Whether you’re dairy-free or simply like to cut down on dairy now and again, oat milk can be the perfect substitute. It’s a great dairy-free alternative for everything from cereal to morning coffee to baking. But can you freeze oat milk? Let’s see!
We’ve begun using more dairy alternatives in our household for various reasons. And in many cases, it’s hard to tell the difference between those and actual dairy products.
But the shelf life of oat milk can be pretty short after you open the carton. So what if you need to store some long term — can you freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze oat milk. It should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. But long-term freezing can affect its texture.
Read on to discover how to freeze oat milk, as well as how to defrost it properly so it tastes as fresh as possible.
The best ways to freeze oat milk
When it comes to freezing oat milk, you have a few options.
Use the original container
If you’ve got store-bought oat milk and haven’t yet opened the carton, you can simply place it in the freezer in the original packaging. The downside is that once you’re ready to have some, you need to thaw out the entire carton, even if you only need part of it. And oat milk generally doesn’t refreeze well.
Use ice cube trays
Another good option for freezing oat milk is to use ice cube trays. The ones with the silicone bottoms are great as they make it very easy to pop the cubes out.
If you need to freeze large quantities of oat milk, you can use bigger silicone trays usually used for storing stock or broth.
Step 1 – Add the oat milk to the trays, then cover them with a lid. This can help prevent freezer burn and can keep odors from other food items away from your oat milk.
Step 2 – Place the trays on a flat surface in the freezer for 2 hours, or until the oat milk is frozen through.
Step 3 – To free up the ice tray or trays, transfer the frozen cubes to a plastic freezer bag.
Step 4 – Label your freezer bags with the date you froze the oat milk.
With this method, you get the most flexibility over portions because you can defrost only the number of cubes that you need.
Use sealable containers
You can also freeze oat milk in sealable glass or other airtight containers.
The steps for freezing it are basically the same as using ice cube trays. And once it’s frozen, just label the lid with some washi tape and a marker.
You don’t quite get the same portion control with this method as using ice cube trays, but it’s still effective.
How long can you freeze oat milk?
Oat milk will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. That said, a big issue to be aware of freezing oat milk long term is the potential for the texture to change.
Oat milk becomes grainy when it’s frozen and thawed out, so generally you’ll need to strain it before you use it.
How to strain thawed oat milk
A great way to strain defrosted oat milk and cut down on any graininess is to use a cheesecloth. This will help catch and reduce a lot of the oat residue and make the milk feel smoother.
You can also use a regular fine mesh strainer. The idea is to try to remove as much of the oat pulp as possible so the milk is more pleasant to drink.
How to defrost frozen oat milk
Once you’re ready to use your oat milk, you’ll want to thaw it out properly so it tastes as fresh as possible.
Defrost in the fridge
For best results, transfer the frozen oat milk to the fridge and let it defrost gradually.
If you have frozen oat milk cubes, you can place the freezer-safe bag of cubes in a large bowl and then put it in the fridge that way.
If you used a glass container, other freezer-safe container, or simply froze the entire carton of unopened oat milk, simply move it to the fridge until it’s defrosted.
This could take a few hours depending on how much you froze. Typically, a full unopened oat milk container will take up to 10 hours to defrost fully, so consider transferring it to the fridge the night before you intend to use it.
Avoid letting the cubes warm up to room temperature for too long as that could breed harmful bacteria.
Defrost with lukewarm water
This method really only works if you have frozen oat milk cubes, and isn’t as ideal as thawing them out in the fridge. But you can use it if you’re pressed for time.
To do it, place the freezer bag of cubes into a bowl of lukewarm water (not hot water). Check it after about 30 minutes and continue to replace the lukewarm water if necessary until the cubes are defrosted.
💡 And don’t forget to strain the defrosted oat milk, regardless of how you thaw it.
Pro tip: How to use frozen oat milk ice cubes
If you intend to make smoothies or protein shakes, you can transfer frozen oat milk cubes directly to your blender with the other ingredients you’ll be using. The oat milk will combine fairly easily and the texture will typically hold up well.
And you don’t have to wait for the cubes to thaw out!
Can you freeze homemade oat milk?
Yes, you can freeze homemade oat milk. Since you won’t have a store-bought carton if you make your own oat milk, you’ll need to separate it into freezer-safe bottles, jars or other containers. Leave some room at the top of the container in case the milk expands as it freezes. Then label them with the date you froze them.
Cons of freezing oat milk
While you can freeze oat milk, if you don’t need to you may want to reconsider doing so. The cons include:
Texture – Freezing oat milk can make oat milk grainy and somewhat unpleasant to drink, so you’ll need to strain it after it’s thawed.
Taste – You may notice a slight lack of flavor in your oat milk after you defrost it, or it may taste a little watery. That’s because oat milk contains a fair amount of water which can separate during the freezing process.
Freezing oat milk just once can lead to a grainy texture and watery taste. So it’s not a good idea to refreeze oat milk after it’s already been defrosted. That will only degrade the texture more and likely make it taste blander.
Once you open a carton of oat milk, it will generally keep for about 1 week to 10 days in the fridge. You may be able to stretch that to 2 weeks if you transfer it to an airtight container instead and store it in the refrigerator that way.
Unopened, shelf-stable oat milk can last for up to a year unrefrigerated. But be sure to check the expiration or best-by date. You may be able to consume it safely after that date, but you’ll get peak freshness if you drink it before.
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