Milk has been a kitchen staple for generations, but in recent times, many people have made the switch to plant-based milk for health, animal welfare, or environmental reasons. Because of this, it’s essential to understand the best ways to store it and extend its shelf life.
Traditional dairy milk can be frozen before its “best by” date to prevent spoilage. However, the same approach doesn’t always work for plant-based milk, as the freezing process can lead to separation and a grainy texture.
Milk is an emulsion, a combination of liquids that don’t naturally mix, such as fat and water. When frozen, these components tend to separate, leading to the grainy texture when thawed. Plant-based milk, which often requires a good shake even when stored in the refrigerator, may separate even more when frozen.
The more fat a milk contains, the more it will separate during freezing. This means that certain plant-based milks will freeze better than others, while some may not be suitable for freezing at all. Some may even appear curdled due to the separation process.
Milk with less fat, such as skim or reduced-fat, generally freezes better than whole milk. The same principle applies to plant-based milk, but identifying the fat content can be more challenging. It’s essential to evaluate each milk type individually and be prepared to blend the milk after thawing, as some separation is likely to occur. However, some plant-based milks should be avoided when it comes to freezing.
Coconut, almond, soy, flax, and oat milk are among the plant-based options that are likely to separate when frozen, resulting in an unappetizing grainy texture. Additionally, watch out for varieties labeled as “extra creamy” or “full fat,” as they will separate more than others.
If you decide to freeze plant-based milk, opt for low-fat or regular versions. Freezing in ice cube trays is a practical solution, as the frozen milk can be used in smoothies or cooking, where the texture is less important, and the nutritional benefits remain the same.
Making the most of your plant-based milk involves understanding its unique storage requirements. Although freezing is not the ideal solution for every type of plant-based milk, by choosing the right varieties and freezing methods, you can reduce food waste and enjoy a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle. So next time you shop for plant-based milk, consider these tips and make the most of your purchase!
Dairy has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects. Read more about some Common Health Concerns That May Disappear Once You Ditch Dairy and 10 Calcium Supplements For Healthy Living on a Dairy-Free and 10 Carrageenan-Free Non-Dairy Products!
Interested in joining the non-dairy train? One Green Planet has recipes for you! Check out One Green Planet recipes for Simple Vanilla Oat Milk and How to Make Almond Milk. For those of you looking to eat more dairy-free or plant-based, we recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 20,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy!
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