What You Need To Know Before Freezing Milk

food, what you need to know before freezing milk

pitcher and glass of milk

Milk is a magical ingredient. Think about it — without it, you wouldn’t have butter, heavy cream, yogurt, buttermilk, half and half, evaporated and condensed milk, and all the different, delicious cheeses. It’s an essential ingredient in many foods such as cakes, ice cream, pudding, waffles, milkshakes, cornbread, cobbler, and let’s be honest, you can’t have cereal without it. However, milk can go bad fairly quickly, and once it goes sour, it can no longer be used as regular milk.

When we want to prolong the life of foods, we typically freeze them, and milk is no exception — it is 100% freezable. Though we are used to seeing milk available in stores in either dried or refrigerated form, milk fares fine in the freezer, just as ice cream does. Freezing milk is a great way to slow the aging process so that, instead of pouring it down the drain, you can mix it into cake batter two months from now.

Once Frozen, It’s Not For Drinking

food, what you need to know before freezing milk

woman spooning batter

According to Southern Living, once your carton or jug of milk is approaching its expiration date, it’s completely okay to freeze it. However, it’s best to pour the milk into a separate (ideally plastic) container or ice cube tray. And don’t fill any container completely to the brim because milk has more water than milk solids, and you will need to leave some room for expansion. Once it starts to freeze, the milk may become grainy and separate, which isn’t so pleasant for drinking. So it’s best to freeze milk with the understanding that you’re going to use it for cooking, baking, or smoothies.

Healthline states that when cow’s milk is stored in the freezer it is good for up to six months, but optimal within the first month of freezing. It’s also important to remember that when you’re ready to defrost it, you should avoid doing so rapidly as a sudden change in temperature can allow for the growth of bacteria. The exception to this is if you’re cooking with milk because you are planning to heat it to a sterile temperature. If using it in a smoothie, you can simply blend the frozen milk cubes into it, straight from the freezer.

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