Can Raw Milk Be Frozen without Losing Nutrient Content or Flavor?

Can Raw Milk Be Frozen without Losing Nutrient Content or Flavor? #rawmilk

It's illegal to sell raw cow's milk at retail locations here in Kansas, so my sisters and I pick it up from a local grassfed farm every week.  Sometimes we get a little extra and freeze it in case we can't make it back right away, but are we sacrificing those dense nutrients and flavor in the process?

Weston A. Price says we're in good shape:

It is fine to freeze raw milk and butter. There is no harm to the enzymes in milk nor to the fat-soluble vitamins in butter. Dr. Price actually tested frozen butter after a year and found no degradation.

A couple of studies from the 1980's showed a decrease in Vitamin C levels, but follow up studies haven't been done.  For me, it's still worth having access to raw milk when I can't make it to the farm.

Top 5 Tips for Freezing Raw Milk

  • In my experience, it's better to freeze raw milk while it's very fresh.  Also be careful to thaw it in a pot of cold water to make sure it stays really cool while thawing.  You can accomplish the same thing in the fridge, but it can take a couple of days and we can never wait that long.
  • Let it thaw out completely before shaking it.  The concept here is that if it's still a little frozen, the cream may not mix in as well, leaving you with bits of cream floating around.  Not harmful, but not as nice to drink. We haven't noticed any difference in taste at all, but sometimes there is a difference in consistency (or texture).
  • If freezing in glass, be sure to leave about 1″ at the top for expansion (I use 1/2 gallon Ball jars).
  • The frozen milk should last in refrigerator freezers for about a month.  A deep freeze may keep it fresh for longer, but this will vary according to the temperature of your freezer and whether it's frost-free or not (this means it will go through cycles of warming slightly to prevent frost build-up).
  • Don't worry if you end up not liking the flavor or consistency of the thawed milk, it's still great for making baked goods.  You could also use it in one of the Healthy Home Economist's 101 Ways to Use Soured Raw Milk (still great tips even though it's not really soured).

Additional Info on Raw Milk

Not so sure about the safety of drinking raw milk? That's okay.  I'll still love you even if we never agree on this personal choice.  But I do think you should take a look at the latest studies published in the Journal of Food Protection in June 2013 confirming raw milk as a low-risk food (P.S. we started drinking raw milk over 8 years ago with no ill effects).

The reviewer, Nadine Ijaz, MSc, demonstrated how inappropriate evidence has long been mistakenly used to affirm the “myth” that raw milk is a high-risk food, as it was in the 1930s. Today, green leafy vegetables are the most frequent cause of food-borne illness in the United States. British Columbia CDC's Medical Director of Environmental Health Services, Dr. Tom Kosatsky, who is also Scientific Director of Canada's National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health,welcomed Ms. Ijaz's invited presentation as “up-to-date” and “a very good example of knowledge synthesis and risk communication.”

Click here to learn more about the health benefits of drinking raw milk as opposed to pasteurized/homogenized/non-grassfed milk.

You can find raw milk in your area at realmilk.com.

Here's a little great video about how pasteurized milk came to be the most common and only legal form of milk in most states:

16 comments
  1. Very good information here! It isn’t legal in NY to sell raw milk for human consumption so I drive to a very nice farm in Pennsylvania that is licensed to sell and have been drinking raw milk for 3 years now and not sick one single time. It is a distance to travel so I buy several gallons and freeze it in the plastic containers it comes in. It is fresh that very day I get it and I put 2 in the fridge and the rest in my deep freeze. It takes a day to thaw and I have learned to get one out when the one I am using is about half gone or I have to wait and I hate that! Now that I know what milk is supposed to taste like I am spoiled. I made the mistake of shaking it before it was totally thawed so now I know why the little pieces of cream. I have one thawing now so I will resist the temptation to shake it! My question for you is about freezing it in its original containers. I have heard from one person that the plastic isn’t safe? I haven’t had any ill effects but I thought I’d ask if it affects the quality of the milk. Thanks for the information here. People just don’t know and some with horror stories telling about worms etc on the cows udders. I guess he thinks people don’t have the sense to wash them first!

      1. Thank you for the link! I love my raw milk and it has been a godsend for me. I had a real problem with gastric reflux and was on two different meds for that and after drinking my homemade kefir from raw milk for about 6 months I was able to stop one of the meds and shortly after that discontinue the Pepcid. I do have occasional heartburn after a bowl of hot chili, (who doesn’t? lol) but otherwise have no more problem with it. I think a lot of us have an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria in our intestines and it does seem to be connected to several issues and mine was one of them. I never thought of using glass jars either. Thanks again!

    1. Sandy, where in NY do you live? We just moved to OK from Upstate NY and we got our milk from Jerry Dell Farms for a while until the Govmt. shut that down… we lived near Binghamton. Th

      1. Elle, I lived in Tulsa Oklahoma for about 8 years and loved it there but came home to NY due to family needs. The picture is me at Keystone Lake. One of my favorite places to go! It is not legal in NY other than purchasing it for animals but I purchase mine from God’s Country Creamery in Pennsylvania. Its an hour drive one way from me so I get several at a time and freeze them. I find with my usage when I get down to half a gallon, to get one out to thaw and I don’t run out that way. There is nothing worse than looking at a half frozen gallon of milk with a box of dry cereal in hand! lol I try really hard not to run out. Where in Ok do you live now?

  2. Have you had any issues with glass breakage in the half gallon jars? The ball site says they aren’t freezer safe, I assume that is because of the slight shoulder.

    1. No I sure haven’t Courtney. I do make a point to keep a specific set of jars for use in the freezer though so I know which is which and don’t end up putting hot liquids into those jars. I think it helps keep the stress on the jars down and makes them last longer (in my experience, anyway!). ~Alicia

  3. Swan’s Dairy in Claremore, OKlahoma is a favorite dairy. It is well run and I have been buying milk there for years. I freeze mine and thaw a gallon at a time in fridge.

  4. Just moved to Ky (Lexington) from Texas where we could buy the milk easily from farms. I understand you can buy a share of a cow/goat and get milk that way, but can’t even locate that. Anyone have any info about this area? Thx 🙂

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