provides wonderful flavors and healthful benefits for health.
And it is such a shame not to utilize it and render it idle by loading in the cold freezer. Freezing certainly doesn’t do justice to this amazing nut-based milk.
I dare say that sometimes the best way to make the bang for your buck with almond milk is not to freeze it. But how can you not do it? I am certain that the following tips will help you use up the milk while it is still fresh.
Notice The Expiry Date, Buy The New One
People always check the expiry date and choose the freshest products when they go shopping. The goal is to extend the shelf-life as much as possible and give them some more time for extra use. And with food products, this is even much more important.
You should go around the grocery shop and choose the most recently produced almond milk. There is a marketing strategy that staff usually load products in the order from freshly produced to the near expiry date, which means the older products will be nearest to customers.
Therefore, you should check all the boxes of almond milk available on the shelf and even with the ones far in the back, which might be the ones you are looking for.
You may notice that on store-bought almond milk, there is a “Best Consumed” or “Best By” label, which indicates the time by which the milk has the most quality and flavor to consume. Normally, almond milk can still last several days beyond the best-consumed date.
The expiry date will help you calculate the days till expiration, and during that time, you can make the most out of this wonderful drink. Remember that there is no need to freeze almond milk before the expiry date; use that amount of time to enjoy the fresh taste.
You should also care about the packages’ appearance. If they are new and not dusty, it means they are just produced and “hot” on the shelf. If the package is deformed or askew, it is likely it has been subjected to a lot of bumpings, and the content inside will also be affected.
You should always store almond milk in the fridge. The cool temperature in the fridge is ideal for keeping the milk fresh and delaying spoilage as much as possible.
Also, the constant, stable temperature is the key to a beneficial storing environment. So do not store it on the door side because it is where the temperature fluctuates from the heat outside whenever you open the fridge. You should leave it far to the back, where the temperature is coldest and most stable.
Moreover, you should never leave it outside at room temperature, even for just a few minutes. After each use, put it back in the fridge immediately. And make sure the lid is sealed tightly to prevent air from getting inside the package.
Use It In Various Recipes Between Meals
This is a useful way for you to increase the use of almond milk before its expiry date.
Even people who are obsessed with almond milk cannot consume it days in a row. It’s like reading the same chapters over and over again. People will get bored and lose their appetite and feel being forced after a short time of too much consumption.
To make the best of it, try to integrate it in various recipes to milk and consume it between meals. In this way, you can bring all the flavors of fresh almond milk to the meal, promote a taste of novelty, and avoid getting fed up.
Therefore, I have compiled a list of dishes that calls for fresh almond milk. You can switch the recipe regularly to try them all; they are all extremely delicious and will make you wow.
Buy Just Enough
Store-bought almond milk can only last for 7-10 days, so you should buy just the right amount to make sure you can use up the whole content before it expires.
And the amount of almond milk to buy also depends on the size of your family. For a family of four, you should buy from two to three cartons in one grocery shopping.
Or you can buy even more if there is a member in your family who is particularly fond of the drink. For children, buy more and make them consume at least a cup of almond milk every day to promote height development.
I hope I have provided you with everything you’ve been looking for. I know there is still a lot of wonder revolving around this topic. Therefore, I have gathered the most frequently asked questions to help you gain relevant information about the topic.
As a food person, my kitchen is usually loaded with cartons of almond milk. So I am very concerned with storage, and also was quite intrigued with all the myths about freezing almond milk.
So I tried all the three freezing methods. In general, the results, to be honest, were satisfying to me.
While the taste and flavors are quite well preserved, the texture is broken down and after thawing so it looks quite unappealing at first. But after a good blend, it was almost as smooth and silky as its original form.
I also love using frozen almond milk to make smoothies, it adds thickness and frosty taste that no liquid milk can offer.
Have you tried freezing almond milk before? What was the result? I bet you have a lot to share about this topic. I would love to read your experience and opinions in the comment section. And you can share this post with your friends and family, I’m sure they’ll love it!