Love making low-fat dishes using milk? If you do then you must have cans of evaporated milk in your pantry! Evaporated milk is a type of processed milk with 60% of its water content removed. This dairy product has a thick, creamy texture but it’s surprisingly low in fat, about 1/4 of the cream fat! Of course, certain brands offer light versions of evaporated milk so these products are even healthier and diet friendly.
Now, say you have cans or packs of evaporated milk that’s nearing their expiry date, can you freeze evaporated milk? There are times when a recipe calls for evaporated milk, not a full can. How do you store leftover evaporated milk?
The quick answer is yes, you can freeze evaporated milk. However, it is quite tricky to do so because freezing tends to cause separation between the milk solids and the liquids when thawed. When this happens, no amount of stirring would homogenize the ingredients back to the milk’s original texture. Still, if the milk solids separate from the liquids, the evaporated milk is still usable in cooking. As long as you are planning on using the evaporated milk for cooking then freezing should be a great way to store leftover or canned evaporated milk.
How to Freeze Evaporated Milk?
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Freezing Canned Evaporated Milk
Got several cans of evaporated milk sitting in the pantry? You can extend the shelf life of evaporated milk until you are ready to use up your stash by freezing it. However, you have to transfer the product to a freezer friendly container first. Tins do not hold up well in the freezer and are prone to bursting at cold temps.
To prepare the evaporated milk for freezing, punch a hole on either side of the top so the milk flows freely. Pour the evaporated milk into an opaque container with an airtight lid, leaving a couple of inches of space. You can also pour the evaporated milk in ice cube trays if you’d like to divide the milk into single serving portions. Cover the container with cling wrap then cover with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer. This freezing instruction goes for leftover evaporated milk too. Just find a suitable container for the milk and you’re good to go.
Storage Tips for Evaporated Milk
If you bought cans of evaporated milk to save money, you might not use up your supply as quickly. To maximize your supply, always check the expiry dates of the products. Choose those with a long expiry date, about a year. If you have older cans of evaporated milk, use those first before using your newer stocks.
If for some reason the canned milk starts leaking or bulging, discard the product. Check the cans for dents, cracks, and rust, if you’re seeing these, throw out the cans. For newly bought cans of evaporated milk, place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, store the unopened cans of evaporated milk in the cupboard or kitchen cabinet to prevent rusting.
Treat evaporated milk like fresh milk. You can store the milk in the fridge and it will stay fresh for up to 5 days. However, keep the container sealed because the evaporated milk has the tendency to absorb fridge odors and flavors.
5 Uses for Stored Evaporated Milk
Stored evaporated milk can be used in so many ways!
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You can turn thawed evaporated milk into whipped cream. Just thaw the frozen evaporated milk until it is fluid yet still cold. Then, pour the thawed evaporated milk in your mixer then beat at high speed until you get stiff peaks. Add vanilla and sugar to sweeten the whipped cream and use immediately.
Add to Your Favorite Drinks
From coffee to tea, hot chocolate to smoothies, you can use leftover evaporated milk to give your favorite drinks a creamy, rich taste! The best part? Evaporated milk contains less fat than regular milk so it’s the perfect additive to hot or cold drinks.
Ingredient in Baking
Do you love baking? You can use evaporated milk as a substitute for milk in bread recipes. You can also use leftover evaporated milk to whip up fudge, pies, and milk cookies.
Used in Cooking
Evaporated milk is a great ingredient in any recipe that calls for regular milk, heavy cream, and half-and-half. Evaporated milk won’t curdle at high temperatures so it’s the perfect milk sub for cooking. You can add your leftover evaporated milk in mashed potatoes, stews, and even mac n’ cheese!
Dressing, Soups, and Sauces
Evaporated milk adds richness and depth to different sauces and dressing. If you want to whip up an egg-free dressing for pasta or potato salad, use room temperature evaporated milk. You can also use evaporated milk as a substitute for regular or heavy milk for making cream soups and thick sauces.
Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions
When kept in the freezer, evaporated milk will keep for at least 3 months. However, we recommend using up your supply as soon as possible for optimal flavor. There is no need to thaw the frozen evaporated milk when used in cooking. But if a recipe calls for room temperature evaporated milk, you can thaw the leftover milk by transferring it to the fridge. Leave the frozen evaporated milk to thaw overnight then rest for a few minutes before adding to the recipe.
Can you freeze evaporated milk? Freezing may not the best storage option for evaporated milk but you can try it when you are out of options. Just keep these tips in mind so the milk will remain usable after it’s been frozen and thawed.