Coconut milk’s creamy texture and tropical taste are my cooking staples. Its flexibility is endless, from richening curries and soups to starring in smoothies and desserts.
As a frequent home cook, I’ve faced this issue. I decided to experiment with a new curry recipe one Sunday and whipped up a batch using a cup of coconut milk.
The remainder of the can, though, I had no idea how to use.
So I wondered: “Can I freeze coconut milk and use it later?”
Can you freeze coconut milk?
Fortunately, yes! You can freeze leftover coconut milk.
Join me to cover everything from freezing coconut milk to using it in cooking.
I’ll share some tips and tricks to solve the ultimate question: Can coconut milk be frozen without losing its freshness?
Also, feel free to check out a related post on how to freeze regular milk. It centers around freezing dairy milk but will provide some useful pointers for freezing plant-based milks, too.
In my pursuit of reducing food waste, I’ve delved into freezing many ingredients. But for now, let’s get started with the basics of freezing coconut milk!
Coconut milk freezing essentials
Here’s what you need to freeze coconut milk:
- Coconut milk: Canned or homemade coconut milk.
- Freezer-safe containers: Silicone freezer bags, glass jars, or plastic airtight containers. Keep them sealed to avoid freezer burn.
- Ice cube trays: Plastic or silicone ice cube trays. They can help you freeze smaller amounts of coconut milk. I also recommend getting some plastic wrap or freezer-safe bags to cover the ice cube trays.
- Labels/markers: To label your containers with freezing dates.
- Freezer space: Make sure your freezer has adequate room for containers or ice cube trays.
How to freeze coconut milk
This basic method is great for freezing larger amounts of coconut milk:
- Prepare the coconut milk: Stir it gently to blend it.
- Portion: Choose a coconut milk serving size to freeze. Your recipes may demand a tiny quantity of coconut milk, so you can freeze it in smaller parts.
- Fill the containers: Fill freezer-safe containers with coconut milk, allowing ½ inch (1.25 cm) room at the top for expansion during freezing.
- Label the containers with the freezing date. This lets you monitor coconut milk’s freezer time.
- Seal and freeze: Seal the lids tightly. Maintain airtightness to avoid freezer burn. Set the containers on a flat surface to freeze without disturbance.
Refrigerate frozen coconut milk a day before usage. A thorough shake or mix can reunite any separated components after thawing.
Ice cube tray method
This method creates frozen cubes that can be used in recipes requiring smaller amounts of coconut milk:
- Prep the milk: Gently mix your leftover milk to blend.
- Portion: Each compartment of normal ice cube trays carries around 1 ounce (30 ml) of coconut milk. Fill each chamber with coconut milk.
- Cover the trays: If your ice trays come without lids, use plastic wrap to cover them. You can also gently slip and enclose the tray in a big freezer-safe plastic bag.
- Label bags/trays: Label your bags with the freezing dates. If using trays, label a piece of tape and attach it to the plastic wrap or bag.
- Freeze: Place ice cube trays or bags on a flat surface.
- Transfer to storage: Once the coconut milk ice cubes are set, take them from the trays and place them in a labeled freezer-safe bag.
Thaw the necessary amount of frozen coconut milk cubes in the fridge before using them in a dish. You can also place them in a bowl and thaw them at room temperature.
How long can you freeze coconut milk?
Coconut milk can be frozen for a long time, although freezer burn or texture changes may reduce its quality and flavor. For optimal results:
Canned coconut milk: 2-3 months without losing quality. For maximum taste and texture, use it within 1-2 months.
Homemade coconut milk: 1-2 months for optimal flavor and quality. Without stabilizers, homemade coconut milk may have a lower freezer shelf life.
Does coconut freeze well?
Yes, coconut can be frozen quite well. Both fresh coconut meat and coconut milk can be successfully frozen in airtight, freezer-safe containers or bags.
How to defrost coconut milk?
Defrosting coconut milk is easy, and you have a few alternatives:
In the fridge:
- Transfer frozen coconut milk to the fridge. Place the container on a plate or basin to capture thawing condensation.
- Thaw coconut milk in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The gradual thawing process preserves its texture.
- After thawing, shake or whisk the coconut milk to recombine any separated ingredients. This happens because freezing coconut milk separates it into a creamier and waterier layer.
Using lukewarm water:
- Sealed bag method: Put frozen coconut milk (in a freezer bag or other airtight container) in a basin of cold water.
- Massage and flip the bag in lukewarm water to spread the temperature. This procedure takes around 10-30 minutes.
- After the coconut milk has mostly thawed, shake or stir it to recombine the layers.
In the microwave:
- Transfer some frozen coconut milk to a microwave-safe container. Make sure your container is microwave-safe!
- Gently thaw coconut milk in the microwave using the lowest power setting (usually 20-30% power). For even thawing, microwave coconut milk in short intervals and mix between intervals.
- After the coconut milk has mostly thawed, shake or stir to mix any separated ingredients.
Microwave thawing is the fastest method but it can lead to overheating and separation. Use only when necessary and in short intervals!
Keep in mind that the texture of thawed coconut milk may differ from fresh coconut milk. Soups, curries, soups, and smoothies are my ideal applications because of this.
I also tried making iced coffee with frozen coconut milk cubes, and it was a delicious substitute for fresh coconut milk drinks!
Does coconut milk need to be refrigerated?
Yes, coconut milk should be refrigerated. Coconut milk fats deteriorate if kept at room temperature, whether canned or handmade.
To assure safety and quality, observe these guidelines on how to store canned coconut milk and homemade coconut milk.
Canned coconut milk: Transfer it to a refrigerator-safe container with a tight-fitting cover after opening the can. Use it within a few days after refrigerating.
Homemade coconut milk: If you make coconut milk at home, keep it in a sealed container in the fridge. While canned coconut milk has stabilizers, homemade coconut milk may separate over time. Just shake or stir it before using it to recombine layers.
How long does coconut milk last in the fridge?
The shelf life of coconut milk in the fridge depends on its brand, packaging, and handmade or store-bought status. As a general rule:
Canned coconut milk: 3-4 days.
Homemade coconut milk: 2-3 days.
Can you freeze canned coconut milk?
Yes, you can freeze coconut milk from a can to extend its shelf life.
Before freezing, place your leftover coconut milk in a freezer-safe container with room for expansion and mark it with the date.
Can you freeze coconut milk soup?
Yes, you can freeze coconut milk soup. Cool the soup to room temperature before storing it in sealed, freezer-safe containers.
Leave room at the top for freezing expansion and label your containers with the dates.
When ready to use, carefully reheat frozen soup over low to medium heat while stirring periodically.
Can you freeze coconut water?
Yes, you can freeze coconut water.
Don’t forget to leave some room for expansion when pouring coconut water into ice cube trays or freezer-safe containers.
For simpler storage, transfer frozen coconut water cubes or containers to a labeled freezer-safe bag.
Thaw frozen coconut water in the fridge or at room temperature before using.
If you’re out of coconut water but craving a glass of something refreshing, you can find coconut water substitutes here.
Can you freeze coconut cream?
Yes, you can freeze coconut cream similar to coconut milk.
Before freezing, transfer it to a freezer-safe container with space for expansion and mark it with the date.
Can you freeze Silk coconut milk?
Yes, you can freeze Silk coconut milk or any other coconut milk brand. Just follow the steps for freezing coconut milk listed in the article above.
Can you freeze coconut milk curry?
Yes, freeze coconut milk curry. Cool the curry to room temperature before storing it in sealed, freezer-safe containers.
Don’t forget to label your coconut curry containers and then transfer them to the freezer.
If you like dishes with coconut, learn how to replace coconut milk, flakes and more!
Can you freeze butternut squash soup with coconut milk?
Yes, coconut milk butternut squash soup can be frozen. Cool the soup before transferring it to freezer-safe containers.
Label your containers, leave room for expansion, and freeze.
Can you freeze coconut milk to make ice cream?
Yes, you can freeze coconut milk for ice cream.
After combining coconut milk with other ice cream ingredients, freeze it in an ice cream machine per the manufacturer’s guidance. This process creates velvety dairy-free ice cream.
I hope you’ve found my tips helpful! Leave a comment with your favorite creamy coconut milk recipes.
How to freeze coconut milk
- Coconut milk
Method 1: Container Method
- Prepare the coconut milk: Stir gently.
- Portion: Divide into smaller servings.
- Fill containers: Leave ½ inch (1.25 cm) space at the top.
- Label containers with date.
- Seal and freeze.
- Refrigerate a day before use.
Method 2: Ice Cube Tray Method
- Mix coconut milk gently.
- Fill ice cube trays.
- Cover trays with plastic wrap or bag.
- Label with freezing date.
- Transfer cubes to labeled bag.
- Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before use.