Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is a must-have ingredient when cooking Asian-inspired curries and stews and brings a subtle coconut flavour and creaminess to a range of dishes.

But what do you do if you only need to use half a tin? Is freezing coconut milk feasible?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze coconut milk. Coconut milk can be frozen for around 3 months but it might not be something you actually want to do – unless you plan on using your frozen coconut milk in smoothies. Freezing any fatty, dairy product will always change textures.

How to Freeze Coconut Milk

Freezing coconut milk is a fairly easy process so you don’t need to do too much preparation. It is the thawing process that is the tricky part that you will need to consider.

But don’t worry, we will cover that in a moment. For now, let’s focus on freezing it.

  1. Grab Suitable Containers
    You will need to find a good airtight container, or a few of these if you want to portion out your coconut milk.  So find a small airtight container with a lid that closes properly.
  2. Portion Coconut Milk into Containers
    Pop your coconut milk into the containers.
    Put the lid on or seal the container in some way using clingfilm, for example. If you want to make sure you don’t end up with coconut milk all over your freezer if the container falls over, then you can put the container in a freezer bag for a little extra security.
  3. Label and Freeze
    Add the name and date so that you can keep track of when it was frozen and pop it into the freezer with the container upright. It’s that easy!

How to Freeze Leftover Coconut Milk

The process above works for a full tin or a few tablespoons of coconut milk. If you’ve only used half a tin or so then you can freeze leftover coconut milk in the same way.

We would highly recommend never freezing your coconut milk in a tin – especially an open tin!

How to Freeze Coconut Milk Dishes

Having coconut milk is one thing but what if your coconut milk is part of a meal or dish? Or perhaps you want your coconut ready for a particular use?

How to Freeze Coconut Milk Curries

Freezing a curry that is made with coconut milk is perfectly doable. Simply allow the curry to cool before portioning into airtight containers.

You can keep it stored like this, in the freezer, for a couple of months. You may find the texture changes when you come to reheating it, however.

Can You Freeze Coconut Milk Curry

How to Freeze Coconut Milk for Smoothies

Coconut milk is a great way of adding creaminess and richness to smoothies without the drawbacks of cream. But can you freeze coconut milk for smoothies? You certainly can!

One of the main negatives of freezing coconut cream is the breakdown in texture. It splits. It becomes grainy. Fortunately, frozen coconut milk used in smoothies will actually hide this negative.

When you whizz it up in a blender, you’ll incorporate those split fats back into the liquid.

So how do you go about freezing coconut milk for smoothies? The best approach to take is by using an ice cube tray.

Simply portion your coconut milk into an ice cube, freeze it and then pop the cubes into a freezer bag.

When you’re ready to use your frozen coconut milk, just grab a cube or two and toss it into your blender with your other ingredients – there’s no need to defrost it if you’re using it in a smoothie.

Can You Freeze Coconut Milk Smoomies

3 Tips for Freezing Coconut Milk

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing coconut milk to have the best results:

  • Defrost Slowly – The main issue you’ll have with coconut milk is in the thawing. The fats can split from the liquids leaving you with a grainy texture. To combat this, you should thaw it as slowly as possible using the fridge overnight.
  • Blend After Thawing – No matter how much care you take when thawing it, your coconut milk will go grainy. To rectify this, give it a quick blitz in a blender or use a stick blender. This will incorporate the fats.
  • Use in Sauces – Frozen coconut milk should only be used in sauces, curries or soups where you can mask any textural changes.

How Long Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk doesn’t take brilliantly to freezing and will deteriorate over time in the freezer so you can’t leave it in there too long. So, make sure you have a plan to use it within a couple of months.

You should only really keep it frozen for two to three months maximum.

You Can Freeze Coconut Milk for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Coconut Milk?

Thawing coconut milk is the more difficult aspect as defrosting too fast could end up with an even more grainy texture and a more difficult ingredient to work with.

So your best option is to take it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it and then put it in the fridge overnight.

If you need to defrost it a little quicker, then you can put the container in a bowl of lukewarm water and leave it on the side. If you use this faster method then you will need to use it straight away.

Once your coconut milk is fully thawed out then it is recommended to blend it with a hand blender for a few seconds.

This will help reduce the graininess of the texture and ensure that any separation of the fats and proteins has been dealt with.

How Do You Defrost Coconut Milk in the Microwave

As we’ve mentioned above, going with the slow and steady approach is the way we would go. Coconut milk will not defrost well in any circumstances but we would still suggest not using the microwave as this can completely ruin the texture of your coconut milk.

Can You Refreeze Coconut Milk?

Refreezing coconut milk is not something we would condone. If you freeze, thaw, refreeze and then defrost your coconut milk, you will completely destroy the cream texture.

You’ll end up with grainy, lumpy milk that’s full of floating coconut fats. That doesn’t sound particularly appetising, does it?

Does Coconut Milk Freeze Well?

Unfortunately, coconut milk is not one of those products that freeze well. It can’t be left in the freezer for too long and the texture changes considerably from the fresh texture you might be used to.

Luckily the taste doesn’t change too much and you can sort out some of the texture issues with a quick blend once it has thawed.

Frozen coconut milk works best as an addition to sauces, in curries and soups as these types of recipes hide the texture change.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing coconut milk or coconut milk in general, then these may help:

What Happens When You Freeze Coconut Milk?

When freezing coconut milk, there is unlikely to be any noticeable change to the flavour. The texture, however, will change. Different elements of the coconut milk will freeze at a different rate which can cause it to split. T

his may leave you with slightly grainy textured coconut milk. 

Can You Defrost and Refreeze Coconut Milk?

Although defrosting and refreezing coconut milk is likely to be safe, it’s not something that’s recommended as there is a risk you will ruin the texture. This won’t matter as much if you plan on using it in smoothies, for example. 

If there is a chance you will want to refreeze it, then make sure you thaw it in the fridge only and not on the worktop where bacteria is more likely to grow on your coconut milk. 

Can You Freeze Coconut Cream?

Coconut cream is the thicker element of coconut milk. It tends to be creamier and packed with more coconut richness. With it being thicker and creamier, you’ll find that it freezes even worse due to its higher fat content.

If you can help it, try not to freeze coconut cream. The texture of your coconut cream will be completely ruined!

Can You Freeze Coconut Milk from a Tin?

The above methods for freezing coconut milk will work for milk from a tin, carton, bottle or pot.

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