If you’re heading out of town and have some milk in the fridge you don’t want to go to waste or you’re looking to have a little extra on hand, these two simple ways to freeze milk will answer all of your questions about if you can do it—and exactly how!

freezing half gallon of organic valley milkHow to Freeze Milk

Every time we go away, I try to have a few pantry staples on hand for an easy meal and at least one breakfast when we get back. Which means I almost always freeze milk so I can thaw it for the next morning and avoid having to find time to go to the store when we’re settling back into life at home. It’s really easy to do!

TIP: Find the best milk for toddlers here.

How to Freeze a Half Gallon of Milk

The key with freezing milk is that, like any liquid, it will expand a bit as it freezes. So you’ll need to make sure you leave some empty room in the container for that expansion to happen. Otherwise, you risk the container breaking. To freeze a half gallon of milk, simply open it and use 1/2-1 cup of the milk. Secure the lid and lay the container flat in the freezer. Freeze for 3-6 months.

Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature. (It can take a few days to thaw in the fridge, but I usually leave it at room temperature overnight. I don’t consider it a food safety risk since part of the milk usually stays frozen until morning, but do what you think is best.

How to Freeze a Gallon of Milk

You can do the same thing with a gallon of milk, making sure to remove about a cup so that there’s room for the rest of the milk to expand when it freezes. Stand the gallon upright and freeze. (There will be the most room to do this in a deep freezer due to the size of a gallon, but do your best with the space you have!).

how-to-freeze-milk-in-ice-cube-traysHow to Freeze Small Portions of Milk

A great way to freeze smaller amounts of milk that you can use in sippy cups is to freeze milk in an ice cube tray. This is a great way to prevent a portion of a container of milk from going to waste. Fill each compartment of the tray about ¾ full to allow for expansion (or just do it the way you usually make ice cubes!). And consider using an ice cube tray with a shape that fits into whatever cup you want to put the cubes into.

TIP: You can put a few cubes into a sippy cup or container at night, place into the fridge until morning, and (depending on the temperature of your fridge), it should be ready for the kids to drink in the morning.

Can I do this with any milk?

You can—it works with plant milks too. The only thing I’ve noticed is that some plant milks can separate a little when they thaw, so be sure to shake them up well or plan to use them in a smoothie where they’ll be blended with other ingredients.

Does this work with milk that’s on sale?

This is a great way to take advantage of milk that’s on sale and store it for use later on. Just make sure you have enough freezer space for the amount that you buy!

Can I do this with fresh milk?

We have access to one local brand of milk at our store that’s low heat pasteurized, so the cream separates at the top. If you want to freeze that kind of milk, you’ll want to try to mix in the cream first.

toddler snack of milk and larabarCan I do this with single serve shelf stable milk?

You can! The packages will expand, but once the milk is thawed, they should return to their original shape…mostly at least! Shake the milk before serving.

Does freezing milk change the taste?

No, not usually in my experience. As I mentioned it may make plant-based milks separate a little though.

Best Tips for Freezing Milk

  • When freezing a half gallon or gallon if milk, be sure to remove a little of the milk to allow room for the liquid to expand in the container as it freezes.
  • Expect the container to bulge out a little as it freezes. It may or may not return to the original shape.
  • You can do this with plant milks, though know that they may separate a little when thawed. Shake well and/or use in smoothies or other recipes (like baked goods) where they’ll be mixed with other ingredients.
  • Before you go on vacation, plan to freeze a new container of milk or a partial one that’s lingering in the fridge. This will avoid waste and will help you be able to have milk on hand without going to the store first thing.
  • Consider using an ice cube tray with cubes in a shape that will fit into the sippy cup or regular cup where you plan to put them.
  • Place milk ice cubes into a sippy cup and store in the fridge overnight to thaw. It will thaw fully or partly, depending on the temperature of your fridge.
  • Thaw half gallons or gallons of milk in the fridge (which will take a few days) or overnight at room temperature. Place it in the sink to avoid condensation on your counter.
  • Thaw ice cubes in a cup or container overnight in the fridge.
  • Thaw single serving milks in the fridge overnight. You can also pack them in a lunchbox frozen to work as an ice pack and a drink at lunch on hot days.
  • Once thawed, use milk within 5 days.
  • Find my best info on Toddlers and Milk here.

Questions or concerns about freezing milk? Comment below to ask!

how-to-freeze-milk-with-organic-valley-halg-gallon

2 Easy Ways to Freeze Milk for Kids

Try this method as a way to have fresh milk on hand when you return from a trip, to stock up should you get stuck at home with sickness, or to make the most of milk that you find on sale.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 149kcal
Servings 1 -8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (or a half-gallon or gallon)

Instructions

  • To freeze a half gallon of milk, simply open it and use 1/2-1 cup of the milk. Secure the lid and lay the container flat in the freezer.
  • To freeze a gallon of milk, open it and use 1 cup of the milk. Secure the lid and place upright into the freezer.
  • To freeze single serving containers of milk, place into the freezer.
  • To freeze a small portion of milk, fill an ice cube tray with milk as you would water if you were making regular ice. Place into the freezer.
  • Freeze for 3-6 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature. (It can take a few days to thaw in the fridge, but I usually leave it at room temperature overnight. I don't consider it a food safety risk since part of the milk usually stays frozen until morning, but do what you think is best.) Transfer milk ice cubes to a freezer storage bag once frozen, remove as much air as possible, and seal. Try to use milk ice cubes within 2-3 months.
  • Once thawed, use milk within 5 days.

Notes

  • When freezing a half gallon or gallon if milk, be sure to remove a little of the milk to allow room for the liquid to expand in the container as it freezes.
  • Expect the container to bulge out a little as it freezes. It may or may not return to the original shape.
  • You can do this with plant milks, though know that they may separate a little when thawed. Shake well and/or use in smoothies or other recipes (like baked goods) where they'll be mixed with other ingredients.
  • Before you go on vacation, plan to freeze a new container of milk or a partial one that's lingering in the fridge. This will avoid waste and will help you be able to have milk on hand without going to the store first thing.
  • Consider using an ice cube tray with cubes in a shape that will fit into the sippy cup or regular cup where you plan to put them.
  • Place milk ice cubes into a sippy cup and store in the fridge overnight to thaw. It will thaw fully or partly, depending on the temperature of your fridge.
  • Thaw half gallons or gallons of milk in the fridge (which will take a few days) or overnight at room temperature. Place it in the sink to avoid condensation on your counter.
  • Thaw ice cubes in a cup or container overnight in the fridge.
  • Thaw single serving milks in the fridge overnight. You can also pack them in a lunchbox frozen to work as an ice pack and a drink at lunch on hot days.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 105mg, Potassium: 322mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Calcium: 276mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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