Raw Jersey cow milk is a treat any time. You can drink a big glass of it to wash down a meal, or turn it into butter, ice cream, or yogurt.
If you’re lucky enough to have Jersey milk cows on your homestead like we do, gaining access to raw milk is more convenient. Depending on the number of dairy cattle you have, you may produce more raw milk than you can consume.
When that happens, you have options. You can offer raw milk to others in your community, or you can freeze raw Jersey cow milk for later use.
If you decide to freeze it, this blog includes information to help you. In it we answer the following questions:
Yes, you can freeze raw Jersey cow milk just like any other milk. It doesn’t matter if it came from your cows or someone else’s dairy cow. It’s safe to freeze if you follow the proper steps for preparing it before placing it in the freezer. We’ll discuss how to do that the right way later in this blog.
Before you get started, it’s important to remember that raw Jersey cow milk has a different composition than the milk you buy from your local grocery store. If you’ve never frozen raw milk before, it can be confusing to see its unique texture once thawed out. It doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.
Freezing raw Jersey cow milk is the best way to preserve it for later use. Fresh raw milk only keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. If you’ve gone to the trouble of milking the cows on your homestead, you don’t want to waste the milk they produce.
On our homestead, we usually manage to use all the fresh raw milk our Jerseys produce. We keep some for drinking and then make tasty cheeses, butter, and homemade ice creams from the rest.
Keep out what you know you’ll consume and consider freezing the rest of it.
Besides preserving the extra milk that you can’t consume right away, there are other reasons to freeze some of your supply.
Freezing raw Jersey cow milk is an effective way to extend its shelf life so you’re not wasting your supply. However, there are some things you must keep in mind when freezing the milk to make sure it’s safe for drinking later.
Never pasteurize your raw milk before freezing it. Doing so destroys the health benefits of drinking raw milk. Instead, follow these steps to safely freeze your extra raw milk.
When you’re ready to enjoy some of that raw Jersey cow milk you froze, you must follow guidelines for thawing it out safely. Otherwise, you can end up with bacteria growth that makes you – and anyone else who consumes it – sick.
Homesteaders have different ways of thawing their raw milk. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. However, you should never take frozen milk and try to thaw it out at room temperature. That’s the quickest way to encourage bacteria growth.
The best way to thaw it out is to put it in the refrigerator. It can take several hours to completely thaw depending on the amount of milk in the container.
If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait, you can place the freezer container in a bowl of cold water. Water transfers heat faster than air, which is why this method works well. Change the cold water every 30 minutes to keep it cold (this prevents bacteria growth).
Freezing your raw Jersey cow milk is a smart way to extend its shelf life and ensure you always have a supply on hand. Remember to follow our steps above to safely freeze and thaw your raw milk. If you have a preferred method for freezing or thawing, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section!
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