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Can You Freeze Milk?

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Can You Freeze Milk?
Photo docoverachiever/Flickr

Say you are going on vacation and have a half gallon of milk in the fridge. Rather than throw dollars down the drain you wonder if you could pop it into the freezer instead. You reach for the freezer handle but a question stops you in your tracks: can you actually freeze milk? 

The simple answer is yes. But don’t go running to the freezer just yet. While freezing milk in its carton or plastic container is perfectly safe it may alter the flavor and texture just a bit, according to the Dairy Council of California.

Milk tends to separate when frozen and get a bit grainier than fresh milk. However, a good shake before using it will work wonders.

Previously frozen milk may not be as tasty for drinking but it is perfectly suitable for cooking and baking. You could freeze it in ice trays or pre-portioned plastic bags to have the perfect amount ready for your next batch of pancakes or bechamel.

Ready to take the plunge? Here are some precautions to take when freezing milk:

  • Remember that milk will expand when frozen. Ideally, you’d drink a cup or two before stashing it in the freezer.
  • Milk will keep well in a regular freezer for up to three months - up to a year if kept in a deep freezer.
  • Label your milk with the date it was frozen so you can keep track of how much time it's been in the freezer.
  • Ideally, you'd thaw the milk in the refrigerator overnight. You may also thaw it in a tub of cold water.
  • Once thawed, it’s best to consume it within three days.
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