Milk is an important food and an ingredient in every household. People all around the world use milk directly as a drink or when preparing different meals. Despite its importance, you should be definitely having a hard time preserving it. Most people either drink the whole carton before it spoils or throw away the milk after it gets expired.
With the wastage of milk as well as money spent to buy milk, you may wonder whether you can freeze milk and extend its life. Here is good news for you. You can freeze milk! If you come across a profitable deal at the store, you can buy milk in large quantities and freeze it for later use. But, this depends on the purpose you plan to use frozen milk for, because freezing milk can sometimes affect its consistency.
Here are some important factors you must take into consideration before freezing milk.
How Can I Store Milk in the Freezer?
Freezing milk is not complicated at all. You can put the same container you bought at the stores into the freezer. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that milk expands when freezing. Therefore, in order to prevent your container from breaking or avoid milk from spilling, you need to remove a small amount of milk from the container and leave some room for milk to expand (At least 1 and ½ inches from the lid to the surface of milk) before putting it into the freezer.
When freezing milk, store milk in air-tight containers in order to get the optimal results. If you think that milk cartons are not a very good option to freeze milk, keep some plastic milk jugs with lids for this purpose. Avoid using containers made out of glass because such containers are liable to crack or shatter.
Another easy way to freeze milk is to store it in ice cube trays. These trays can be stored even in a small space. Once the milk cubes are set, you can easily transfer them to a Ziploc bag for convenient storage. Just make sure that you keep room for milk to expand when filling the trays with milk.
How long Can I Freeze Milk?
Milk can be stored in the freezer for about three to six months. Make sure that you don’t exceed this time because when over-frozen, thawed milk can absorb the unpleasant odours in the freezer and may be unfavourable for consuming. It might also taste different and end up harming your health. If the freezing time exceeds, the colour of milk will also change to a strange yellow. In order to keep track of the time you store the milk in the freezer, label the milk bottles by mentioning the date you put them into the freezer. Taking these matters into consideration, it is highly recommended to freeze milk only for a three to six month period.
Does Freezing Milk Affect Its Taste and Colour?
There will be minor and negligible changes in the taste and appearance of milk. This happens mainly because freezing interrupts the homogenized distribution of the constituents in milk. The fat that is evenly distributed in milk before putting it to the freezer will float around after being frozen. To put it back to normal, shake the container well after taking it out from the freezer. Freezing might also cause slight changes in the colour of milk. However, these alterations in taste and colour are trivial when it comes to the other material benefits you gain by preserving milk.
How Can I Defrost Frozen Milk?
The best way to defrost frozen milk is to keep it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours soon after you take it out from the freezer. Make sure you shake the milk container well before using to ensure the homogenous spread of constituents.
Another method is to fill a basin or the sink with cold water and submerge the container with milk taken right out of the freezer in it. Keep it for some time until the frozen milk breaks and transfers into the liquid status. You will have to keep on filling the basin or the sink with cold water in order to maintain the cold environment that allows the milk to defrost quickly. Don’t let the water in the basin or the sink be warm, because, room temperature accelerates the bacteria growth. Also, don’t microwave the frozen milk as it also encourages increasing the temperature.
What Can I do with Frozen Milk?
Rather than drinking it directly, frozen milk is ideal for cooking and baking purposes. The separation of fats which occur during the process of freezing may cause changes to the texture of milk and make it unsuitable for consuming as a beverage. You can blend it well before using in order to ensure the smooth consistency and also to restore the fat distribution.
We understand that it is good news for you to get to know that milk can be frozen and used. Knowing this, you can save money and you don’t have to throw away unused milk after consuming once. You also can buy extra gallons of milk when there are store deals and save them in the freezer for later use. But before starting this process, you need to keep several things in mind. First of all, you should have a clear understanding of how long you can store milk in the freezer. Then, you have to select the right container to store milk and be aware of the space you should keep in the container to allow milk to expand as it freezes. You also need to be aware of the methods of thawing frozen milk. Next thing that you should pay attention to is how freezing affects the texture, colour and the taste of milk and how to restore the taste and texture back to normal by blending milk. This guide will educate you on everything you need to know about freezing milk.