Can You Freeze Coconut Milk: Your Complete How-To Guide

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As a former insider at the esteemed Boat Basin Cafe in Downtown New York, I’ve had an intimate relation with a plenitude of cooking ingredients. Among them, coconut milk stole my heart with its unique flavor and versatility. However, I’ve often been plagued by one question: “Can you freeze coconut milk?”

Article HighlightsDetails
Freezing Coconut MilkFreezing is a feasible and beneficial way to preserve coconut milk.
Shelf-Life ExtensionFreezing can extend the shelf life of coconut milk by several months.
Texture ChangesCoconut milk can experience minor texture changes after freezing but they are generally minor and can be remedied by blending or stirring.
Proper Freezing TechniquesCoconut milk should be frozen in a freezer-safe container or ice cube tray, labeled with the date, and given space to expand.
Post-Thawing HandlingAlways thaw the frozen coconut milk in the refrigerator and stir or blend after thawing for complete consistency restoration.
Prevention of Coconut Milk Separation in FreezerShaking or blending the coconut milk before freezing it can help maintain a smoother consistency after thawing.
Freezing Coconut Cream and Coconut WaterThe same freezing techniques can be applied to other coconut products such as cream and water.

Unveiling the Mystery of Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is no less than a magical elixir derived from the flesh of a mature coconut. Thanks to its high-fat content, it flaunts a creamy texture that enriches every dish it touches. You can get it canned for convenience or get it homemade for purity and a complete lack of unwanted preservatives.

At the Boat Basin Cafe, coconut milk proved to be a bonafide jack-of-all-trades. It featured in everything from silky soups and fiery curries to succulent panna cottas. Its natural sweetness and smooth texture can balance flavors and add a luxe finish to any dish.

Yet, coconut milk’s brief shelf life poses a challenge. An opened can should be ideally used within days, and homemade coconut milk remains fresh only for a week in the fridge. It leads us to a crucial requirement: an effective yet straightforward solution for coconut milk preservation – freezing it.

Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?

can you freeze coconut milk
can you freeze coconut milk

Here’s your answer: Yes, freezing coconut milk is feasible! After numerous trials, I can confidently confirm that freezing doesn’t damage the flavor and extends its lifespan by several months.

The potential change in post-freezing texture does raise eyebrows, with the fat and water parts separating, causing a grainy texture upon thawing. But a slight tweak in texture, in exchange for convenient and ready-to-use coconut milk any time, seems like a worthy deal.

How to Freeze Coconut Milk Properly: A Step-by-Step Guide

The freezing process, with some best practices I’ve learnt, goes like this:

  1. Inspect your coconut milk: Ensure it’s in optimal condition. Freezing won’t come to the rescue if it’s about to turn bad.
  2. Proper container selection: Pour the milk into a freezer-safe container or bag. For individual servings, freeze the milk in ice cube trays and transfer the frozen cubes into a bigger bag for storage.
  3. Leave room for expansion: The milk will expand as it freezes – unaddressed, this could lead to freezer burn affecting flavor and quality.
  4. Label your stuff: Remember to mark your container or bag with the date of freezing. While freezing is a lifesaver, it does have its limits. According to my research, to maintain the best flavor, the maximum storage time for frozen coconut milk is up to three months.
  5. Prevention of separation: Blend the coconut milk before freezing to maintain a smooth consistency even after thawing.

Remember that properly frozen coconut milk can be a time-saving solution for those surprise culinary moments, besides being a waste reduction strategy.

Thawing and Using Frozen Coconut Milk: What to Expect

There are a few things to remember when you thaw and use your frozen coconut milk.

Always thaw it in the refrigerator; it takes a few hours but prevents bacterial growth. Post-thawing, give it a vigorous stir or blend again for a smoother consistency.

The flavor of coconut milk remains largely unchanged after freezing. Texture changes could affect some dishes, but you can still use it in soups, curries, and smoothies. A special tip: freezing coconut milk in ice cube trays can yield handy frozen cubes for enriching your smoothie.

Pro Tips and Tricks for Freezing Coconut Milk

The journey doesn’t end at learning the basics of freezing; a few additional tips can radically increase your experience.

A good shake of your canned coconut milk before pouring it into containers for freezing ensures a proper mix of cream and water, preventing separation.

If your thawed coconut milk appears grainy or separated, a quick blitz in a blender or a vigorous stir can usually restore its creamy consistency.

Lastly, bear in mind these tips could also serve for coconut cream and coconut water, making your kitchen a true zero waste space when it comes to coconut products.

How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?

frozen coconut milk
frozen coconut milk

Coconut milk can last for years if you don’t open the can. But once you do, they can go bad within a few weeks. 

There are a few different types of coconut milk. Each has a different shelf-life. 

Unrefrigerated coconut milk can last months after you open it. They are very convenient but probably not the best tasting option. Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk is a great canned option for Thai and Asian dishes. 

Refrigerated coconut milk lasts only a few days after opening the can. So try to use the whole thing or freeze it. We enjoy the Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Milk because it has no sweetener or sugar. 

If you are using homemade coconut milk, try using it within 3-4 days. Homemade milk has no preservative so they do not last as long as store-bought options. Keep on reading to know our coconut milk recipe. 

Coconut Milk WILL Separate!

Yes, it will and there’s nothing you can do to prevent that. The very consistency of coconut milk causes this separation. 

So if you are freaking out over your separated coconut milk, relax and shake the jar for a few minutes. You should be left with a very smooth and creamy texture. 

Keep in mind the texture of your coconut milk will change once you thaw it. This is due to the whole freezing process. This doesn’t mean you can not use coconut milk. 

It might have a slightly grainy texture but once you add it to dishes and gravies, it should melt with the other ingredients. Frozen coconut milk is perfect for cooking curry dishes. 

How to Tell if Coconut Milk is Bad?

It’s pretty easy to tell if your coconut milk is spoiled or not. Here are some key things we like to look for:

  • If the unopened can looks bloated and ready to burst, don’t use that coconut milk. 
  • If the coconut milk smells sour and acidic, it is spoiled. 
  • The color of the milk should be bright white or slightly yellow. Anything but that is not a good sign. 
  • If the milk looks chunky or lumpy, it is not ideal to drink.
  • If you can’t tell yet, try tasting using a little teaspoon. If it tastes strange and unusual, don’t use that milk. 

How to Make Coconut Milk at Home

how to store coconut milk
how to store coconut milk

Even though it might sound super intense, making coconut milk at home is actually quite easy. Well, maybe not that easy but it surely is better than any of the store-bought stuff you have tasted. 

All you need for it is:

  • 1 package of fresh shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
  • 4 cups of extra hot water.

Keep in mind this amount makes around 4 cups of coconut milk. If you want more, just add more water and coconut to it. 


  1. Mix the shredded coconut with the hot water. Make sure the water is at almost boiling stage. 
  2. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend it. Turn it into a smooth consistency. It’s ideal to let the mixture sit for a few minutes to make the coconut softer. This helps to blend into a milky consistency. 
  3. Grab a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and put it on top of a large bowl. Pour the mixture into it.
  4. Squeeze out the mixture carefully so not a single coconut pulp can pass through. 
  5. When it’s done, pour the coconut milk into a glass bottle or a mason jar and store it in the freezer. 

Tip: You can use the leftover coconut pulp to make coconut flour. Simply let the pulp dry thoroughly and then blend until it becomes coconut flour. Learn more about coconut milk alternatives.

Conclusion: Yes, You Can Freeze Coconut Milk!

So to answer our million-dollar question: Yes, freezing coconut milk is entirely feasible —and in fact— sensible! With these tips, you can make your coconut milk last longer, reduce waste, and keep it ready for when the cooking inspiration strikes.

Try these tips and discover the convenience of freezing coconut milk yourself. Here’s to a kitchen that doesn’t compromise on flavor or efficiency!

John Bird, former crew member at Boat Basin Cafe, coffee lover and BBQ enthusiast, sharing experiences for the love of food and cooking.

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