As a popular dairy milk replacement, almond milk is praised for its nutty flavor, plant-based benefits, and suitability for diverse diets.
But its behavior in freezers has remained a topic of curiosity.
I remember the first time I left an opened carton of almond milk at the back of my fridge and found it after a few weeks. Surprisingly, it had thickened and separated.
This led me to wonder whether leftover almond milk, like its dairy counterpart, could be frozen to increase its shelf life.
Can you freeze almond milk?
Yes, almond milk can be frozen and used in many creative ways.
I can’t imagine my freezer without a few bags of frozen almond milk cubes for making tasty ice cream, popsicles or smoothies with almond milk.
So I prepared this freezing guide for any almond milk lovers who need to know the answer to the question: “Can almond milk be frozen?”
You can also check out my general guide for freezing milk if you’re interested in freezing all other types of milk.
You’ll need a few essentials to freeze almond milk and preserve it:
- Fresh almond milk: Of course, you’ll need almond milk. Shake it and make sure it’s fresh before freezing.
- Freezer-safe airtight containers: These include glass jars, plastic containers, and freezer bags. Make sure they’re clean and sealed.
- Ice cube trays (optional): If you want to freeze almond milk in little volumes for recipes like smoothies, use ice cube trays. Silicone trays make cube removal easier.
- Labels and markers: Having labels and a marker helps note the freezing date. So you can monitor how long almond milk has been frozen.
- Plastic wrap or aluminum foil: For ice cube trays without lids.
- Freezer and refrigerator: To store frozen almond milk (freezer) and defrost it (refrigerator).
These simple tools can help you freeze almond milk and increase its shelf life for culinary use.
How to freeze almond milk
Freezing in ice cube trays
Almond milk in ice cube trays is ideal for smoothies and vegan-friendly drinks. How to:
- Prep ice cube trays: Choose clean, freezer-safe trays. Easy frozen cube removal is best with silicone trays.
- Pour almond milk: Carefully pour almond milk into the ice cube tray divisions. Leave room at the top for almond milk to expand as it freezes.
- Taple and settle: Gently tap the tray on a level surface to eliminate air bubbles and settle the almond milk equally in each section.
- Cover or seal: Cover the almond milk with the ice cube tray lid to prevent freezer odors. Cover the tray in plastic wrap or aluminum foil if it has no lid.
- Freeze: Place the ice cube tray in the freezer. Let it freeze until the milk cubes are solid.
- Transfer and label: When the cubes of almond milk are set (typically 4-6 hours), move them to a freezer-safe bag or container for long-term preservation. If I’m having difficulties getting my milk cubes out of an ice cube tray, I just run it under warm water for a few seconds and the cubes come right out.
- Label and store: Mark your container with the date and place it in the freezer.
Take out the necessary number of cubes and defrost them in the refrigerator or add them immediately to your recipes. To avoid separation, shake thawed almond milk ice cubes before using.
Freezing in containers
If you prefer larger quantities, here’s how to freeze almond milk in airtight containers:
- Select a container: Choose a freezer-safe container that can hold your almond milk. Use glass jars, plastic containers, or freezer-safe bags.
- Pour and leave space: Pour almond milk into the container, leaving an inch at the top for freezing expansion.
- Seal and label: Secure the container with its lid or another tight-fitting lid. Before closing a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out excess air to prevent ice crystals and freezer burn. Mark the container with the freezing date.
- Freeze: Freeze the container in the coldest section of your freezer.
When you need some almond milk from the freezer, slowly defrost the container in the fridge. Shake your thawed milk to reorganize any separated particles.
How long can you freeze almond milk?
You can freeze almond milk for 3-4 months.
For the best taste and texture, use it within the first 2 to 3 months after freezing.
How to defrost frozen almond milk?
Defrosting frozen almond milk is easy, but defrosting properly and preserving quality takes time. Methods for defrosting frozen almond milk:
- Retrieve from the freezer: Refrigerate the frozen almond milk container. Seal the container to avoid any contamination.
- Defrost slowly in the fridge: Let almond milk defrost. This might take 24 hours or more, depending on container size.
- Gently shake: Shake the container gently once the almond milk has thawed. This mixes any separated particles and restores the original consistency.
- Inspect and use: Check almond milk for odd smells or texture changes before using it. If it looks and smells normal, it’s safe to consume.
For optimal results, use thawed almond milk within 5-7 days.
Use the warm water thawing method to defrost almond milk faster:
- Retrieve almond milk cubes: Remove the required amount of frozen almond milk cubes from ice cube trays.
- Thaw in warm water: Place almond milk cubes in a dish of warm water to thaw. Seal the cubes in a plastic bag or waterproof container to prevent water from diluting the milk.
- Monitor thawing: Gently stir the water and cubes to speed up thawing. It should take 15-30 minutes.
- Shake and use: After thawing, take the cubes from the water, gently shake them to recombine any separated particles, and use them immediately in your dish or drink.
Remember to gradually defrost almond milk to preserve its flavor and texture, whether you choose the slow refrigerator approach or the faster warm water option.
How to fix separated almond milk?
If almond milk is separated, don’t panic! It happens naturally when almond milk is frozen, stored, or subjected to temperature variations.
How to repair separated almond milk:
Method 1: Gently mix
- Shake well: Shake the almond milk container. This is the easiest method to reassemble separated particles.
- Stir gently: Use a clean spoon or whisk to gently mix the almond milk if shaking it isn’t enough. This should disperse solids and liquids.
- Blender: For worse separation, try a blender or immersion blender. Mix the almond milk on low speed until smooth.
- Strain (optional): If the particles don’t dissolve, strain the almond milk through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to eliminate clumps.
Method 2: Warmth
- Warm the almond milk: Gently heat separated almond milk in a saucepan over low heat. Warm it just enough to dissolve solids.
- Stir: Stir carefully as the almond milk is heated to combine solids with liquid.
- Cool and shake: Allow almond milk to cool to room temperature. Shake it well to blend the components.
These procedures can assist in reintegrating separated almond milk, but the texture may differ from fresh almond milk.
All in all, almond milk that has separated is OK to consume as long as it doesn’t have a bad odor or seems spoiled.
Why can’t you freeze almond milk and expect the same results as with regular milk?
Almond and cow’s milk have distinct compositions and qualities, thus freezing them doesn’t work the same way.
Why freezing almond milk is different from freezing ordinary milk:
- Fat and structure: Almond milk has less fat than cow’s milk. Fat molecules are spread throughout ordinary milk as it freezes, making it more consistent after thawing. Almond milk, with its reduced fat content and altered fat structure, may separate and change texture when frozen.
- Protein: Proteins in cow’s milk preserve texture during freezing and thawing. Plant-based almond milk may not work the same against separation and texture changes when frozen due to a different protein composition.
- Stabilizers and emulsifiers: Many commercial cow’s milk products include stabilizers and emulsifiers to avoid separation and retain texture after freezing. Almond milk can also include stabilizers, although their effectiveness varies.
- Nutritional content: Almond milk is manufactured from almonds and water, whereas cow’s milk contains calcium and vitamin D. The bioavailability of these components in almond milk is different from cow’s milk when frozen.
- Natural separation: Almond milk separates into solids and liquids even without freezing. So freezing might worsen this separation.
- Texture and mouthfeel: Frozen and thawed almond milk may be less creamy than cow’s milk.
- Sensory changes: Freezing and thawing may impact the almond milk flavor, aroma, and appearance.
Why does almond milk freeze in the fridge?
Almond milk may freeze in the fridge due to temperature fluctuations or improper storage.
The freezing point of almond milk is around 0°F (-18°C). But it’s very unlikely for your fridge to get this cold.
So the most probable cause for this is that your milk has thickened or changed texture in the fridge owing to natural separation, not freezing.
When almond milk is stored, the water content may separate from the almond solids, creating a thicker bottom layer and a more watery top layer.
Just shake or stir the almond milk before using it to reunite the isolated components.
How long is almond milk good for?
This is a general almond milk shelf life guide:
- Unopened almond milk:
Unopened, shelf-stable almond milk can survive months beyond the “best by” or “use by” date. This can be 6-12 months, depending on the brand and ingredients.
- Opened almond milk:
Refrigerated almond milk (not shelf-stable) is good for around 7-10 days. Some products differ, so check the package for particular instructions.
These durations are estimations because the temperature, light, and freshness of the original almond milk might affect its shelf life.
Does almond milk go bad?
Yes, almond milk can go bad.
An odd scent, curdled appearance, unusual separation, or flavor and texture changes are the most prevalent indicators of spoiled almond milk.
What happens if you drink bad almond milk?
Drinking spoiled almond milk can potentially cause gastrointestinal issues and food poisoning. The symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
However, the danger of illness from spoiled nut milk is minimal, particularly if you are aware of the warning signals and avoid consuming any questionable milk.
If your almond milk has gone bad, you can make your own fresh almond milk at home or opt for some alternatives. For example, almond milk features on my list of coconut milk substitutes.
You can also try other dairy-free milk alternatives, such as soy milk, oat milk, rice milk, or hemp milk.
How long does almond milk last after opening?
After opening, refrigerated almond milk typically lasts for about 7 to 10 days when stored properly in the fridge.
How long can almond milk last in the fridge?
- Unopened almond milk: 1-2 months after purchase.
- Opened almond milk: 7-10 days after opening.
Does almond milk go bad if not refrigerated?
Yes, almond milk can go bad if not refrigerated.
Most commercially available almond milk products need refrigeration to retain their freshness and avoid decomposition (unlike shelf-stable or long-life versions of almond milk that can be kept at room temperature until used).
Without adequate refrigeration, dangerous bacteria and germs can contaminate almond milk. In warm temperatures, these bacteria may grow more quickly, causing the milk to sour, smell bad, curdle, or change flavor and texture.
How long can almond milk sit out unrefrigerated?
Almond milk should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
I once left almond milk out for 4 hours, and by the time I realized it, it had already begun to smell weird and look a little curdled.
Can you freeze Silk almond milk?
Yes, you can freeze Silk almond milk like other commercial brands of almond milk.
However, freezing and thawing may alter the texture of almond milk. Just shake it after freezing to reintegrate any separated particles.
Can you freeze homemade almond milk?
Yes, you can freeze homemade almond milk just like store-bought almond milk. It’s a very convenient way to store larger batches.
Can you freeze almond milk to make ice cream?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk for ice cream. It makes delicious dairy-free ice cream.
To make velvety almond milk ice cream, it’s best to blend the milk with some sweeteners, flavorings, and stabilizers.
Can you freeze almond milk for smoothies?
Yes, frozen almond milk works particularly well in smoothies.
You can use frozen almond milk cubes to add a wonderful, chilled feel to your drinks.
Can you freeze almond milk yogurt?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk yogurt.
Although less creamy and smooth, thawed almond milk yogurt works nicely in smoothies or as a frozen dessert.
Can you freeze almond milk creamer?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk creamer.
Similar to other almond milk products, freezing almond milk creamer may modify its texture. So give it a good shake or stir to recombine any separated components after thawing.
Can you freeze almond milk for popsicles?
Yes, you can freeze almond milk for popsicles. Mixing it with sweeteners, fruit, or other flavorings before freezing makes delightful dairy-free sweets.
Can you freeze almond milk in the carton?
Freezing almond milk in the carton is possible, but not recommended. The liquid will expand when it freezes, which might cause the carton to swell and break.
Additionally, freezing a carton of almond milk may not equally spread the cold, impacting the texture.
It’s best to use freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays.
Next time you ask yourself “Can I freeze almond milk?” or other store-bought or homemade nut milks, you can turn to this guide for the answer.
You can also check out some of my other posts, like this one on freezing ginger!
How to freeze almond milk
- Almond milk
Ice Cube Trays (For Smoothies and Drinks):
- Prep trays: Use clean, silicone ice cube trays.
- Pour milk: Carefully fill tray sections, leaving space for expansion.
- Tap to settle: Gently tap the tray to remove air bubbles and ensure even distribution.
- Cover and freeze: Use the tray lid or wrap with plastic/aluminum foil.
- Transfer: After 4-6 hours when cubes are solid, move them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Label and store: Mark with the date and place in the freezer. To remove cubes, run under warm water if needed.
Airtight Containers (For Larger Quantities):
- Select container: Use glass jars, plastic containers, or freezer-safe bags.
- Pour with space: Leave an inch at the top for freezing expansion.
- Seal and label: Secure with a tight-fitting lid or squeeze air out of bags. Label with the freezing date.
- Freeze: Store in the coldest part of your freezer.