The short answer is yes you can, however it is not the most forgiving of things to freeze so read on to find out how to get the best out of your frozen soy milk.
Soy milk is a plant-based, non-dairy beverage made from soybeans and generally used as an alternative to milk, be it for drinking or cooking and baking with.
One thing to consider when deciding whether to freeze your soy milk is that many soy milk brands fortify their offerings. Adding vitamins to ups the nutritional profile to bring it closer in line with dairy milk, so you will often find it contains added vitamin D and calcium with omega-3 fatty acids also a common addition in fortified soy milk. Each brand and manufacturer will have a different recipe, so freezing soy milk can have mixed results partially based on this.
When it’s fresh, soy milk has a creamy consistency, but once frozen then thawed the ingredients tend to separate and the texture changes. Despite this, freezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of soy milk.
So, while you may not want to drink the thawed soy milk straight or pour it over your cereal, it is still very usable in cooking. With that in mind here are some step-by-step instructions for preparing and freezing soy milk for use in all sorts of future meals.
Make sure your soy milk is safe to freeze
If you intend to freeze your soy milk make sure it hasn't been open for more than a couple of days and always ensure the soy milk hasn't gone past its 'use by date' if there is one.
It's best to freeze soy milk as soon as you've opened the carton to avoid the risk of spoiling, as it will give you the maximum amount of time to consume it when you come to thaw it. If you keep throwing away half a carton of soy milk at the end of the week, try freezing half when you open it instead.
Best ways to freeze soy milk
While planning to freeze your soy milk, make a list of the ways you want to use it before popping it in the freezer.
If you know how much you will need in a recipe, it’s best to freeze just that amount individually, so when you thaw it, you know you have the correct amount. This also helps with thawing as a full litre of soy milk will take much longer to defrost than say 100ml.
Don't forget, as soy milk is mainly water it will expand quite a lot when it freezes, so leave a few centimetres to an inch at the top of your containers so it has room to grow. Never freeze it in something rigid like a glass jar as the expansion can cause the jar to crack.
I find plastic food-safe containers with a saleable lid work best for me, but you can use freezer bags too, just make sure you leave plenty of space in the bag, and a little around it in the freezer.
Another option is to freeze soy milk in ice cube trays. Simply pour your soy milk into the ice cube trays and leave it in the freezer overnight. Then you can transfer the cubes into a freezer bag the next day for easier storage or simply leave them in the tray.
You might find that they're a bit tricky to get out of the ice cube tray as soy milk tends to be a bit sticky, so use a silicon ice cube tray if you have one, as the flex makes it a bit easier to pop them out. I find it helpful to use the ice cube tray method if I have a small amount as you can easily grab a couple of blocks when you need them - you'll be amazed how quickly they go!
Don't be alarmed at the colour after freezing! Soy milk will go a pale yellow colour when frozen, this is perfectly natural!
Be sure to label your containers with the date, along with the volume of milk, especially if you are freezing specific quantities.
One last thing to note is that can't re-freeze the thawed milk again so any you defrost must be used or discarded.
How long can you freeze soy milk?
If frozen safely and following the steps above, soy milk can keep in your freezer for up to three months.
How to defrost frozen soy milk
When you are ready to enjoy your soy milk, you can defrost your individual containers in the refrigerator. It should only take a few hours and will definitely be fully defrosted if left overnight.
Once the soy milk is thawed, make sure to shake the container vigorously to recombine the ingredients and help bring back some of the original texture - it won't be as homogeneous as it was, but it'll definitely improve things.
Once the soy milk is thawed, use it within two days and never re-freeze thawed soy milk.
You can of course skip defrosting all together and use the frozen cubes in smoothies or milkshakes, which is often my preferred use, or if it needs to be warmed up then you can go straight from the freezer to a saucepan or microwave.
What to do with frozen or thawed soy milk
As I mentioned before, I love to use a few ice cubes of soy milk in my smoothies, especially if I'm using fresh fruit as it helps to add some texture as well as cool the smoothie down and make it really refreshing.
As previously stated, I find it best to cook with rather than drink a glass of thawed soy milk as the texture isn't quite the same, but everyone's different so if you still enjoy a glass of thawed soy milk then drink up!
For more tips on freezing food to reduce waste, check out my other how to freeze food articles.