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Can You Freeze Okara?

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By Ross Young

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Okara is the pulp you get from making your own soy milk and many people throw it away.

This is a shame because it can be turned into some delicious dips such as soy-based hummus. Or, you can simply add it to your food to add flavour and some extra nutrition.

If you have made quite a bit of soy milk then you might well be here wondering, can you freeze okara?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze okara for around 6 months. You need to portion it into bags, seal them up and then freeze. There is a chance that the texture of your okara will change when you come to defrosting it so that’s worth bearing in mind.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How To Freeze Okara

Unfortunately, this food doesn’t have a long shelf life, especially if you have made it fresh. It won’t last more than two to three days in the fridge. Luckily, this is a food that is about as simple as possible to freeze.

Let’s take a look at how:

  1. Portion into Bag
    Grab yourself some freezer bags. If you prefer you can use containers with a lid but these need to be freezer safe and airtight. Divide the okara into portions and pop a portion of okara into each freezer bag or container. Don’t overfill the bags in case the okara expands.
  2. Remove Air and Seal
    Squeeze out any excess air from the freezer bags and seal tightly. If you have chosen containers pop the lid on and make sure it is sealed tight.
  3. Freeze
    Label the okara with the name of the product and the date so you use it in time and then pop it into the freezer to freeze.

3 Tips for Freezing Okara

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing okara to have the best results:

  • Label It Clearly – Once frozen, telling different food items apart can be a challenge so make sure you write a clear label.
  • Keep It Airtight – When storing okara, you need to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Use a straw to suck as much air out of the bag as possible. 
  • Defrost Slowly – Don’t try to speed up the defrosting process as this can play havoc with the texture. Instead, plan ahead and defrost it slowly overnight in the fridge. 

How Long Can You Freeze Okara?

With such a short shelf life you might think that okara wouldn’t last too long in the freezer but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As long as the okara is sealed tightly and protected from the air then it should last safely for up to six months. After this, the okara is likely to degrade in texture, taste and quality so make sure you use it all up in time.

You Can Freeze Okara for Around 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Okara?

The best way to defrost okra is in the fridge. This ensures that any crystals that have formed in the okara have the best opportunity to thaw out well. If you try and speed up this process then you could end up with okara that ends up with an odd texture.

To avoid the texture changing, take the okara out of the freezer and pop it into a bowl. Put this into the fridge for several hours to defrost.

If you can, take the okara out of the freezer the night before you plan to use it. This gives it plenty of time to defrost and you should have your okara ready for when you need.

Can You Refreeze Okara?

There are likely to be some changes to the texture of okara once it has been frozen and this is one of the reasons we would not suggest that you refreeze it once you have thawed out a portion.

The more times you freeze, the more chances there are for something to go wrong and the more opportunities there are for the changes in the food.

Does Okara Freeze Well?

Whether or not okara freezes well is a difficult question to answer because not many people even use this pulpy byproduct of making soy milk.

However, it is unlikely that your okara will be exactly the same after being frozen as it would have been fresh.

This is because there will still be moisture in the pulp and this moisture tends to crystalise and separate out from proteins and fats which can lead you to find the texture a little grainy.

This may not bother you and you can always give the pulp a stir or even pop it into the blender to mix it back up again.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing okara or okara in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Tofu?

Okara is a byproduct of soy and tofu production which is why we’ve included tofu here. You certainly can freeze tofu. All you need to do is place the tofu into an airtight container and freeze.

There is a chance the texture will change as with most frozen foods.

Can You Freeze Soy Milk?

You can freeze soy milk but, be warned, the texture will change for the worse. You’ll find the liquids and fats split leaving you with grainy soy milk. This is fine if you place on using it in dishes or through a smoothie but you certainly won’t want to drink it on its own.

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