How do you fix frozen almond milk?

Almond milk has become a popular plant-based milk alternative for many people. It is dairy-free, often lower in calories than cow’s milk, and contains no lactose. However, one downside to almond milk is that it freezes more easily than cow’s milk. If a carton of almond milk is left in the back of the fridge for too long, you may end up with a solid block of frozen milk. Luckily, there are a few tricks for defrosting and salvaging frozen almond milk so it can be used again.

Preventing Almond Milk from Freezing

The best way to avoid having to defrost almond milk is to prevent it from freezing in the first place. Here are some tips:

  • Store unopened almond milk cartons towards the front of the refrigerator where it is a few degrees warmer.
  • Once opened, transfer any leftover almond milk to an airtight container or bottle. The thinner container will help it stay colder.
  • Only keep almond milk in the refrigerator for 7-10 days maximum after opening.
  • Check expiration dates and use oldest milk first.
  • If refrigerating multiple containers, leave space between them to allow air circulation.

Thawing Frozen Almond Milk

If you do discover a frozen block of almond milk, don’t toss it out yet. There are several methods you can try to safely thaw and recover it:

Microwave Method

The quickest way to thaw almond milk is in the microwave. This method works best for small amounts frozen in a cup or bowl:

  1. Remove the lid and microwave almond milk in 30 second intervals, stirring between each session.
  2. Stop microwaving when milk is mostly thawed but still has some icy chunks left.
  3. Continue stirring vigorously for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is fully thawed and smooth.

Do not microwave a full carton or bottle of frozen almond milk. It may explode due to the buildup of steam pressure.

Hot Water Method

For thawing larger amounts or full cartons, the hot water method is safer:

  1. Remove the frozen almond milk from the refrigerator.
  2. Place it in a large bowl or pot and fill with hot water from the tap.
  3. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, replacing hot water as needed, until milk has thawed.
  4. Dry off carton or container and gently swirl milk around to incorporate any separated layers.

Refrigerator Thawing

If you have time, letting frozen almond milk slowly defrost in the refrigerator is the gentlest method:

  1. Remove almond milk from freezer and place in refrigerator.
  2. Allow 12-24 hours for block to fully thaw.
  3. Once thawed, shake or stir milk to recombine any separation.

This gradual thawing helps maintain the texture and nutrients of the milk.

Using Thawed Almond Milk

Once thawed, give almond milk a smell and taste test to ensure it has not spoiled during freezing. If it smells and tastes normal, the milk should be safe to use again. Here are some usage tips:

  • Give milk a good shake or stir before using – some separation is normal after thawing.
  • Use thawed milk within 2-3 days for the best quality and taste.
  • Almond milk may have a slightly thinner consistency after freezing and thawing.
  • If a gritty texture develops, strain milk through a cheesecloth before drinking.

Thawed almond milk is ideal for:

  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal or overnight oats
  • Baked goods like muffins, cakes, or quick breads
  • Soups, sauces, and savory dishes
  • Drinking plain or heated up

Avoid using previously frozen almond milk for:

  • Coffee drinks or tea – it may curdle
  • Delicate custards or puddings – texture may be compromised

Storing Thawed Almond Milk

To extend the shelf life of thawed almond milk:

  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Use within 2-3 days for peak freshness.
  • Label container with date thawed and use by date.
  • Do not refreeze thawed almond milk.

When to Toss Thawed Almond Milk

Thawed, previously frozen almond milk should be discarded if:

  • It smells sour or spoiled.
  • It has visible mold.
  • It tastes unpleasant.
  • It has been thawed and refrigerated for more than 3 days.

Trust your senses – if thawed almond milk seems off in any way, err on the side of caution and throw it out. When in doubt, toss it out.

Preventing Future Freezing

To avoid having to defrost almond milk over and over, implement some organizational strategies:

  • Place new cartons of almond milk towards the back of refrigerator shelf so older milk gets used first.
  • Write the purchase or open date on carton with marker to keep track.
  • Be diligent about checking expiration dates before use.
  • Only open one carton at a time.
  • Once opened, transfer extra to airtight container and keep refrigerated for no more than 7-10 days.

Considerations When Buying Almond Milk

Some types of almond milk are more prone to freezing than others. Here are some purchasing tips to minimize freezing issues:

Type Freezing Tendency
Refrigerated almond milk Highest – only keeps 5-7 days after opening
Shelf-stable almond milk Lower – lasts until unopened expiration date
Barista blends Lower – formulated not to curdle or freeze
Lighter or ‘Original’ milks Higher – more water content
Higher fat, creamy milks Lower – more fat and emulsifiers

Choosing a shelf-stable or barista blend almond milk and opting for higher fat varieties can help minimize freezing problems.


Frozen almond milk is frustrating but doesn’t have to mean the end of the carton. With some strategic defrosting techniques, thawed almond milk can be salvaged and used again within a few days. Keep milk properly stored in the fridge, follow expiration dates closely, and consume opened cartons quickly to get the most use out of each purchase. Implementing organizational habits can help avoid finding rock-solid blocks of frozen plant milk in the first place. With some diligence, almond milk can stay fresh, liquid, and delicious from first sip to last.

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