Once I like a drink or anything at all (to be honest), I would go to the ends of the earth to get it and tiger nut milk has become my recent obsession.
I’ve even learnt to make it myself at home and that has been the ultimate game changer. Now, I make my tiger nut milk in large quantities and make new batches when I exhaust my stash.
Question on my mind now is how do I preserve it? In this article, I will be spilling the tea on how to freeze tiger nut milk, tips and tricks to it, difficulties you may encounter and other ways available.
Tiger nut milk can be stored in the freezer for as long as a month when packaged properly. In a refrigerator, however, tiger nut milk can last for not more than four days.
This is because of the spoilage bacteria present in it which can thrive at refrigeration temperatures and cause the product to develop signs of spoilage.
Although it seems easy and safe to throw your tiger nut milk bottles into the freezer to store for up to a month, there is a specific way to be doing it to avoid running into problems during storage. Find out how below:
How to freeze Tiger nut milk: It freezes over
This isn’t rocket science, I promise. It is quite easy I must tell you. Our dear non-nutty, root vegetable product, tiger nut milk, likes its space.
Yes! You read that right! It does! So it doesn’t like enclosed spaces or rather, choked up spaces. So though, it enjoys the freezing compartment of your refrigerator, it would rather you paid attention to this pet peeve or it would, in rage, spill over.
Here’s the ring to it, to preserve tiger nut milk in the freezer compartment, pour it into a container. This could be a jar or bottle or whatever container you have but do not let it get to the brim of your choice container.
Why? So there’s room for the milk to expand because it will expand, trust me. If as opposed to doing this, you poured it into the container and allowed it get to the brimthen you stand the chance of losing that container or at least getting it to stretch a bit out of shape.
What then is the best container to use?
Since we understand that freezing is a great and possible option for tiger nut milk and that the milk would expand eventually when stored under freezing conditions, we will need a container that could accommodate for these changes.
The right packaging has an overall effect on the quality of stored tiger nut milk. In the case of frozen tiger nut milk, it is advisable to use clean glass bottles or other glass wares to store the milk.
Unarguably, glass containers; bottles, jar, kitchen wares are better options for preserving tiger nut milk than regular plastics especially tempered glass or freezer-safe glass.
This is because they preserve the cold temperatures of the milk better, are environmentally friendly, are less likely to react chemically(glass is made of inert materials and this composition allows it to be a better preservation container) with the tiger nut milk the way plastics would and they look better quite honestly.
If you do not have access to glass bottles or jars, you could still go for BPA-free plastics (Bisphenol A. it is a chemical used in making plastics). Those ones will notreact with the tiger nut milk and hence, will not affect your health.
Whether you use glass or BPA-free plastics, remember to allow space for the tiger nut milk to expand.
How to thaw (unfreeze) tiger nut milk
Frozen tiger nut milk can be taken out of the freezer and left on the kitchen counter to thaw. It can also be put inside the refrigerator since the temperature in the refrigerator is higher than that of the freezer.
Depending on how quickly you want this to happen, you can place your tiger nut milk in a bowl of warm water to quicken the thawing process.
You can also hold the container of tiger nut milk under warm running water. Resist the urge to microwave it or throw it into very hot water as this would affect some of the properties of the tiger nut milk and we do not want that.
Since, tiger nut milk is actually a starchy product, heat would lead to jellification (effect of heat on starch would turn it to jelly). This is hot water cannot be used in the thawing process.
How to store tiger nut milk in the refrigerator
Tiger nut milk can be stored in the refrigerator but it does not last as long as if it was stored in a freezer.
Tiger nut milk can be stored using glass containers and for up to four days in the fridge. It is important to remember that your refrigerator door compartment will not be the best for it, as the continued opening and closing of the refrigerator door affects the temperature at the door and it tends to be warmer there.
It is best practice to store tiger nut milk in your refrigerator shelves and away from foods with strong smells also present in those shelves.
How to thaw tiger nut milk you brought out from the refrigerator (not freezer)
Tiger nut milk stored in the refrigerator is not as ice-cold like the one you stored in the freezer. In, fact, it would still be very much “fluidy”.
Thawing tiger nut milk from fridge can be done with the same ways I spoke about previously. You may just need to drop it on your kitchen counter or under running warm water, either ways it is entirely up to you.
How to know when your tiger nut milk has gone bad
Okay, at this point you should applaud yourself for coming this far. Your knowledge of tiger nut preservation has greatly increased. Now we know how to preserve it, how do we know when things are, uhmm, slightly off?
You can know when your tiger nut milk has gone bad if the color and smell begins to change.
The normal color of tiger nut milk is white to creamy off-white color, if this color changes to brown or you notice dark spots on the surface it is going bad. If the smell it begins to give off is sour then you know it is going bad.
This sour smell is because of the spoilage bacteria already existing in the milk.
These spoilage bacteria produces lactic acid in the tiger nut milk and the resulting smell is a very noticeable sour odor that you can perceive if the tiger nut milk is going bad.
Cold temperatures of the freezer and refrigerator help to slow down the activity of these bacteria, so when temperatures are not within the right range to slow down the activity of these bacteria, over time, the tiger nut milk begins to spoil.
Can you freeze tiger nuts?
Freeze the milk, freeze the nuts
In the production of tiger nut milk in any quantity, large or small, preserving the nuts till the actual production process can be helpful.
Tiger nuts are root vegetables with a short-life span characteristic for most vegetables. However, with proper preservation the shelf-life could be prolonged and freezing is a great option to do that.
Tiger nuts are usually sold in sealed or airtight containers. This is because exposing them to air will cause them to oxidize and this will make them go bad fast. In the freezer, take your already sealed tiger nuts how it comes and store it.
If you have already exposed it to air, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer. Then when required, the nuts can be allowed to thaw and used in production of the milk.
Can you thaw and refreeze tiger nut milk?
Refreezing thawed tiger nut milk is safe and doable. However, there are certain rules to follow just like for other foods.
You can refreeze thawed tiger nut milk if it previously thawed in the refrigerator whether or not there are still ice-crystals present in it. Research shows that it is best to thaw food, generally, at the temperature you want to store them at.
Also, it is advisable to refreeze just once as the entire concept of refreezing, affects the quality of the milk.
Tiger nut milk is one of those food discoveries that have become a regular in many households and diners.
It has a high fiber, creamy, rich and lower tone nutty milky flavor and can be used as a diary supplement for not only lactose intolerant individuals and vegan lovers but forindividuals looking to switch up their diet with plant-based staples.
That it can be preserved by freezing translates to more regular supply and less trips to the grocery shop. All you have to do is follow the tips in this article and you are good to go! Would you be trying this?