Can You Freeze Almond Milk?

Almond milk is non-dairy vegan-friendly milk that tastes great in smoothies and warm drinks. But what happens if you have half a carton of almond milk hanging around? Should you keep it in the fridge? Can you freeze almond milk?

You can freeze almond milk, but it will separate once defrosted. While it is non-dairy and vegan, almond milk is still perishable, so you must keep it in the fridge. Use almond milk to replace cow’s milk in drinks, cooking, and baking, but take care when heating it as it can burn quickly.

Almond milk is delicious plant-based milk that you can use instead of dairy milk or oat, soy, or cashew milk.

You can drink it like milk, cook, bake, or make coffee with it, and freeze it like regular milk. Let’s look at what almond milk is and how to use and store it.

Is Almond Milk Vegan?

Almond milk is a vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, dairy-free drink made from ground almonds and water.

This plant-based “milk” is suitable for people following a keto diet, people with diabetes, and those keeping kosher.

This replacement for dairy comes both sweetened and unsweetened, often with flavorings and combined with other nuts.

Can You Freeze Almond Milk?

If you’re new to plant-based or vegan milk, you may not finish a carton or bottle of almond milk quickly.

Wasting this pricy milk isn’t an option, so what about freezing it?

You can freeze almond milk for up to six months.

However, when you thaw almond milk, it separates – you’ll see a layer of thicker almond paste and a thinner layer of watery almond milk. (Almond milk is made of crushed almonds and water.)

Separated almond milk doesn’t taste great if you drink it straight, which is why producers of almond milk suggest that you don’t freeze it.

Luckily, you can blend up separated almond milk and use it in shakes, coffee, cooking, or baking, without losing any flavor and goodness.

How To Freeze Almond Milk

You can freeze almond milk in two ways: in cubes or containers.

Freezing Almond Milk In Cubes

To freeze almond milk in cubes, pour it into a clean ice tray. Freeze the milk until it is solidly frozen, then tip the cubes into an airtight plastic freezer bag for easier storage.

Freeze your leftover almond milk in cubes if you know you will use only a little bit at a time, such as in coffee or a few cubes in a smoothie.

Freezing Almond Milk In Containers

If you know you will use a lot of almond milk at a time, such as for a white sauce for mac and cheese, freeze the milk in plastic freezer-proof containers with airtight lids.

Make sure you leave space in the container for the milk to expand as it freezes. Stand the containers upright in the freezer to avoid leaking while freezing.

Freezing a cup at a time is a good amount for sauces, smoothies, and baking.

How To Thaw Almond Milk

Before you use your frozen almond milk, you will need to let it thaw or defrost. Once defrosted, use the almond milk within a day or two.

There are three ways to thaw frozen almond milk.

Thawing Almond Milk In The Fridge

The safest way to thaw any frozen item is to put it in the fridge overnight. Thawing in the refrigerator prevents the milk from going bad.

Larger containers of almond milk may take longer to thaw, so make sure you plan ahead.

Thawing Almond Milk In Lukewarm Water

If you’re in a hurry and have forgotten to defrost your milk in the fridge overnight, you can put the freezer bag of cubes or the frozen container in lukewarm water to thaw.

The water will help defrost the almond milk more quickly, but take care not to use warm or hot water as this causes the milk to go bad.

Thawing Almond Milk While Cooking

For emergencies, you can throw a few cubes of frozen almond milk into a dish cooking on the stove. The heat of the cooking food will thaw the milk.

Keep stirring as the milk defrosts so that you can mix it into the dish without it separating.

Preventing Separation After Thawing

Unfortunately, almond milk will separate after freezing. 

You can undo this separation if you blend the separated milk for 20 to 30 seconds.

The milk will become foamy and ready to use in hot drinks or whatever you’re cooking.

Thawed almond milk isn’t as tasty as fresh almond milk and has a slightly different texture but is still good.

How Long Can Almond Milk Sit Out?

Even though almond milk isn’t cow’s milk, it is still perishable. In other words, almond milk goes bad like any dairy or plant-based milk if left out of the fridge once opened for more than an hour or two.

How Long Can Unopened Almond Milk Sit Out?

How long you can leave unopened almond milk out at room temperature depends on what container the milk is in.

  • If your almond milk is in a shelf-stable container, like Tetra-Pak, it can remain in your pantry or a cool, dark place for up to a year. Check the expiration date to see how long you can keep it. Throw it out after the expiration date.
  • Fresh almond milk, usually sold in bottles, cannot sit out of the fridge even if it is unopened. 
  • Homemade almond milk also cannot sit out of the fridge.

How Long Can Opened Almond Milk Sit Out?

Once you have opened your almond milk, whether it is shelf-stable, fresh, or homemade, you need to refrigerate it as soon as possible.

Two hours is the longest that you can leave any perishable food at room temperature (e.g., on the kitchen counter or breakfast table). If it is a hot day, over 90°F (32°C), you can only leave it out for an hour.

After this one or two-hour period (and especially if you leave it out overnight), you need to throw away the almond milk as there is a chance it has gone bad. 

How Long Can Opened Almond Milk Stay In The Fridge?

Even though almond milk lasts longer if you keep it in the fridge, it will still go bad after a while. 

Store-bought almond milk has been pasteurized, which means it has been heated to 280°F, then rapidly cooled. This process makes the milk last longer than fresh, homemade almond milk.

Always keep your almond milk in the coldest part of the fridge, near the back, never in the fridge door, which is the warmest part.

Check the use-by or best-before date to see how long your bought almond milk will last. 

  • Once opened and in the fridge, shelf-safe almond milk can last for two weeks.
  • Fresh almond milk will last for about a week to 10 days in the fridge.
  • Homemade almond milk will only stay fresh for three to four days before you must discard it.

Can You Boil Almond Milk?

You replace dairy milk with almond milk in most recipes. However, you need to take care when heating almond milk as it can scorch very quickly and taste burnt and bitter.

For this reason, you shouldn’t boil almond milk. Instead, heat your almond milk gently.

Warm almond milk is delicious in coffee drinks or on its own with cinnamon and honey.

How To Heat Almond Milk 

Heat almond milk to the point where it is steaming and hot to the touch, not boiling.

There are two ways to heat almond milk for coffee, tea, or baking. 

Heating Almond Milk In A Double Boiler

Using a double boiler rather than a single pan will avoid scorching the almond milk.

  • Place your almond milk in the top of a double boiler. (You will put hot water in the lower pot.)
  • Turn the heat to medium.
  • Gently heat the milk, stirring often.
  • The milk is ready when it comes to a gentle simmer (with tiny bubbles forming), not a rolling boil.

Heating Almond Milk In The Microwave

It’s quick and convenient to heat your almond milk in the microwave.

  • Set the power to defrost or 50 percent.
  • Put the almond milk in a microwave-safe container and cover it with a paper towel.
  • Heat the milk for 30 seconds at a time.
  • After every 30 seconds, stir the milk and check whether it is hot enough. 

Conclusion

Almond milk is an excellent choice of non-dairy, plant-based milk if you’re following a vegan diet. Always keep your almond milk in the fridge, and freeze leftovers if you can’t use them within a week.

Use your almond milk as regular milk, but take care when heating it as it will scorch easily if you boil it.