Whether you can’t live without milk or you only use it from time to time, you’ve probably had been in the situation where you have to throw it away because it has reached its expiration date.
No one likes wasting food, even if it’s something as affordable as milk. Because of this, you’ve probably wondered: can milk be frozen, so you can avoid it going to waste next time.
Can Milk Be Frozen?
The answer is simple.
Yes, you can freeze milk.
While it’s hard to enjoy the slushy-like texture milk gets when your fridge gets too cold, the truth is that milk can be frozen safely and easily, extending its shelf life for months and preserving its delicious taste.
The key consists in freezing it and thawing it properly so you can have fresh milk whenever you feel like it.
How to Freeze Milk?
While freezing milk isn’t complicated, there are a couple of details you should keep in mind when doing it.
To ensure the best results, make sure to follow the next steps:
a) Always freeze milk within it’s ‘use by’ date, as freezing milk, won’t do anything for milk that has already gone bad.
b) Place the milk you’re going to freeze in a plastic container with free room, as milk expands when freezing and will take up more space than when it’s liquid. Never freeze milk in glass containers, as these can break when the milk expands.
c) Keep note of the “best by” date. Think of the freezing process as pressing “pause” on the clock. If you freeze the milk three days before its expiration date, it will only last three more days after you thaw it.
d) Place the milk in the freezer and leave it undisturbed. Milk can be kept in the freezer from 2 to 3 months (or even more if you don’t mind the flavor changing) just make sure it’s in a place where it doesn’t accidentally thaw and freeze the milk, as that will spoil everything.
Related Video: How To Freeze Milk and Dairy Products
How to Thaw Milk?
Thawing is more complicated than freezing milk, if only because there are more ways of getting it wrong. Still, the steps are simple enough:
1. Use slow methods to thaw your milk. Thawing it in the fridge or with cold water are the best methods:
- Fridge: Simply transfer the milk containers from the freezer to your fridge and let them sit there until it’s liquid.
- Cold Water: Submerge the milk container under cold water and keep it there until it’s liquid. This process, while faster, will still take many hours so be patient.
2. NEVER use heat. While using the microwave, hot water or the stove can be tempting, as it will reduce the thawing time tremendously you’ll be risking ruining your milk entirely.
Microwaves can thaw the milk unevenly and even create ‘hot spots’ which is not only unappealing but even dangerous. Not only that but changing the milk temperature so drastically might alter its properties, leaving you with unsatisfying results.
3. Serve within a week of thawing. Use it if the ‘use by’ date was closer than the date when you froze the milk.
4. Shake it! The freezing process will separate the fat from the milk so make sure to shake it before serving. You can do this by hand, or you can use a blender, but you should do it to get the best results.
Seems easy enough, isn’t it?
Well, it is!
Before you start freezing milk, however, keep in mind the following tips:
Things to Keep in Mind
- Because of their low-fat content, skim and low-fat milk usually does better when frozen.
- A yellowish color is normal for thawed milk. Don’t worry about it, unless the milk also smells bad.
- If you’re looking to use milk for recipes, you should consider freezing milk in ice cubes. This way you can thaw it faster and only when needed.
From only using it for certain recipes to taking advantage of bargains and special offers; there are many reasons why someone would want to freeze milk and as you can see, doing this is not only easy but also relatively fast.
Freezing milk is an excellent way of prolonging its shelf life, preventing it from spoiling when you couldn’t use it fast enough, ensuring your access to fresh milk without having to buy more and more.