I recently became aware that some people do not know that you can freeze milk. I honestly thought it was common knowledge! Right now, we all (as in literally everyone in the United States) need to be limiting our shopping excursions; we need to keep the number of times we go anywhere as low as we possibly can in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Self-isolating is the name of the game right now, folks!
What’s the number one reason that most people run to the store “for just a few things”? That’s right – milk and bread. I’ve already covered baking bread at home with these bread recipes in the following posts to help keep you from having to go to the store as often just to get bread:
I’ve talked about how to freeze store-bought bread loaves to help reduce your trips; now we’re going to talk about how to freeze milk so you can reduce those trips even further! Freezing milk is the absolute easiest thing to do in the world. Seriously – you need four sterilized quart jars (just run them through the dishwasher on the hottest temperature and make sure they’re very clean and very dry when you take them out of there).
Now just pour the milk from the store jug into the four clean and sterilized quart jars. Leave about two knuckles of airspace (meaning don’t fill the milk up any higher than what you see in the picture below); this gives the liquid milk room to expand as it freezes (as all liquids do when they freeze). Then put on the jar lids and pop the jars into your freezer (standing upright). THAT’S IT.
Leave the jars in the freezer until you see you’re starting to run low on milk, and then just set a frozen quart jar in the refrigerator (do NOT thaw frozen milk on the counter – do it in the refrigerator only!). It takes about two days for one jar to thaw completely in my refrigerator. Give the milk a good shake before opening it if you see a line of cream separating above the milk (very unlikely in store milk though but I wanted you to know what that is if you see it – the milk isn’t bad so just shake it to blend it together again). Now use it just like you would straight from the store – in your coffee, in recipes, to drink, in cereal, etc. The milk tastes just as good once thawed out as it does the day you bought it at the store.You can even freeze milk that is right at its expiration date if you have part of a jug left instead of throwing it out. Be sure to date it and pull it from the freezer to use up first.
NOTE: Sometimes, frozen milk takes on a yellowish tinge in color. That’s perfectly normal. I looked it up, and this may happen because the riboflavin didn’t freeze as quickly as the rest of the milk and so can be a little concentrated, making the milk appear yellow. It doesn’t affect the taste at all, and even when I’ve noticed it in a jar here or there in the freezer, the thawed milk (after shaken) looks white to me again.
You can keep frozen milk about three to six months in your freezer before it starts to absorb other odors from your freezer, throwing off the taste. Simply buy what you know you will use in that amount of time (and what you have space for in your freezer) and freeze it. Date the lid with the frozen date (or with a “use by” date) so you know which jars to use first in case you freeze a few gallons of milk over a couple of shopping trips.
Protect our healthcare workers and each other as much as possible. Flatten the curve as much as you possibly can by changing your habits. We can do this – but only together, America!