I have always been keen on saving money on groceries, and one way I manage to do it is by buying groceries in bulk. Ever since I noticed how much cheaper things are when bought in bulk, I have never looked back.
It is very easy to stock dry goods and meat, but how do you store dairy products like milk? The shelf life of milk is rather short, and chances are you may not finish it all before it goes bad.
Can you freeze milk in Ziploc bag bags? The answer is yes. You can freeze milk in Ziploc bags. You just need to know how to go about it. Before we get into the details of how to freeze milk, let us look at some of the best containers you can freeze your milk in.
Containers for freezing milk
- Plastic containers
You can freeze milk in plastic containers. Go for the ones that are rigid with airtight lids. Some stores stock Ziploc plastic containers that freeze milk perfectly.
I suggest buying the small ones since they can easily fit in any freezer, even when the freezer is stocked.
- Canning jars
Canning jars are another good alternative. If you decide to use them, always select the ones that are freezer-safe. Manufacturers usually note clearly which ones are and which ones aren’t.
So make sure to check before buying. I suggest using canning jars that have a wide mouth because they give the milk room to expand when it freezes.
The ones with a regular mouth tend to crack when frozen.
- Original containers
You can freeze milk in the original container it came in.
So if you have enough space in your freezer to fit that gallon of milk you just bought, don’t bother looking for another alternative of storage.
When freezing milk in the original containers, open the lid and remove about half an inch of milk. Milk expands when frozen, so space will give it room to expand.
- Ice cube trays
Yes, you can use ice cube trays to freeze your milk.
The process is quite simple. Simply fill the ice cube tray with milk and place it in your freezer for four hours or until the milk is completely frozen.
Once frozen remove the cubes from the tray and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. Then store the freezer bag in the freezer until you are ready to use.
Freezing milk in Ziploc bags
Like I mentioned earlier, you can freeze milk in Ziploc bags. Ziploc bags are not like your usual sandwich baggie. They are made of thick material that is resistant to oxygen and moisture. This makes them freezer-safe and ideal for freezing.
If you decide to freeze milk in Ziploc bags, leave about an inch of room for expansion when you pour in the milk.
You should also remove as much air as possible from the Ziploc bag before sealing. Your milk will stay fresh for up to three months after the date of purchase.
How to properly freeze milk
The method for freezing milk is the same regardless of the type of milk. So whether you are freezing nut milk, dairy milk, or soy milk, this is how you should do it.
Pour your milk into any of the containers we have discussed above. While doing so, leave about an inch of space at the top. Since milk expands when frozen, the milk will give it enough room to do so.
Alternatively, fill an ice cube tray with milk and place it in your freezer for four hours or until the milk is completely frozen. Once frozen remove the cubes from the tray and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. If you use this method, there is no need to leave an inch of space at the top.
What is the shelf life of frozen milk?
Freezing milk usually extends the shelf life of the milk. When you freeze milk properly, it will stay fresh for up to three months from the date of purchase.
However, I suggest using the milk within two months for the best quality.
I highly recommend labeling the milk before you freeze it. Just write the date that you are freezing the milk. This way, you will be able to tell how long you have had the milk and whether it is still safe to consume.
Labeling cones is very handy when you have frozen milk at different times. You always know which one you should use up first.
How different kinds of milk behave when frozen
You can freeze any kind of milk. However, some varieties freeze better compared to others. Here is how the different kinds of milk behave when frozen.
- Dairy milk
Dairy milk freezes very well. It also thaws well and the quality does not deteriorate as much compared to the other varieties. The color of dairy milk remains the same when frozen properly, and it does not curdle.
You can use frozen milk the same way you use it when it is fresh. Use it in your cereal, tea, coffee, or even drink it as it is.
If you are wondering whether it is okay to freeze that whole milk, skim milk, 1% milk, or 2 % milk, just go ahead and do it. Freezing it won’t mess up its quality.
- Soy milk
Although you can freeze soy milk, it does not freeze as well as dairy milk. Soy milk has the tendency to change its color to a light coffee color when frozen, and it also appears curdled when you thaw it.
I do not recommend freezing soy milk. However, if you must freeze it in ice cube trays as we discussed above.
You can add frozen soy milk to blender recipes like smoothies and soups. Don’t use frozen soy milk the same way you use fresh soy milk since the results may not be appealing.
- Nut milk
Just like soy milk, nut kinds of milk do not freeze well. Both coconut milk and almond milk look curdled when thawed. Almond milk also has the tendency to separate when frozen. Additionally, its texture changes.
I do not recommend freezing any kind of nut milk. Most will have a grainy texture when thawed and they will also separate. However, if you must freeze them, freeze the milk in ice cube trays, the way I explained above.
You can add frozen nut kinds of milk to soups, sauces, and smoothies. This way, the change in texture would not be so obvious.
How does frozen milk taste like?
A lot of people ask this question when they are thinking of freezing milk. Most worry that freezing will ruin the taste of the milk. However, this is not the case. Frozen milk tastes just as good as fresh milk. The difference, if any, is very subtle.
The only thing that may happen when you freeze milk is that the fat and the regular milk will separate.
However, this is not a big issue because you can easily fix it by tightening the lid of your container and shaking it well to get it back to its original form.
How to thaw milk
The first thing you need to know about thawing milk is that you should never do it on your kitchen counter. Doing so will make your milk go bad.
The best way to go about it is by thawing the milk in your fridge overnight. Since frozen milk leaves water droplets as it thaws, I suggest placing paper towels underneath your container or Ziploc bag as the milk thaws overnight.
The paper towels will catch any water droplets that form when the milk thaws.
Can you freeze cream?
Since we’ve seen that you can freeze milk in containers as well as Ziploc bags, you are probably wondering whether you can also freeze cream.
You can freeze cream if you want to extend its shelf life. Personally, I only freeze cream when I want small amounts that I can add to my coffee.
The best way to do it is to pour the cream into an ice cube tray and freeze it for four hours. Once it is completely frozen, I transfer the cubes into a Ziploc bag. One frozen cube of cream is equal to two tablespoons of fresh cream. You can add the cubes directly to your coffee.
You can also freeze cream in the original container you bought it in. However, you will need to remove about half an inch of cream since cream expands when frozen. Space will give it enough room for expansion.
Just like milk, frozen cream should be thawed in the fridge overnight. Do not thaw it on your kitchen counter as it may go bad.
You can freeze milk in Ziploc bags. You can also freeze it in other containers including plastic containers, canning jars, or even the original container it came in.
Alternatively, just freeze the milk in ice cube trays and transfer the milk cubes to a plastic freezer then freeze for up to three months.