If you’re one of the people who use coconut milk from time to time, you’ve certainly asked yourself, “can you freeze coconut milk?”. Avid drinkers and users of this milk alternative don’t care about freezing it because they use it way before it goes bad. But, if coconut milk is something you use rarely, an entire carton of it might be too much for you to use at a time. That’s when you start thinking about freezing the leftovers.
Answering the question of whether or not you can freeze coconut milk is difficult. Most manufacturers do not recommend freezing coconut milk. Freezing and thawing change the texture and taste of this dairy-free drink. But many people freeze it anyway and are quite happy about the results.
Here’s the thing: freezing coconut milk makes sense if you’re going to use it in a recipe that requires coconut milk as an ingredient. That means in cooking, baking, frozen desserts, added to coffee, or in a smoothie. Frozen and defrosted coconut milk on its own won’t be as good as fresh one, but in a recipe, it won’t be a big deal. Having said that, let’s go through ways of freezing coconut milk.
How to Freeze Coconut Milk in Cubes
This method is perfect if you don’t want to worry about portion size. With this method, you can thaw as much coconut milk at a time as you want. Takes a bit more effort, but in most cases, it’s totally worth it. Here’s how you can do it:
- Prepare the ice cube trays. You can use ice cube bags if you would like, but the trays are reusable and more environment-friendly, so go with trays if you can.
- Pour the coconut milk into the trays.
- Transfer the trays into the freezer and keep there until coconut milk cubes are frozen. It will take at least 3 hours for the cubes to freeze. Remember that the top of each cube will freeze fairly fast, but that doesn’t mean the liquid underneath has frozen too. I, just to be safe, usually leave the trays in the freezer overnight.
- Transfer the cubes to freezer bags or containers. Try to do this as fast as you can. This way, the cubes won’t start to thaw. Of course, you can leave the trays in the freezer, but it’s far more convenient to throw the cubes into a container and have the trays ready for another batch of freezing.
- Put the bags or containers into the freezer.
Now you can easily scoop a few cubes to add to your recipe or thaw a bunch of them for a smoothie.
How to Freeze Coconut Milk in Containers
This method requires no time and effort. It’s best to know how much coconut milk will you need to thaw at a time so you can portion the coconut milk accordingly. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose portion size. As mentioned, if you know how much of this nut milk you will need at a time, portion the coconut milk accordingly. If you’re uncertain, go for smaller portions, like one-cup or even half a cup. Freeze coconut milk in cubes means you don’t have to worry about portion size and leftovers after thawing.
- Pour the milk into containers. Make sure to leave some head-space, as the milk will expand when freezing. It’s fine to freeze coconut milk in the carton it came in, provided it’s not full.
- Label the containers with name and date if needed.
- Put the containers into the freezer.
That’s it. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for a single carton of coconut milk.
How to Thaw Coconut Milk
There are at least a few ways you can thaw coconut milk. No matter the method you choose, make sure to give the thawed coconut milk a good stir. That will improve its consistency.
- Overnight in the fridge. The classic: transfer the cubes or containers you want to thaw into the fridge in the evening, they will be thawed in the morning.
- At room temperature. This works much better for cubes, but you can do it for containers too. Please note that you should use all of the milk right after thawing.
- Throw it in frozen. If you need coconut milk for a cooked recipe (like a soup), you can throw it in frozen. Make sure to add a few minutes of additional cooking time to account for thawing and cooking the milk.