Can you Freeze Whole Milk?

Q. My elderly grandmother has recently moved in with my family as she can no longer care for a house on her own. She has trouble putting on weight, and her doctor has recommended that she switch to whole milk as one way of adding extra calories to her diet. She doesn’t eat much to begin with, and she drinks very little milk at a time. The rest of my family doesn’t drink whole milk, so I’m afraid that large quantities of a container will go to waste if it’s only my grandmother drinking it. She told me that you can freeze whole milk without affecting its quality, but I’m afraid that if I do that and it’s not safe that she might get sick. I would be very upset if that were to happen. Can you freeze whole milk?

A. Your grandmother is correct. You can freeze whole milk. You can actually freeze any type of milk, although some milks freeze better than others due to fat content. Ultimately though, any milk can be frozen successfully. Many people mistakenly believe that whole milk doesn’t freeze well because it has a higher fat content than other milks, causing it to yellow when frozen and resulting in more separation than with lower fat content milks. That being said, the quality of the milk is unaffected by freezing, and the colour and texture are easily restored upon thawing. Don’t freeze milk that has been sitting open in the fridge for several days. Milk can absorb odours, so it must be sealed tightly in the fridge and in the freezer.

How to freeze whole milk?

To freeze whole milk, I recommend using a rigid, freezer safe hard sided container. If you are freezing bags of milk, then the entire bag of milk can be frozen as is. Otherwise, a wide mouthed container allows for expansion to take place upon freezing. Pour the milk into the container, allowing some headroom, and then seal the container. Label and date it, and then place it in the freezer. Frozen whole milk should be consumed within 3 months for best results.

To use frozen whole milk, remove the milk from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Once the milk is thawed, you may notice that separation has occurred. That’s because the fat separates from the water during freezing. No problem, just shake the container or give it a good stir to reconstitute the milk’s original texture. Enjoy as you would fresh milk. It is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen milk, and be sure never to thaw milk on the counter at room temperature. Store leftovers in the fridge

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