How to freeze milk and how to defrost it safely when you want to use it

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A nationwide COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown has been implemented, leaving Brits worrying if they’ve got enough to last their self-isolation period.

While we’re being urged not to panic buy and store bosses are saying there is enough to go around, people have still been clearing the shelves making it hard to pick up bits like milk, bread, pasta and eggs.

This has left many people wondering if they can freeze some of the things they have in the fridge already – especially as  we’ve been asked to go to the supermarket as little as possible.

In short, yes, you can freeze milk – but, it’s best used when cooking or making smoothies because the texture changes after freezing.

It may go slushy, grainy, or have fat separation – but this can be fixed with a blender.

The texture changes after freezing

You must make sure to freeze it in an air-tight and freezer-safe container because the milk expands.

It can be stored for up to six months, but it’s advised to defrost it within the first months of freezing – but this is just because it tastes better.

And, it should be defrosted in the fridge to reduce the chance of bacterial growth.

The existing bacteria count in the milk may increase if the milk defrosts at room temperature for a prolonged time.

Many supermarket shelves are empty – but there is enough to go around if people aren’t greedy

Healthline says: “This is because the longer milk sits at room temperature, the more likely it is that any existing traces of harmful bacteria proliferate, potentially causing the bacterial count to become high enough to cause illness from drinking the milk”.

You could also place the container in cold water if you have less time – never hot or warm – but there is a slightly higher risk of bacterial growth.

If you’re planning to cook with frozen milk, defrost it directly in the pot as you are cooking.

Panicked shoppers have stripped supermarket shelves of food and supplies

Healthline explains that there are a number of different types of milk which may separate during freezing.

Most milk may separate during freezing like almond milk, dairy milk, soy milk, oat milk, human breast milk – which may also smell and taste different – goat and flax milk.

Coconut milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk may also separate but must not be frozen in the cans.

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And, long life carton milk doesn’t need to be frozen, unless it has already been opened.

Eggs are another type of food that can be frozen.

Simply crack the eggs into a muffin tray and place them in the freezer – you can then transfer them over to a plastic container to increase space in your freezer.

To defrost place the plastic container into hot water for eight minutes.


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