Category: Dairy

Dairy

Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?

Can you freeze cottage cheese? Cottage cheese is a popular dairy treat. Some people use it also in recipes.

So, you’ve found out that your local grocery store has cottage cheese on sale really cheap and you’d like to stock up on this product.

Or you’ve got a half full cottage cheese container and no idea how you can use the rest of the product within the next couple of days.

But you don’t know whether one can freeze it.

Freezing seems to be the only solution to the mentioned issues. The truth is you can freeze cottage cheese, but it makes sense only in certain cases. Most times freezing this dairy treat isn’t the best idea.

How Freezing Affects Cottage Cheese

Like most dairy products, freezing and thawing changes the consistency of cottage cheese. While freezing doesn’t change its nutritional value, it changes its texture, sometimes significantly. Besides texture, cottage cheese might also lose some of its taste. That’s a pretty big deal if you plan on eating it by itself.

Unfortunately, it’s a matter of personal preferences and I can’t tell you whether you will like it, or not. The best thing you can do is to do a little trial for yourself. Freeze a small amount of your favorite cottage cheese, thaw it after a few days and check the results. If you’re happy about what yo’u’ve got, you can freeze this cheese whenever needed.

Cottage cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from stu_spivack

There’s another thing worth knowing. While people don’t recommend eating thawed cottage cheese by itself, they say it works well in cooked dishes. Dishes like soups and souces. Because of that, freezing this dairy product for cooking purposes might be worth a try.

Remember that the softer (or creamier) your cottage cheese is, the worse it freezes. That means if your favorite cottage cheese doesn’t freeze well, give another brand a try.

By freezing cottage cheese you can extend its shelf life for about 3 to 6 months. Of course you can keep it in the freezer a lot longer, but its taste will slowly deteriorate. The mentioned 3 to 6 months is for best quality.

Tips About Freezing Cottage Cheese

To freeze it, store it in an airtight container. You can use the original packaging if you’re able to seal it tightly (assuming that the packaging is already opened).

If you plan to freeze cottage cheese for more than 2 months in its original packaging, consider placing the container in a freezer bag to avoid freezer burn. If you need to use only a little amount of it at a time, consider repackaging the product into few smaller containers. This way you’ll be able to thaw only as little cottage cheese as you need at the moment.

Summary
Cottage cheese is a popular dairy treat used also in recipes. Although you can freeze cottage cheese, its texture changes after freezing and thawing. Therefore, freezing it for other purposes than using it in cooked dishes isn’t recommended. It’s a matter of personal preferences. That means you might actually enjoy frozen and thawed cottage cheese, but that’s unlikely.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Greek Yogurt?

Can you freeze Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is one of the most popular dairy products these days. That’s mostly because it has many health benefits but also because many people find its taste delicious. Some people use it in smoothies. So, what can you do if you’ve got a half full container of Greek yogurt and you can’t find a way to use it within the next few days? Or you’ve found a great deal on this dairy product and you’d like to buy at least a few containers for future use? Fortunately enough, similarly to plain yogurt, you can freeze Greek yogurt. There are, however, a few things about this process that you should be aware of.

How freezing affects Greek yogurt

The most important thing you need to know is that freezing has an effect on Greek yogurt’s look and texture. Frozen and thawed yogurt’s looks and consistency will be slightly different from fresh yogurt’s one. Please bear in mind that the nutritional value of frozen and then defrosted yogurt stays the same. Freezing can kill a tiny bit of beneficial cultures that are present in this diary treat, but the rest of them stays fine. They just become dormant when the Greek yogurt is frozen and they reactive when it’s thawed. All in all, you won’t lose Greek yogurt’s health benefits be freezing and thawing it.

Greek yogurt ice cream
Image used under Creative Commons from Melynda Huskey

Let’s get back to the texture change I’ve mentioned earlier. Greek yogurt separates a little when frozen and then thawed. Because of that you need to mix it or at least stir it after thawing, to make it less watery than it’s after defrosting. Since the texture changes after thawing, Greek yogurt’s taste might not be as appealing as it usually is. Because of that, you might find eating it after defrosting not pleasant. It’s really a matter of personal preferences, so to find this out, you need to run a little trial. Just freeze a small amount of Greek yogurt for a few days then thaw it in the fridge, stir it and consume it. If you’ll be satisfied with the results you’ll get, you can stock up Greek yogurt for eating purposes freely. Nevertheless, most people state that thawed Greek yogurt is fine when used for baking or cooking purposes. I encourage you to make a smoothie using this dairy treat, it should taste as great as it always do. Please bear in mind that products from some Greek yogurt manufacturers undergo the process of freezing better than products from other ones. Therefore, you might want to try different brands.

You can store Greek yogurt in the freezer for a few months, but most sources recommend storing it for up to two months for best quality. While this dairy product is stored in the freezer, its quality deteriorates very slowly (similarly to most products).

Useful information about freezing Greek yogurt

Here are a few pieces of information regarding freezing Greek yogurt. Please bear in mind that the Greek yogurt’s container should be airtight (you can use freezer bags). This way the dairy product won’t absorb any odors from the freezer. As I’ve mentioned earlier, after thawing make sure that you stir or mix the yogurt before eating. Thawing overnight in the refrigerator is one of the most recommended ways of thawing this dairy product.

If you’ll need only a small amounts of Greek yogurt from time to time, it’s a good idea to transfer yogurt from its original packaging to a few smaller ones. This way you’ll be able to thaw only as little as you need at a time.

Summary

Greek yogurt is one of the widely used dairy products. You can freeze Greek yogurt freely, but please remember that it changes its looks and texture after thawing.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Buttermilk?

Can you freeze buttermilk? If you use it mostly in recipes, you probably often end up with some leftover buttermilk. That’s because for some reason buttermilk containers are pretty large while recipes need only a little amount of it. If you’re like most people, you often forget about those leftovers and that buttermilk goes to waste. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

Even if you always remember to use up all of the buttermilk you have, every so often there’s a great deal on buttermilk. You know you won’t use it before it goes bad but would love to take advantage of the sale.

In both of those cases freezing buttermilk is the first thing that comes to mind, right?

Can You Freeze Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is perfectly safe to freeze. That doesn’t mean that thawed buttermilk is just as good as fresh one, because it isn’t. The taste and texture changes a bit after thawing. There will be some separation too. Because of that, freezing buttermilk for drinking purposes is not a good idea. You won’t be satisfied with it after thawing. But if you use buttermilk mostly for cooking and baking, feel free to freeze buttermilk leftovers to use them at a later date. You won’t be dissapointed.

Buttermilk

Image used under Creative Commons from Devon

How to Freeze Buttermilk?

There are two popular ways of freezing buttermilk. Consider how you plan to use the buttermilk and choose the method that will work better for your needs. As a rule of thumb you should use frozen buttermilk as soon as possible. It will remain of good quality for about 3 months or a bit more though. It won’t spoil in the freezer for any means, but if you keep it in there for long enough, chances are it will be tasteless once thawed.

Freezing Buttermilk in Cubes

If you’re not sure which method to choose, go with this one. It requires a bit more work, but no matter how much buttermilk you will need at a time in the future, it has you covered.

First, measure a cup of buttermilk and pour it into ice cube trays. Count the number of cubes and write it down. This way you know how many cubes makes a cup, which will allow you to easily get as much buttermilk as you need in the future.

Now pour the rest of buttermilk into trays and put those into the freezer. Once buttermilk freezes transfer the cubes into freezer bags or container. Label those with name, date, and how much cubes makes a cup for later reference and chuck bag into the freezer.

Freezing Buttermilk in Freezer Bags

This method requires almost no work whatsoever. First, get a bowl and a measure. Put a freezer bag into the bowl and pour a measured amount of buttermilk. While you don’t have to put the bag into the bowl, it’s better to play it safe. This way, if the bag is leaky, you don’t have to clean up half of your kitchen.

Once poured, squeeze out most of the air from the bag and seal it. Make sure to leave some head space as the buttermilk will expand when frozen. Remember to label the bag the name, date and quantity for future reference.

While you definitely could just transfer those bags into the freezer, there’s a better way to go about this. Get a cookie sheet and lay those bags flat on it and only then transfer the sheet into the freezer. Once the buttermilk freezes, you can take out the cookie sheet. There are two main advantages of laying the bags flat. First, flag bags usually take less space in the freezer, that is, it’s easier to fit them in, especially if you’re running out of space. Second, and more important for many, flat bags thaw much faster than large cubes or odd-shaped figures. So if you’re in a habit of forgetting to thaw things and do it in the last possible moment, flat-freezing will be a life saver for you. I learned this nifty trick from the Love & Olive Oil blog.

How To Thaw Buttermilk?

The best way to thaw buttermilk is to do it overnight in the fridge. In the morning it will be thawed and only need some stirring to get it ready for cooking or baking.

If forgot to put it into the fridge, you can use the thawing program in the microwave, although that’s not the healthiest method out there. Another one is putting the freezer bag into lukewarm water (don’t bother with warm water, won’t help much). Once the water gets really cold swap it out for new lukewarm water. Buttermilk should be thawed in 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its shape. As mentioned earlier, small cubes or flat bags will thaw much quicker than large cubes or odd-shaped figures.

Once buttermilk is thawed you need to give it a solid whisk and it should be ready for cooking.

Summary
Buttermilk, like sour milk, can be frozen. You need to remember that freezing might change the taste and texture of buttermilk a little. If you plan to freeze buttermilk for cooking or baking purposes, you can do that freely. Freezing it for drinking purposes doesn’t make sense for most people.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Butter?

Can you freeze butter? With butter prices going up regularly, we always look for a good deal on this yummy staple. It’s tempting to buy a whole bunch of butter sticks when we happen to find a great deal, but will we use all of it before it goes bad? Butter’s shelf life is usually 2 to 3 weeks and even though it will most likely be fine to eat for longer, it doesn’t keep forever.

That’s why the question “can you freeze butter?” is more popular these days than it ever was. And the answer to this question is yes: you can freeze butter. What’s even better is that it freezes well. The freezing process requires little to no effort and the butter can stay in the freezer for half a year or even more. Even butter producers like Organic Valley say that their butter can be frozen.

Interested in freezing butter? Read on.

Bread and butter

How to Freeze Butter?

Freezing butter is as easy as it gets. Just place the butter stick (or sticks) into the freezer and that’s it. No need to re-wrap the butter sticks, the original packaging is fine to use. But if you are planning to keep the butter in the freezer for longer than a few months, consider adding an additional layer to prevent freezer burn. That additional layer could be a freezer bag or wrapping the stick in aluminum foil.

Butter in freezer bag

If defrosting a single stick of butter at a time is too much for you, cut the stick into several slices before freezing. Wrap each slice in aluminum foil and it’s ready to be transferred to the freezer. Again, for a longer freezing time, put the wrapped slice into a freezer bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Butter?

You can defrost frozen butter in a number of ways:

  • Overnight in the fridge. This is the recommended method. Just transfer the stick from the freezer to the fridge the night before you need it. It will be defrosted and ready to use in the morning.
  • Use a grater. Grating frozen butter is something most people wouldn’t think of, but it works beautifully. Grate as much butter as you need and leave it at room temperature. It will defrost in a few minutes.
    Grated frozen butter
  • Water bath. If you need the butter thawed as soon as possible, transfer the stick into a freezer bag and submerge it in lukewarm water. The outer layer will defrost quite quickly, so if you need some butter for your sandwiches, this is a great method.
  • Throw it in frozen. If you’re using butter in a cooked recipe or you need melted butter, you can usually add it in frozen. It will defrost and melt quickly.
  • Microwave it. I mention this method last because it’s not the healthiest one. It gets the job done nevertheless. Remove the butter from all of its wrapping and microwave in short time increments (10-15 seconds). Flip the sides after each increment. Microwave until the butter is defrosted and ready to use.
Dairy

Can You Freeze Sour Milk?

Can you freeze sour milk? Sour milk is one of the popular dairy products. It is used for cooking, baking, or flavoring soups as well as in a dip or on a baked potatoes. The thing is – there are some situations in which you would like to extend the shelf life of this dairy product. For example you use sour milk only for cooking purposes, you’ve got a half empty jug of it and you can’t find a way to utilise the rest of the product within the next couple of days. Or you’ve found a great deal on sour milk and you would like to buy a few containers of sour milk more than usually. In both of the mentioned situations freezing the sour milk seems to be the only solution. Sour milk, similarly to milk or yogurt can be frozen. It is, however, not recommended. There are a few more things about freezing sour milk that you should be aware of.

How freezing affects sour milk

Freezing sour milk can extend its shelf life by 4 to 6 months. You can freeze this dairy product in its original container or any other one. Please remember that the container should be airtight so its contents won’t absorb other odors from the freezer. Similarly to yogurt and milk, freezing sour milk affects its taste and texture. Sour milk separates while freezing and its consistency changes considerably. After thawing it’s similar to the consistency of cottage cheese. Unfortunately, in case of sour milk, you won’t be able to bring back the texture of fresh sour milk by stirring and shaking the thawed product. These activities will help a little, but the texture will stay considerably different from the expected one.

Fried egg, potatoes and sour milk
Image used under Creative Commons from Tom Karas

When to consider freezing sour milk

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the consistency of sour milk changes noticeably after freezing and thawing this dairy product. Fortunately enough, in some cases freezing sour milk is worth considering. Of course, if need sour milk in its original form (e.g. in a dip or on baked potatoes), frozen and thawed sour milk won’t meet your needs. However, if you need this dairy product for cooking or baking purposes, or to stir it into a soup, frozen and then unfrozen soured milk should do the trick. If you are unsure whether the results you’ll get will be satisfactory, you can run a little trial. Freeze a small amount of sour milk, unfreeze it after a few days, add it to your dish and check how does it taste. If the taste is fine, you can freeze sour milk for this purpose freely. If you need to extend shelf life of this dairy product, try storing it upside down in the fridge. Many people state that it extends the shelf life of the liquid considerably.

Summary

Sour milk is often used in cooking and baking. You can freeze sour milk but it is not recommended and in most cases frozen and thawed sour milk won’t meet your needs.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Yogurt?

Can you freeze yogurt? Yogurt is one of the widely used dairy products. It is very popular due to the health benefits that it offers. Because of that, many people consume it regularly, sometimes even on a daily basis. The thing is – what you should do if you’ve got a few cups of yogurt and you can’t find a way to eat or cook something with them within the next few days? The answer seems obvious – freeze the yogurt for further use. That’s right – you can freeze yogurt. There are, however, some facts you should be aware of when it comes to freezing yogurt.

How Freezing Affects Yogurt

Yogurt’s consistency isn’t solid. One can expect that the freezing process affects this product. Indeed, it does. Manufacturers state that freezing and thawing yogurt might have an effect on its texture and taste[1]. It will look a little different than a fresh one. Thus, you should run a little trial before buying and freezing lots of yogurts. Freeze a tiny amount of yogurt and leave it in the freezer for the night. Thaw it and eat it the next day. This way you’ll know whether you like the taste of frozen and thawed yogurt. If you don’t like the taste, you can try freezing and thawing yogurts from other brands.

Frozen yogurt

Image used under Creative Commons from Lisa B

Please remember that the longer yogurt is in the freezer, the worse taste you might expect. Because of that, the sooner you’ll consume the frozen yogurt, the better. One more thing – if you don’t like the taste of thawed yogurt, you can always use it for baking purposes. Your baked goods should taste as good as they always do.

Stonyfield Farm company states that freezing can kill some of the beneficial cultures that are in their products[1]. Since production processes of yogurts are very similar, you can assume freezing does the same to other yogurts. Please note that yogurts contain billions of beneficial cultures and freezing kills only some of them. Freezing yogurt doesn’t mean that you’ll lose most of its health benefits, you lose only a tiny bit of them. When you freeze yogurt, the cultures become dormant. Once the yogurt is thawed, they become alive again.

Useful Information About Freezing Yogurt

When it comes to freezing yogurt, there are a few things that you should know. First, you need to remember that yogurt expands while freezing. That means that you need a container that has enough space to accommodate yogurt after it expands. Make sure that the container is airtight so the yogurt won’t absorb any odors from the freezer.

Yogurt should be thawed in the refrigerator (if it’s very hard, you can put it in the microwave for a few seconds). Please remember to stir the thawed yogurt before eating. If you know that you’ll be in need of small portions of yogurt in the future, you can always repackage the product into smaller containers that will meet your needs

Can You Freeze Yogurt Parfaits?

Freezing yogurt parfaits is definitely an option. Make the parfaits in jelly jars, so you can seal them before transferring into the freezer. Also, make sure to leave some room for expansion. If you want to add some granola to your parfaits, add it only after thawing. Thawing, as usual, should be done in the fridge overnight. After thawing there probably will be some separation, so you might need to give it a good stir before eating. Yes, that means that the perfect layers you’ve created in the dessert will likely be ruined. Check out this recipe if you’re looking for a great freezer-friendly yogurt parfait recipe.

Can you freeze yogurt to make froyo?

Sure, but you can’t just put the yogurt into the freezer and expect it to become a delicious dessert. It needs additional ingredients and some processing before it becomes an ice-cream-like dessert. The good news is, an ice cream machine is not required. A good food processor or even a blender should do the trick. The way to make delicious froyo with a blender is to combine the yogurt, frozen fruit, honey (or agave), and any additional seasonings in a blender and pulse it until smooth. While it’s perfectly fine to eat right away, if you actually want to make froyo, put it into the freezer for a few hours or overnight. For specific recipes on how to make froyo this way check out Bigger Bolder Baking.

Summary
Yogurt is one of the widely used dairy products. You can freeze yogurt freely, but remember that it might change its taste and texture after thawing.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Milk?

Can you freeze milk? If you would like to know whether milk (cow’s milk) can be frozen or not, this article will give you the answers you need. Many people drink cow’s milk on a regular basis, some people drink even few glasses of milk a day. There are also some questions about milk that need answers. What should you do if you’ve got a half empty jug of milk and you can’t find a way to use the leftovers? Should you buy milk in bulk when there are some good deals available or you live a long drive from a good store?

Freezing milk seems to be the only solution to the given issues. A lot of people wonder whether they can freeze milk and the answer to that question is affirmative. You can freeze milk. There are, however, some facts regarding freezing this dairy beverage that you should be aware of.

When you should consider freezing milk?

The most important thing about freezing milk is that it’s not very beneficial to the drink. I’ll discuss this matter in more detail later. Because of that you should consider freezing milk only in some cases. If your milk is close to expiration date and you can’t use it within a couple of days, freezing it is probably the only option that allows you to preserve the beverage for future use. Another situation when freezing milk might be a good idea is when you buy milk in bulk because you need to drive an hour or so to the nearest store where milk is sold for a reasonable price. If that’s the case, you can also consider buying UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk which is sold unrefrigerated and can be stored in the pantry for at least 6 months. If you don’t want to buy a UHT milk, you’d probably need to freeze most of your milk if you buy it in bulk.

Frozen milk
Image used under Creative Commons from Henry Bush.

Freezing and thawing milk – how it affects taste and texture

As I’ve mentioned earlier, freezing milk isn’t beneficial to this liquid. The thing is – milk tastes a little bit different after freezing and thawing it. Its consistency also changes. For some people the taste of this beverage after freezing and thawing might be not as appealing as fresh milk’s taste. It’s a matter of personal preference. Therefore, if you plan on using frozen and then thawed milk for drinking, you should run a little trial first. Freeze a half full container of milk, then unfreeze it and drink it. You will be sure whether freezing milk for drinking purposes works for you, or not. However, if you don’t like the flavor of thawed milk, nothing is lost yet. Frozen and thawed milk should be fine for any kind of baked goods like pancakes or french toast[1]. When it comes to freezing different kinds of milk, bear in mind that skim and low-fat milks should taste better than the full-fat ones because there is less separation.

Useful information about freezing milk

When it comes to freezing milk, there are some things that you should be aware of. Firstly, if you would like to freeze milk, you need a properly sized container. You need some head space in the container after pouring milk in there. That’s because it will likely expand while freezing. Otherwise the container might get damaged and milk spilled in your freezer. If you want to freeze milk in its cardboard container, it’s a good idea to pour out a bit of the liquid before putting it in the freezer. You can thaw milk in the refrigerator (that takes a day or two, depending on how much milk is in the container) or in a sink of cold water (that’s a lot quicker). Another thing that you should bear in mind is that you should shake or stir the milk after thawing.

You can repackage the milk and freeze it in smaller or larger containers. It depends entirely on your needs. When storing milk in the freezer, remember that the liquid should be in an airtight container. It prevents the milk from absorbing other odors. If you’ve decided to freeze milk only a few days before the expiration date, it’s a good idea to use a marker and write on the container the number of days that are left until the expiration date. That will be useful after thawing the drink.

Summary

Cow’s milk is one of the most popular beverages. Many people drink it often and worship its taste and health benefits. You can freeze milk, but you need to know that it changes taste and texture after thawing, so you should check whether you like the taste of thawed milk.