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Many dairy products, or items similar, have incredibly short shelf lives and can be quite a hassle when you have to replace them all the time as they are not consumed quickly enough. Perhaps you are going away for a week but your large stock of oat milk is not yet finished, you may want to find a solution to prolong its shelf life.
Freezing oat milk is one option and can work quite well. Needless to say, it is also easy, anyone can freeze oat milk. But the real question is, should you and how can you freeze oat milk?
Table of Contents
- What is oat milk?
- Why do people drink oat milk over other alternatives?
- How to store oat milk
- Is freezing oat milk okay?
- How to make homemade oat milk
- Is frozen oat milk good?
- FAQ Can you freeze oat milk?
What is oat milk?
Oat milk is one of the many cow’s milk alternatives that people have started drinking in the last decade. It has been around for much longer but the popularity of all milk alternatives is at an all-time high and still increasing in popularity. There are many others such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and rice milk.
Non-dairy milk is in high demand due to the rising popularity of certain dietary lifestyles that restrict the consumption of animal products, or allergies that prohibit someone from consuming dairy. All of these alternatives have been made with the goal to replace cow’s milk and other animal milk.
They can even be used in recipes the same way normal milk can but without the dairy and animal harm. Dairy-free ice cream is made using milk alternatives now such as oat milk. Store-bought oat milk can be expensive but it is very pure as it has a natural sweetness that gives it a unique and delicate taste.
Oat milk has the same creamy texture as cow’s milk, albeit a slightly grainy texture, and works just as fine in a morning coffee being used as a coffee creamer.
Nutritional value of oat milk
In a typical cup of oat milk, you can expect to find 130 calories alongside 15g carbohydrates, 2.5g fat, 2g fiber, and 4g protein. As well as this, a single cup of oat milk will give you 35% of your daily recommended intake of calcium and 25% of your daily vitamin D needs. Oat milk can be great for cereal as the added nutrition will be worthwhile as you are adding the milk nutrition to the nutrition that the cereal already has.
Why do people drink oat milk over other alternatives?
There are many reasons to drink any milk alternative, not just oat milk. The reasons vary from being linked to a specific diet or being linked to a lifestyle choice such as veganism (check out our vegan bloggers’ list for more recipes). Some people are allergic to dairy as they cannot digest lactose properly so they can’t drink normal milk. As a workaround for this, milk alternatives are perfect as they work just the same in every way possible, even baked goods and other baking recipes.
Allergies and Diet restrictions
It is incredibly common for someone to not get on well with full-fat dairy milk from a cow. This might not always be a full-blown allergic reaction but some people struggle with digesting lactose and consuming dairy.
Other dietary restrictions could include someone who does not want the fat and calories found in normal milk. People who are lactose intolerant especially cannot have normal milk so they go for an alternative instead.
Some milk even has added benefits such as a lot of vegan-friendly milk can have increased plant-based protein in it so that the milk is more nutritious for you. Oat milk is especially nutritious in protein and fiber, and also has a lot of vitamins. Oat milk is also known to help regulate blood sugar levels. Milk alternatives can also be gluten-free which is good for some people who cannot have gluten.
Some people practice veganism which is the philosophy of reducing all exploitation of animals where possible. This goes further than excluding meat from their diet, they go on to exclude any animal products possible. By extension, this means milk, eggs, wool, leather, and more.
Despite choosing to be vegan, milk is still a very important ingredient and component in a kitchen, it would be an annoying life without it. So, vegans will use alternatives such as soy milk and oat milk. Coffee shops have also adapted to this and have started giving people the choice of what milk they want in their coffee.
How to store oat milk
If you own oat milk then you probably already know this, but the oat milk carton should be in the fridge at all times and remain chilled unless you are using it. Oat milk lasts for about a week once opened but this will decrease if it is not stored properly. If you are going to drink an entire carton in a short period of time then you will be fine.
The carton will most likely come with a screw-on cap that keeps the milk fresh, but if not you will be expected to cut a hole in the top so that you can pour it out. Other than storing it in the fridge, there is not much else you can do in terms of storing oat milk that you intend to use often.
It will spoil if left at room temperature, and freezing oat milk will make it a bit inconvenient to use every few hours. However, if you need to store it for a while then freezing oat milk is a fine solution.
Is freezing oat milk okay?
Frozen oat milk will be fine for up to six months as long as it is done properly. Liquid expands so keeping it in the original carton would be a bad idea as it will likely break out. Fresh oat milk can be poured into an airtight container or any freezer-safe bottles instead as these will be strong enough to contain the milk even after it freezes. Any freezer-safe container will do, but bottles are a lot easier to deal with.
To freeze oat milk you will want to leave it in the freezer for a few hours and it should be fine. A nice idea for people who like coffee would be to pour the oat milk into a plastic ice cube tray and freeze that. Afterwards, whenever you need some milk for your coffee you can just pop one out and use that.
Freezing milk does have its benefits although it also has downsides, it can make the milk taste a bit funny as it will no longer be as fresh. It is not a good idea to refreeze oat milk as that will decrease the flavor even more.
Thawing oat milk
The thawing process is very simple. After you freeze oat milk and decide you want to use it, you have a lot of options. One option is to just leave it in the fridge overnight and let it slowly thaw. When you thaw frozen oat milk it should only take a few hours as frozen milk is not too dense and will thaw out quite quickly.
Thawed oat milk may have some tiny granules of ice left in it so straining thawed oat milk is a good idea before you use it. After you thaw oat milk, you can use it as normal. You can also heat oat milk in a microwave for a bit to thaw it quicker.
How to make homemade oat milk
Homemade oat milk is easy to make and can taste absolutely amazing. You will only need two ingredients and a blender to make this at home. Homemade oat milk lasts the same amount of time store-bought oat milk does, which is about a week. The ingredients are as follows;
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups water
- Vanilla extract (optional)
- Maple extract or its substitute (optional)
To start off you will want to add all of these ingredients (if you choose to use the optional flavorings, that is) to a high-speed blender and blend for just under a minute.
After this, you can strain it through a cheesecloth, coffee filter, or a clean t-shirt. A nut milk bag can be used but a lot of people find that too much oat pulp gets through. That is really all there is to the whole ordeal, you will now have perfectly creamy milk with extra oaty goodness in it.
Is frozen oat milk good?
To summarize and drive home the main point of this all, freezing oat milk is fine. It will be a bit tedious to thaw and use afterward and will not be as fresh and tasty but other than that, go ahead. Making your own oat milk is also super easy and worth trying. For oat milk, both the freezing process and the thawing process take a few hours.
FAQ Can you freeze oat milk?
What happens if you freeze oat milk?
If you freeze oat milk, the carton it is in may split as liquids expand when frozen. Other than that, nothing much happens except your oat milk turning from a liquid to a solid mass of cold oaty milk.
Why should you not freeze oat milk?
The main reason not to freeze oat milk is that it decreases the flavor and will make it less fresh.
Can you freeze oat milk in the carton?
Freezing oat milk in the carton might seem simple, but as liquids expand when frozen you may open your freezer to see a split open carton and a mess everywhere. It is best to transfer the oat milk to a freezer-safe bottle first.
How do you preserve oat milk?
The best method of preservation in terms of storing it for a long time is freezing oat milk. Other than this, keeping it in your fridge is the best bet to maintain freshness and also keep a decently long shelf life. It will last a week in the fridge and six months in the freezer.