All milk is not the same, even if it is raw, organic and grass-fed and when you can get the best, you want to hang on to every last drop. Although, living in France, we can get hold of raw milk easily, (including the local vending machine pictured above) I've always toyed with the idea of freezing both milk and cream but this Summer, the long spell of hot weather convinced me I needed to find out how to go about it.
We do not have a icebox or fridge, just a small RV or camping type cool box, so freezing is a great stand-by. Similarly for people, who may have to travel quite a way to get their raw milk, freezing is the ideal option, with little loss of nutrient value and these easy tips to avoid 'chunky' defrosted milk.
Step 1: SOLUTIONS
If you are having real trouble in getting raw organic milk then your option might be, like that of my sister in Scotland, to get yourself a cow or mini-herd. Daisy her Shetland is featured above, along with a rare-breed Normandie cow with calves, belonging to the organic dairy farm where we get our milk. You could also look into cow shares, which are becoming ever more popular.
However, if you can buy your milk in bulk and do not want to convert it to butter, cheese or ice cream, for example, then you can freeze it. If you look up freezing milk you will see that invariably it is mentioned that milk has to be homogenised to freeze. This is actually not true. All that happens is that the milk comes out 'chunky' when defrosted and for some people that is a problem. Actually it is a really simple process to prevent that, all you need to do is to disperse the cream throughout the milk. You can do this by means of a blender or whisk. Some people like to do this before freezing some after. I have found that freezing after blending is better - but you should experiment and see what suits you best.
I am buying my raw cream in France from my local rare-breed Normandy cow herd, these are the race from which the Guernsey was developed so you can imagine the cream is incredibly thick and delicious! When I freeze and defrost it you would probably find it hard (see the picture on the front page) to tell it had even been frozen. Again whisking or whipping up a thinner cream would avoid any potential 'chunky-ness'. Again you will need to experiment.
Above all remember this milk is a truly natural product, the quality alters with the seasons and thus the cows' available foodstuffs. Grass alters in nutritional value. In the Spring months it is at its optimum. Similarly this will change the way it defrosts so on certain occasions you may notice slight differences but that is all part of the fun.
To see more of Daisy and her chum Marilyn, you can view my film above
An expanded version of this article can be found here: it includes information on A2 and A1 milk, which is beyond the remit of freezing milk but is useful to read if you are unaware of the implications.
All the very best and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post either here, in the article or on the film,
Sue aka Pavlovafowl