Coconut milk is a very versatile ingredient. It often complements many Asian dishes, either sweet, savory, salty, or spicy. You can even consume it on its own as a beverage. If you use coconut milk occasionally, you may prefer freezing for a longer freshness span.
And I suppose you are here reading this because you have accidentally thawed too much of it and used a small amount only. In that case, you might be wondering, can you refreeze coconut milk?
Refreezing coconut milk is safe if you thaw it in a refrigerator and handle it properly. It is preferable to use it within 1-2 months after twice freezing. Different types of coconut milk freeze/refreeze differently. Refreezing coconut milk more than once is not a good idea. And if you see any signs of spoilage, it is best to discard it.
Refreezing proves super helpful in storing the accidentally thawed coconut milk and avoiding any unnecessary wastage. It is a great way to increase its shelf-life. However, if you ignore the refreezing instructions, you might end up spoiling it. You can check out this guide to learn about the safe refreezing of coconut milk.
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Is it Safe to Refreeze Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk tastes best when used fresh. But, for a specific reason, if you want to consider freezing, you can do so. Contrary to popular opinion, refreezing coconut milk thawed in a refrigerator is safe.
However, if you thaw it in a microwave, on top of the counter, under cold running water, or at room temperature, you should avoid refreezing it. The biggest reason behind it is that thawing in any way other than refrigerator allows the bacteria to multiply quickly.
If you work carefully and don’t let the coconut milk sit out of the fridge for too long, it can be safely refrozen. If it has been sitting out at a temperature greater than 40 degrees F, it is suggested you discard it immediately.
Another vital thing to remember is that refreezing coconut milk more than once comes with a few disadvantages. So, you may rather refreeze it in portions so that you only thaw the required amount.
Refrozen milk will have a compromised taste and texture, and you might not want to consume it on its own. You can, instead, use it in smoothies or for baking/cooking.
Different Types of Coconut Milk; Can You Refreeze Them?
Before refreezing coconut milk, you need to know about different types of coconut milk and how much they tolerate freezing/refreezing. The three main types of coconut milk are:
Fresh Coconut Milk and Can You Refreeze It?
Fresh coconut milk is usually available in coastal areas or places with ample coconuts. It is simply the best among all types because it doesn’t contain preservatives.
It is not a handy option to freeze fresh coconut milk due to the lack of additives. It’ll last you for 3-5 days if you refrigerate it. Try to consume it as soon as possible to enjoy the optimum flavor.
Carton Coconut Milk and Can You Refreeze it?
This type is easily present on most grocery store shelves. Carton coconut milk is not as flavorful as fresh. However, when buying it in cartons, you can find different variations, such as refrigerated, unrefrigerated, full-fat, etc.
You can safely refreeze it. How nicely carton coconut milk refreezes depends on how well you handled it earlier.
Canned Coconut Milk and Can You Refreeze it?
Canned coconut milk is ideal for cooking or baking because of its thick cream-like consistency. This type is widely available in the Asian food section in stores.
After opening the can, if you let it sit out of the freezer or refrigerator for less than 2 hours, then you can safely refreeze it.
Note: Though refreezing is safe, you should know that it will separate on thawing. Refreezing and re-thawing will only do more damage to the texture. Still, refrozen coconut milk is more suitable for cooking or baking purposes.
Best Way to Refreeze Coconut Milk
If you want to refreeze coconut milk for an extended period, you can take a look at the steps mentioned below.
- First of all, thaw the coconut milk properly.
- Take the thawed milk and start pouring it in ice cube trays or small bags/containers so that you can refreeze it in portions. Doing so will allow you to take out the required milk only.
- After that, pop the ice cube tray or container into the freezer for flash-freezing and let it freeze overnight.
- Once frozen solid, take out the ice cubes and put them in an airtight container or bag. It will help you save the milk from freezer burns.
- Lastly, place the airtight container in the part of the freezer with uninterrupted cooling.
Remember, refrozen coconut milk will always separate, but that doesn’t mean the milk has spoiled. You can mix it in a blender to get it more uniform.
How Long Can You Refreeze Coconut Milk?
You can safely refreeze coconut milk sold in cartons for 1-2 months. If you store it for any longer, the chances of spoilage are very high.
Canned coconut milk will last you 2-3 months after refreezing. However, it would be best to transfer it to an airtight container before freezing/refreezing.
If the expiration date has crossed, or you notice any signs of it going bad, you should discard it immediately.
How to Tell the Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad?
If you observe any of the signs listed below, it means the coconut milk has gone bad. Upon noticing any of these signs, you should throw them out.
Color – the color of coconut milk may turn darker, or it may have a yellow tint.
Smell – coconut milk that has gone bad may have a sour smell instead of a fresh, coconut-like scent.
Formation of lumps – coconut milk will always separate on thawing. However, if the chunks are not dissolved even after blending it thoroughly, it is a sign that the milk has spoiled.
Taste– if the coconut milk tastes sour or off, it means it is no longer safe for consumption.
Refreezing the thawed coconut milk is an excellent way to keep it from being wasted. If you don’t want to use it on its own, you can use it in curries, soups, or other baked delicacies. Once cooked, the taste will be just like the fresh one. Methods like flash-freezing and refreezing in portions will save it from refreezing more than once.
If you want, you can follow the refreezing instructions given in this guide so that you don’t end up ruining it.