Can you freeze Half and Half? Yes! Find out how to do it properly and how to defrost it after freezing here.
Half and Half is more than just dairy. And therefore it has different needs and freezing conditions. So if you find yourself with a full carton with the use-by date fast approaching, what are your options? You don’t want to waste it, so read on to learn how to freeze and store Half and Half for future use!
So what exactly is Half-and-Half?
Half-and-half is a mixture of whole milk and light cream. It is one of the most commonly used dairy products in American households and is easily available at most stores. The additives, preservatives, sweeteners, and thickening agents can vary from brand to brand. So if you have any allergies, be sure to read the label very carefully!
Usually, half-and-half features 3.5% milk fat and light cream, usually with 18-20% of milk fat. When it comes to half-and-half, the percentage of milk fat included can range from 10-12%, depending on the brand.
There are also non-fat or fat-free half and half options available too. These products contain less fat but still deliver a thick and creamy taste.
Half and half has many uses. You can add some to your daily coffee or whip up a quick dessert recipe with it. The options are endless! So it is a very useful ingredient to have on hand in the kitchen.
Can You Freeze Half-and-Half?
Yes, you can freeze half and half! It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months if frozen correctly.
But, like most cream-based food items, it can be tricky to freeze. So follow our detailed guide below to ensure great results.
Because half and half has a thinner consistency, it is prone to breaking or splitting once it is defrosted. This will give the thawed half and half a curdled appearance. So although it may no longer look creamy and delicious, you can still use it.
Thawed half and half is safe to eat, but it’s better used in cooking and baking rather than mixing with coffee or other drinks. But there are a few tips you can follow to help your half and half not split while defrosting which we will explore below.
How To Freeze Half and Half
Freezing an unopened carton of half and half
This is the best way to freeze half and half. Simply place the carton in the freezer unopened and in its original packaging. Because it is unopened, the product is not exposed to oxygen and therefore once it is thawed, the half and half won’t split.
Freezing leftover half and half
If you are freezing portions of leftover half and half, we recommend transferring the product into a clean plastic container with an airtight lid or a freezer-safe zip-lock bag.
Pour the liquid into the container or bag, and make sure to leave an inch of space to allow the half and half to expand in the freezer. Before placing the half-and-half in the freezer, it is a good idea to label it. Write down the date of freezing, what it is, as well as the amount of the portion for future ease and organization.
Freezing Small Servings of Half and Half for Coffee
It can be easy and helpful to freeze half and half in small portions for later use in coffees and drinks. To do so, gently pour the liquid half and half into an ice tray to fill it.
Place the ice trays in the freezer and once frozen you can pop out however many you need. Or, once the cubes have completely frozen, remove them from the ice tray and transfer them to a Ziplock freezer bag for storing them easily. One ice cube is equal to two tablespoons of half and half.
How long does it take to freeze half-and-half?
It takes around 2 hours for half and half to freeze completely.
How to thaw the frozen Half-and-Half
Thawed half and half can have a grainy texture. This isn't always ideal for coffee and other drinks. But it is perfect for cooking and baking. In fact, you won't even notice the difference between fresh or frozen half-and-half!
The best way to thaw frozen half-and-half is to place it in the fridge and let it defrost for a few hours.
Once thawed, it is expected for dairy to split because of the clumping the butterfat. To fix this, whisk the half-and-half until all ingredients are blended nicely. After whisking, it is ready to use in your coffee or cooking.
Remember that once thawed, you should use your half-and-half within the next 3 to 4 days. And it is not recommended to refreeze half-and-half after it has defrosted.
How can you tell if half-and-half has gone bad?
The half-and-half will have a few signs that indicate that it has gone bad. These signs include a distasteful sour smell, curdling or separating, and changes in color. One or more of these signs may indicate that your half-and-half has spoiled.
How to quickly deforst half and half
If you’re in a time crunch and only have frozen half and half, you can take it out of the freezer and place it into cold water. This will speed up the thawing process so you will be able to use it quicker than deforsting it in the fridge.
Also keep in mind that if you’re using half and half for a purpose that doesn’t require thawing, like an iced coffee, then you can use it straight from the freezer!
Nutritional information for half-and-half
As with most processed things, the nutritional information will vary from brand to brand. The information below is therefore a rough guideline and the nutritional information is based on one serving, which is roughly two tablespoons or 30ml of half and half:
- 40 calories
- 3g of fat (2g of which is saturated fat)
- 1g of carbohydrate
- 1g of protein
- 15mg of cholesterol
- 30mg of sodium
- 45mg of potassium
- 2% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin A
- 4% of your RDI of Vitamin C
I hope you enjoyed learning about freezing Half and Half. And if you want to see more of my delicious food adventures, follow me on Instagram or Facebook!
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