Coconut milk is essential for household use. You can use it for cooking, for hair, and for the skin. Because the benefits of coconut milk are endless, having enough is essential. So can you freeze coconut milk?
The answer to that is yes. You can freeze coconut milk for preserving purposes. Stocking on items is not new, and when you have opened milk cans, you’ll need proper storage expertise to not only preserve the milk but also keep it fresh.
Consequently, you need to know how to refrigerate coconut milk and thaw it properly. This article answers these questions. So read on to learn all about freezing coconut milk.
What Is Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is typically obtained from mature brown coconut flesh from the coconut tree “the Source.” However, coconut milk, unlike coconut water, does not occur naturally.
It is usually made from the mixture of both solid coconut flesh and water, which is usually 50% water and solid brown coconut flesh, to obtain the coconut milk. It’s what makes it different from “coconut water” which is naturally formed from unripe green coconut.
Coconut milk is used traditionally around the world due to its health benefits to mankind and for various reasons. For example, its nutritional value benefits cooking.
Coconut milk is a traditional ingredient used in cooking in places like Southeast Asia, Oceania, South Asia, East Africa, the Caribbean, tropical Latin America, and West Africa, other places where coconuts were introduced during the colonial era.
Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?
Yes, you can. Coconut milk can be frozen. However, once in its frozen state the milk rises, leaving the water at the bottom or lower level. This significant separation is a result of the high-fat content. After all, coconut milk is a combination of both its milk and water.
The composition of both milk and water can make the thawing process longer. Once the thawing process is complete it is advisable to shake the milk properly, to achieve its initial taste.
Also, keep in mind that the process of freezing and thawing destroys or changes the coconut milk’s texture and gradually saps its taste from what it used to be.
Why You Should Freeze Coconut Milk?
In scenarios where only a little amount of coconut milk is needed, leaving you with excess coconut milk, it is best to freeze the leftovers to avoid food wastage. Freezing coconut milk is another an of preserving it, thereby preventing it from going bad.
Furthermore, freezing prevents bacteria from growing on food and makes coconut milk last longer. The bottom line is you can freeze coconut milk. But the type of coconut milk you are using is an important factor in determining how you can use that milk once it is thawed.
And most importantly, no matter what type of coconut milk you have, know you will have to blend it before using it if you want it to taste anything like the fresh version. Technically, the major purpose of freezing coconut milk is preservation.
How to Freeze Coconut Milk?
There are two different methods of freezing coconut milk, and both methods depend on the manner of usage of coconut milk.
If you have opened canned coconut milk and you have excess that can still be used in preparing other meals, then you can use a tube or a jar to freeze it. Then, simply pop your tub or jar straight into the freezer.
Note: The jar or tube method will require you to defrost the whole frozen coconut milk when needed.
Another alternative is to make use of the ice-cube tray method. This method is preferable when a small amount of coconut milk is needed.
All you need to do is pour the coconut milk into the ice cube tray and place it into the freezer to freeze.
Once frozen, you can also decant the frozen coconut milk into other bags in your freezer and place it back to freeze in situations where you need to use an ice-cube tray for other purposes.
The ice-cube tray method prevents you from thawing the whole frozen coconut milk at once unlike the jar or tube method.
How Long Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk that is properly frozen can last as long as 2-3 months in its frozen state and still retain its quality afterward.
However, coconut milk that has been constantly frozen at 0°F will be safe for consumption indefinitely. It is important to note that the quality of the coconut will gradually deteriorate when it is not used within the 2-3 months period, rendering the coconut milk useless.
In addition, if you intend to keep coconut milk for a longer period, it is advisable to make use of a vacuum sealer. The vacuum sealer sucks out the air from containers and creates a perfect seal, so the contents are not affected by oxygen.
How to Thaw Frozen Coconut Milk
Thawing frozen coconut milk can be done in two ways: putting it in the fridge overnight to let the ice defrost naturally or placing it in a bowl of water for faster results.
You should watch out for the separation of water and cream. It’s natural when it comes to thawing coconut milk. To get the milk balanced, blend the thawed milk or whisking machine to get its creamy look back.
Pros of Freezing Coconut Milk
Freezing the coconut milk is ideal in preventing the leftover coconut milk from going to waste and for future use.
The process of freezing makes the management or pre-portioning of a larger quantity of coconut milk easier, keeping the milk safe until when needed. Frozen coconut milk can also be used to prepare milkshakes afterward.
Cons of Freezing Coconut Milk
In the process of preserving the leftovers, coconut milk depreciates in nutritional value with time. There would be a noticeable change in the texture (becomes grainy), which makes it unsuitable for preparing certain soups and drinks.
The process of defrosting and thawing coconut milk also renders it “watery.” There is the risk of growing bacteria that can make the milk go bad if not properly preserved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does coconut milk curdle when frozen?
Yes, it does. To increase its shelf life, coconut milk curdles. However, it is very important to know that the consistency of coconut milk can change. It might not be the same once it has been thawed and defrosted. The fat content will split on freezing which causes a curdled texture.
What happens to coconut milk when frozen?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how long those containers can sit in the freezer. The quality of coconut milk will gradually drop with time. Nonetheless, if you use it within 2 to 3 months of freezing, it should turn out just fine.
Can you freeze a curry that has coconut milk in it?
Yes, you can. If coconut milk is used in a curry sauce, then generally it should freeze without any major problems. Other ingredients will help stabilize the milk a bit, but there is always a risk it will split slightly when thawed.
Coconut milk has its nutritional and health benefits. For example, it helps in weight loss because it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which researchers have linked with weight loss.
It is also a standard in the kitchen, for beauty and skincare purposes. Therefore, you need to have it kept somewhere. And where better than a freezer. You can freeze coconut milk. However, you need to keep it in an airtight container or jar.
Furthermore, thawing should include mixing the milk up in a blender to get the creamy texture back. And if you do this, you can get the best of your coconut milk.
Thanks for reading.
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