Aside from relishing the distinct natural sweetness of coconut milk, its exclusive health benefits justify our tendency to buy too many for storage. Refrigeration, the more conventional method for domestically storing coconut milk, will undoubtedly slow expiration.
But we may prefer freezing coconut milk, especially when we want them to last relatively longer. It, consequently, brings us to the surfacing question: can you freeze coconut milk once opened?
Yes, you can freeze coconut milk. Although it is a somewhat simple process, the most complex step is thawing, which could cause increased grainy texture.
But fortunately, there are thorough ways to solve that.
In this article, you will learn every essential detail about freezing coconut milk, including:
If you’re excited to know the answers, let’s get rolling!
What is Coconut Milk?
As its name implies, coconut milk is plant-based milk produced from coconuts. It is from the calculated mixture of mature ground coconut flesh and varying amounts of water depending on the desired thickness. The resulting milk is then strained to remove solid coconut particles.
Coconut milk has an unmistakable coconut-inspired flavor and creamy texture, which makes them an ideal alternative to cow’s milk. It contains more fat than carbohydrates and proteins with little vitamins and minerals. (*)
The tasty natural milk is a popular constituent of various traditional cuisines among East Africans, Asians, and Oceanians. Coconut milk is best used in soups, curries, light and thick sauces, and deserts! You can also add them to coffees, smoothies, and even cooked cereal.
Much to lactose-intolerant patients’ delight, coconut milk is lactose-free! Also, it has anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Practically everyone can consume coconut milk as there haven’t been many cases of allergies to it.
Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?
As earlier answered, yes, you can freeze coconut milk.
Freezing keeps the coconut milk safe by slowing down the movement of its molecules at 0° F. This slowed rate prevents micro organism’s growth that causes its spoilage. If any microbes like the yeasts, molds, or bacteria were initially present, the unfavorable temperature would inactive them.
How Long Can You Keep Coconut Milk Frozen?
You can keep canned coconut milk frozen for as long as necessary. But, like other foods, the quality of coconut milk will steadily drop every passing day. So it is better to consume it as soon as possible.
Although it isn’t a hard and fast rule, experts recommend frozen coconut milk shouldn’t be stored beyond one to two months.
How To Freeze Coconut Milk
Before concluding to freeze your coconut milk, you should be utterly aware and comfortable with its possible outcome, quality-wise. Besides, ask yourself again, is it necessary? If you’ve concluded on its necessity, follow these simple short steps:
- Portion the coconut milk into air-tight containers, preferably plastics.
- Leave some headspace to allow the milk’s expansion while solidifying.
- Seal the containers.
- Label them with names and dates.
- Place the containers in the freezer away from fish, meat, or other foods with a strong odor.
Finally, confirm and ensure the temperature is steady at 0° F. That’s all!
How To Defrost Frozen Coconut Milk
Note that coconut milk is part cream and water. It’s not like simply thawing coconut water. Thus, it will take some patience to thaw it well.
Thawing is a delicate procedure as the frozen coconut milk could turn out exceedingly grainier in texture if carelessly sped up. The most popular methods include:
1. Fridge transfer.
Transferring coconut milk to a refrigerator is one of the safest methods. Depending on how much coconut milk will defrost, it should take 8-12 hours. (*)
2. In the water.
This is also known as the water bath method. Submerge the milk container in cold tap water and wait for it to defrost. Change the water when it gets cold due to the temperature difference. (*)
3. In a microwave.
It is the fastest method. Ensure the container is microwave-safe and thaw it for 20-30 seconds at a time. (*)
What Happens If You Freeze Coconut Milk?
After placing the frozen coconut milk into the freezer at 0° F, it solidifies as any other liquid after a time threshold. Provided the temperature remains steady, it retains its solid-state for as long as possible.
When brought out and thawed, the texture changes for the rougher. The proteins and fat are also separate from the liquid depending on how long it was frozen.
How To Fix Thawed Coconut Milk That Has Separated
Don’t panic when you notice that the thawed coconut milk has separated. It is natural and doesn’t connote any signs of spoilage. Blend the coconut milk for 30-60 seconds to fix the separation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to Use Thawed Coconut Milk?
You can use the blended thawed milk as you use a fresh one, depending on how comfortable you feel about it.
Thawed coconut milk or defrosted coconut milk is grainier than usual, with a slightly different taste due to the solid-liquid separation. We usually blend it for a smoother texture first, any time from 30 to 60 seconds.
Some have admitted that thawed coconut milk isn’t as tasty as before freezing, but others only utilize it during cooking and baking.
2. Are Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream the Same Thing?
Coconut milk is derived from the pulp of coconuts. It is a traditional ingredient used in the Caribbean, East African, and Southeast Asian regions. Coconut milk has higher fat content compared to coconut cream.
On the other hand, coconut cream is processed from coconut milk. (*) And it has a thicker and creamier texture compared to coconut milk. Coconut cream is made by chilling the coconut milk to allow the top layer (the cream) to float. That part is taken off the chilled coconut milk.
3. How to Store Leftover Coconut Milk?
You can store leftover coconut milk by refrigeration in an air-tight container. If you intend to preserve it for more than a week, freezing is a more effective procedure.
To freeze, pour the desired quantity of fresh coconut milk into an ice cube tray or air-tight containers. Seal the containers while allowing headspace for expansion and label them. Your frozen coconut milk cubes can last from one to two months, but prioritize consuming them earlier due to the steady decline in quality.
Aside from using ice cube trays, you can freeze your leftover coconut milk using a freezer bag. Or, you can transfer your frozen cubes to the freezer bag as well.
4. How Long Does Coconut Milk Last in The Refrigerator?
If you have a carton of coconut milk, you can keep it in the refrigerator unopened for up to four weeks. Once you open the pack, you will have seven to 10 days to consume everything before it goes bad.
5. Can You Refreeze Coconut Milk?
Although it is possible to refreeze coconut milk, it isn’t advisable. You have already undermined the flavor, texture, and quality by freezing and thawing it. Why undermine the milk much more by refreezing? If you insist, refreezing coconut milk is safer if you implement the fridge transfer method.
6. Can I Drink Coconut Milk Every Day?
You may or may not need to drink it every day. As long as you drink coconut milk in moderation, you can enjoy the health benefits that it can provide. Note that anything that is taken in excess can cause harm to your health.
7. What Are The Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Milk?
The health benefits of drinking coconut milk include the following (*):
- Supports weight loss
- Promotes heart health
- Strengthens immunity
- Improves digestion
- It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Freezing coconut milk is one of its most long-lasting storage techniques. It involves placing the milk in air-tight plastic containers in freezers at 0° F. This drastically low temperature will solidify the coconut milk and prevent spoilage by immobilizing molecules.
The coconut milk will last from one to two months, gradually deteriorating in quality with time. You can transfer the milk to a refrigerator or place it in water or microwave to defrost. Fridge transfer requires more patience, unlike using a microwave.
When brought out, the defrosted milk will be grainier than before. You will need to use a blender for a more even texture. Thawed milk can still be incorporated into cooked dishes or baking recipes. It is still tasty, though, not as much as it originally was.
We highly frown at refreezing coconut milk due to its already quality-depleted nature. If you sense any contrary indications to the ones mentioned in this article as spoilage, don’t hesitate to dispose of the milk.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Almond Milk? How Do You Freeze It Correctly?