Can You Freeze Soy Milk?
Soy milk is a beverage that has become popular in many countries. It is obtained by soaking soybeans.
It is richer in iron, unsaturated fatty acids, and niacin content than cow’s milk, but lower in carbohydrate and calcium content, although its protein content is comparable.
It is also suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance as it does not contain lactose.
Soy milk is a useful non-dairy milk alternative that can be used in many ways.
However, as with all types of plant-based milk, if it is not consumed within a few days after opening, it will spoil.
This situation brings to mind questions such as “Can the shelf life of soy milk be extended?”, “Can we store soy milk by freezing?”
Yes, you can freeze soy milk and thus extend its shelf life, but there are some points you need to know and pay attention to. Take a look at our article to learn how to freeze it properly and get more information.
Can Soy Milk Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze soy milk, although it is not a recommended method compared to fresh consumption. It should be known that there will be some changes in the structure of milk due to freezing.
Soy milk is normally smooth and creamy in texture. When soy milk is frozen and thawed, the components that make up the creamy and smooth structure separate from each other and cause changes in the texture of the milk.
Also, the appearance of the milk may change.
Separation of these components can create a difference in the normal flavor of the milk as well as the texture change. In addition, there may be losses in protein and vitamins.
In addition, if the correct storage conditions are not provided, other food flavors can permeate the soy milk and cause taste changes.
How to Freeze Soy Milk?
Freezing soy milk is not much different from freezing any type of milk.
Before freezing soy milk, the expiry date should be checked first. It should be ensured that the expiration date has not passed or the milk should not have been left open for more than a few days.
You can also check for changes in the texture, odor, and taste of the milk.
Then follow the steps below for a correct freezing process.
Step 1: Decide The Container
You can freeze it in ice cubes. Opting for a silicone ice cube tray can make it easier to remove ice cubes.
If you want to use a container, a glass or cardboard container may not be a good option. When soy milk freezes, it will expand, causing these containers to break up.
If you are not sure about the use of plastic containers, you can choose frost-resistant glass containers. This way will be the healthiest way to freeze.
You can also freeze it in the freezer bag. Make sure the bag is not punctured.
Whichever container you choose, it is important that it is sealed in such a way that it does not remain open and airtight. Other food odors in the freezer will affect the taste of soy milk.
Leave some room for expansion when filling the soy milk into containers. If you fill it completely, the soy milk that expands by freezing will overflow by breaking the container it is in and the freezing process cannot take place properly.
That’s why it’s important to leave enough room to allow the soy milk to expand, no matter how durable the container you choose may seem.
It is also useful to note that the containers do not leak.
Step 2: Shake or Mix Vigorously
The separation of components in soy milk during freezing disrupts the smooth and creamy texture of soy milk, similar to freezing almond milk.
Agitation or mixing will minimize, if not completely prevent, the separation of ingredients during freezing.
Step 3: Portion Correctly
Freeze soy milk by separating it into quantities you want to use after thawing.
Freezing separately in certain quantities is more beneficial in terms of thawing as much as you need.
Note that if there is any unused amount after thawing it all, you cannot refreeze it.
Step 4: Label the Date
Labeling will remind you how long you can consume soy milk.
Soy milk can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Take care to consume it before this time.
Can Homemade Soy Milk Be Frozen?
The answer is yes to this question as well. Homemade soy milk can be frozen using the same steps as store-bought soy milk.
Likewise, the texture and taste of homemade soy milk will differ from fresh soy milk.
Unlike soy milk in the market, homemade soy milk can spoil more quickly because it does not contain any preservatives.
Since homemade soy milk will be clear, it should be stored in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, and should be consumed within a maximum of five days.
If you want to use your soy milk in the following days, you can store it by freezing it with the right steps without waiting too long.
How to Thaw Frozen Soy Milk?
Thawing soy milk at room temperature as it is taken out of the freezer causes faster bacterial growth.
The best method is to use the refrigerator first for thawing. Here, the thawing process is done by keeping it waiting for two to three hours or the night before.
It can also be dissolved under running water or by placing it in a bowl of water. The water in the container should be changed as it warms up.
Once thawed, soy milk will not be as it was before it was frozen, but you can mix it well or dilute it a little to improve its texture.
Frozen and thawed soy milk spoils more quickly than fresh soy milk. By paying attention to this information, it will be useful to consume soy milk as soon as possible after thawing.
When Does Soy Milk Deteriorate?
If soy milk is not stored properly, the spoilage procedure can be accelerated. It should not be exposed to excessive heat, light, and oxygen.
After opening the package, it must be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within five days at the most. Those that will be consumed over a longer period of time should be frozen immediately.
Unopened soy milk does not have to be stored in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 8-12 months in a cool and non-humid place, such as a cellar.
Frozen soy milk can be stored in the freezer for 3 months. It should be used as soon as possible after thawing, unused milk should not be frozen again. It should be refrigerated and consumed within two to three days.
Nutritional Content of Soy Milk
Soy milk is rich in plant-based protein and fat. It also contains carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Soy protein contains all the amino acids the body needs in amounts necessary for the growth, maintenance, and repair of living tissues.
Soy milk is also rich in isoflavones, which are antioxidants that protect our cells and DNA from oxidation.
It also has effects such as lowering cholesterol, relieving menopausal symptoms, and reducing the risks of some types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer.
Cow’s milk does not contain the isoflavones that provide these health benefits.
Although it already contains riboflavin, it can also be added to soy milk for strengthening its nutritional content.
Also, some brands of soy milk have added sugar content, which is a downside to soy milk. It is important to read the label to see if it has added sugar.
How Does the Freezing Process Affect the Nutritional Content of Soy Milk?
When soy milk is not consumed after opening, we would like to freeze it so that it can be stored for a longer period of time.
However, the freezing process will cause changes in some nutrients of soy milk.
During the freezing process of soy milk, the physical environment of the proteins changes.
The structure of proteins under the stress of cooling and freezing changes and losses occur in their biological activities.
It has been proven that proteins are denatured by the freezing process.
According to studies, the faster the freezing process occurs, the less denaturation. However, regardless of the speed, the protein quality decreases with the freezing of soy milk.
The lipid profile in soy milk also decreases with freezing, but this decrease is not significant.
The amount of riboflavin, known as vitamin B2, also decreases during the freezing process.
While this reduction is not significant for a two-week freeze, the benefit of riboflavin relative to fresh soy milk will decrease as time goes on.
Isoflavones, which are abundant in soy milk and have an important place in reducing the risk of cancer due to preventing oxidation, are not significantly affected by the freezing process.
Storing soy milk at -18°C for a year does not affect the isoflavone content.
Currently, there is no loss of isoflavones as we can store soy milk in the freezer for a maximum of three months.
Where Can You Use Frozen Soy Milk?
After freezing and thawing, the texture and taste of soy milk will be different, but of course, you can consume it directly as a drink if you are not disturbed.
Adding it to coffee can affect the smoothness of the drink, but it can be easily used in pastries, soups, sauces, smoothies, and desserts.
Instead of throwing regular ice cubes into some of your drinks, you can add frozen soy milk cubes to create an aesthetic appearance.
You might also want to find out if you can freeze smoothies with soy milk.
Soy milk is a good plant-based milk alternative that contains many beneficial ingredients for our bodies.
Soy milk that cannot be consumed after opening can be frozen and stored for three months.
However, this action is not recommended as it will cause changes in the texture and taste of soy milk. Consuming soy milk as fresh as possible is the best option.
Care should be taken to carry out the freezing and thawing processes with appropriate steps. Thawed soy milk should be consumed within two to three days and should not be re-frozen.
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