Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in many dishes. It can be used for either sweet or savory recipes like creamy sauces, curries, smoothies, desserts, and more. Coconut milk is also lactose-free! But what do you do if you have a surplus of coconut milk and won’t be able to use it all before it expires?
Can you freeze coconut milk?
Yes, you can freeze your leftover coconut milk. Just be aware that when you defrost the coconut milk, it will separate into liquid and solid parts. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Just pour the separated coconut milk into a pot, heat it up or mix it, and it’ll return to its creamy texture!
How you should freeze your coconut milk?
How you go about freezing your coconut milk depends on how you want to use it later.
I want to share with you three different ideas on how to freeze your coconut milk:
1) You could freeze the container, can or package of coconut milk as is.
This is probably the most convenient way to freeze your coconut milk. Simply place the purchased coconut milk in the freezer in its original packaging.
Easy and fast.
No extra utilities needed.
Coconut milk will probably keep even more of its aroma and sweetness.
Depending on the package size, it will thaw slowly, so you’ll need to wait longer for your frozen dessert or curry sauce.
If you’re not planning to use the entire package once thawed, refreezing isn’t a good idea.
2) You could place it in portion-appropriate freezer bags.
If you’re planning on using your frozen coconut milk for smoothies, soups or cooking, you could portion out the leftover coconut milk into small freezer bags. This way, whenever you want some extra creaminess in your drinks or dishes, you can just grab one of the little bags of cold coconut milk from the freezer at any time.
It will thaw quickly, so you’ll be able to use your coconut milk sooner.
You can remove as much or as little from the freezer bag as you need.
This way, you’ll waste less space in the freezer.
More preparation time needed.
3) Or you could make your own “coconut ice cubes” with some leftover, to use later on.
Just fill up an ice cube tray with coconut milk and stick it into the freezer until the coconut milk has frozen solid. Then, all you have to do is pop out the cubes and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
You can even divide whatever portion of cubes you’d like into small plastic bags before putting them into the freezer-safe container or bag!
It’s quick and easy to create coconut milk cubes.
You can remove as many or as few ice cubes from the freezer bag as needed.
More preparation time is needed.
Of course, if you have a lot of leftovers, you can freeze it in bigger portions as well. But keep in mind that refreezing isn’t a good idea. So it’s best to freeze it in the amount you want to use it later.
What happens if you freeze coconut milk
As mentioned before, the fatty parts separate from the liquid parts. This happens with most dairy or fatty products after they’ve been frozen. For instance, you will have the same effect when freezing cream cheese or freezing yogurt.
Thus, separating is common shouldn’t be a concern.
The separated coconut milk will return to its original creamy texture whenever you heat it up or mix it together.
Just give it a good whisk before you use it again.
How long can you freeze coconut milk?
Freezing coconut and milk is a great way to enjoy having it on hand at any time.
You can freeze your leftover coconut milk at least for several months if it’s stored properly like described above.
Note: Be careful when preparing it for freezing to avoid any risk of contamination. This will have a direct impact on durability.
You might want to freeze your leftover coconut milk in portions if you’re planning on using it for various dishes or drinks. This way, you can remove as much or as little from the freezer bag as you need whenever you use it.
Because it’s important to note that defrosted coconut milk doesn’t last long and shouldn’t be refrozen! So it’s best to eat it soon after thawing.
Can you freeze dishes with coconut milk?
Yes, this works just fine. Coconut milk is a great ingredient for many dishes such as.
And many more that I haven’t mentioned. You can probably freeze any dish with coconut milk or another dairy product, and it will turn out just fine.
The described separation happens also, but when stirring it up again, it’ll be unnoticeable.
Let’s look at some dishes and how to freeze them.
How to Freeze Coconut Milk Curries or Similar Dishes
If you’d like to freeze leftover coconut milk curry, first, remove it from the heat and let it cool down. Then pour the curry into single-serving containers or freezer bags.
Be sure to remove all the air inside to avoid freezer burn. This is an important step! You can use a straw or something else to suck the air out without getting too close to the food.
Place your curry in the freezer. If you’d like, you can take it out of the freezer for about 15-30 minutes before cooking so that it warms up slightly.
Can I Freeze Soup with Coconut Milk?
Soups with coconut milk are probably the best dish for that purpose. If you have cooked too much of your favorite soup, for example pumpkin soup with coconut milk, and want to save the rest for later, freezing is a suitable solution.
Then all you have to do is defrost the soup in the microwave or on the stove and add some water if needed.
This way you can enjoy your soup whenever you want and always know where to find it in the freezer.
How to Freeze Coconut Milk for Smoothies
If you’d like to freeze coconut milk for smoothies, it’s best to fill your ice cube tray with coconut milk and put it into the freezer.
Then repeat this process three or four times until you have enough cubes frozen. They are already portioned out if you’re storing them in a freezer safe bag, so all you need to do is take out how many cubes you want each time! You’ll find that these will keep your smoothie nice and cold without watering it down at all.
How to Defrost Coconut Milk
Freezing or defrosting your coconut milk doesn’t change the nutritional value. It only changes the texture of your frozen coconut milk a bit, as it separates into liquid and solid parts. But this is nothing to worry about, as you can easily bring it back together by heating the separated coconut milk!
There are a few ways that you can defrost your frozen coconut milk.
1) Directly in the fridge: Leave it to defrost on its own in the refrigerator. This can take up to 3 hours and 8 hours for larger cans or batches. Although it takes longer, it’ll be better for the taste, especially when using it for a cold beverage or similar.
2) In water: You can place your coconut milk in a pot of cold or lukewarm water and let it slowly melt.
Warm or boiling water makes it quicker and easier to get that perfect consistency back by melting your coconut milk faster. However, some experts argue that ‘overcooking’ frozen milk will diminish its nutritional content.
5) On the stove: Another option is to heat your frozen milk on a hob or in a pan with warm water until fully melted – but again, be careful not to burn it!
6) In a microwave: If you choose this method, do it at low power and check frequently so that your coconut milk does not boil. Then let it stand until cooled down before opening the container.
7) If you’re using it for cooking, you can just use it directly from the freezer: This way you save time and energy. This method is especially convenient if you have already portioned your coconut milk, e.g., in cubes.
If you encounter flakes or lumps when defrosting your frozen coconut milk, simply mix it with a whisk or blender fork until all lumps are gone and there is no separation anymore.
How Can You Tell That Coconut Milk is Spoiled?
Now you know how to properly freeze and thaw your coconut milk. You also know how long it might last in the freezer, but what if it went bad? What are the typical characteristics you have to monitor in order to not consume a spoiled product?
Let me give you some signs of spoilage you can look out for:
- You’ll know if the coconut milk is spoiled if there is a sour or fermented smell.
- It also looks grainy or lumpy.
- Possibly the color changes as well.
Keep in mind that the spoilage also affects the taste, so be careful with your food safety and always check if a product is still consumable or not. To make this easier for you next time, remember:
Trust your senses and, when in doubt, throw it out!
Conclusion – Is Freezing Coconut Milk a Recommended Method?
Coconut milk is great. But unfortunately, once opened, you can’t keep it in the fridge for very long.
Luckily, you can easily freeze your leftovers to preserve them.
If you follow the guide above, you can enjoy your frozen coconut milk as if it was fresh!
Are there any other ways that we haven’t mentioned here that you yourself have found helpful? Let us know by commenting below or sending us a message.
Other than that, happy cooking and Bon appetite 😀
How long can I store my opened can of coconut milk in the fridge?
If you used it within the first two to three days of opening, there’s no need to freeze it. But be sure to use a clean utensil and seal your coconut milk tightly so that it doesn’t dry out.
How long can I store my frozen coconut milk in the freezer?
You can keep your frozen coconut milk for up to 3 months if properly sealed in an airtight bag or container. You should mark your calendar with a pen! 🙂
Can I still make ice cream, yogurt, pudding, etc. after defrosting my coconut milk?
You definitely can! The texture might change slightly because of flocculation, but this does not affect the taste at all. If you find that the frozen consistency is too thick, just add some more milk.