Tag: dairy

Dairy

Can You Freeze Grated Cheese?

Who can say no to a great deal especially if bags of grated cheese go on sale? But what if you bought too much cheese? Can you freeze grated cheese? Buying cheese in bulk will certainly save you a lot of money. However, there is always the risk of the cheese going bad once it’s been stored too long. The good news is, grated cheese can be frozen successfully. This is a useful storage method for cheese that’s been nearing its expiry date.

can you freeze grated cheese

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The key to extending the shelf life of grated cheese is to protect the product from freezer burns and air exposure. Grated cheese tends to go crumbly once it’s been frozen and defrosted because the moisture level decreases. By sealing the grated cheese, the product is protected from icy temperature and freezer burns.

When kept in the fridge, an opened bag of grated cheese will last for only 5 to 7 days. But when kept in the freezer, grated cheese will last for 6 to 8 months. Now let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze grated cheese:

How to Freeze Grated Cheese?

Do note that although all types of cheese can be frozen, firmer cheese tends to freeze better than soft cheese. Cheddar, Gouda, and Swiss cheese are just some of the types of firmer cheese that will do well in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Didriks

Prepping Blocks of Cheese for Grating

If say, you bought blocks of cheese and you’d like to grate them first before freezing, start by cutting the blocks into about ½ pound portions. Get a deep bowl and a cheese grater and start grating the cheese by hand. Sprinkle a little flour into the bowl of cheese and toss the cheese. The flour will prevent the cheese bits from clumping together.

Freezing Freshly Grated Cheese

Get several resealable plastic bags, the ones that come in a smaller size. This way, you can divide the grated cheese into manageable portions and make defrosting much easier. Spoon the grated cheese into each plastic bag, filling it halfway through. Squeeze out the air as you seal the plastic bag, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Unopened Bags of Grated Cheese

For unopened bags of grated cheese, there is no need to transfer the product into another container prior to freezing. You can simply stick the bags of grated cheese in the freezer – original packaging and all – and you’re done.

Freezing Leftover Bags of Grated Cheese

When it comes to leftovers, it’s best to use an airtight container to maintain the integrity of the cheese. Leftover cheese tends to be a little dried out compared to a newly opened pack of grated cheese. The airtight container helps retain the original texture of the cheese. It also prevents the cheese from absorbing freezer flavors.

Start by sprinkling a little flour on the grated cheese and tossing the cheese. Then, scoop the product into the container. Do not overfill the container. Once the container is halfway filled with grated cheese, cover it with cling wrap before closing the lid. Write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Danielle Scott

How to Defrost Frozen Grated Cheese?

There is no need to defrost frozen grated cheese if it’ll be used in stews or soups. But as a topping, the cheese should be thawed. Frozen grated cheese is so easy to thaw, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the product to defrost for several hours to overnight then it’s ready to use.

Summary

Grated cheese can be used in adding richness to soups and stews. It can be used as a topping or filling for pizza, chili, and fajitas. It makes sense to keep any leftover for future cooking because life is better with cheese! Now that you know how can you freeze grated cheese, go ahead and buy cheese in bulk. Keep the rest in the freezer for future uses.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Clotted Cream?

Clotted cream – also known as clouted or Cornish cream – is a pasteurized, thick cream made with full cow’s milk. It has a smooth, velvety consistency and a rich creamy taste. Clotted cream is often used in cream tea or as a spread on scones. This dairy product can be used as an ingredient for hot and cold desserts too – including fudge and ice cream.

Image used under Creative Commons from Jeffery Loo

Now if say, you have leftover clotted cream, how do you keep the leftovers? Can you freeze clotted cream? Although clotted cream can be stored in the fridge, freezing will extend its shelf life. And get this, clotted cream freezes so well!

Of course, once the clotted cream is defrosted there will be slight texture changes, this goes especially for dairy cream that’s been frozen for far too long. Ice crystals could form within the cream, altering the texture of the dairy product. That said, the clotted cream is still safe to eat but it’s best used in baking and cooking.

When kept in the fridge, clotted cream will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. But when kept in the freezer, the cream’s shelf life is extended to 4 months or more. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze clotted cream:

Image used under Creative Commons from Bethany Khan

How to Freeze Clotted Cream?

The key to freezing clotted cream properly is to 1) freeze the product in small batches and 2) buy it fresh and freeze the cream as soon as possible.

Freezing Unopened Packs of Clotted Cream

For unopened packs of clotted cream, there is no need to transfer the product into a different container prior to freezing unless the original packaging comes in a tin. Just stick the clotted cream in the freezer, original packaging and all, and you’re done.For

For tinned clotted cream, you have to transfer the product in an airtight container. Just spoon the clotted cream in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Close the lid, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftover Clotted Cream

For leftover clotted cream, spoon the product into an airtight container. Leave a couple of inch of space before sealing the container. Write the storage date with a marker and stick in the freezer.

On the other hand, if you’d like to divide the clotted cream into smaller portions, you can use small resealable baggies. This way, thawing the cream will be much easier. Again, just spoon the cream into each bag; squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Clotted Cream?

To defrost frozen clotted cream, just transfer the cream from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the cream to thaw overnight. Once the clotted cream has been thawed completely, it’s now ready to use. One thing though, you have to consume the thawed clotted cream, never re-freeze the leftovers. Refreezing thawed clotted cream will increase the risk of texture and flavor changes.

Summary

Clotted cream is a staple in tea time, it makes the finest scones taste even better. Although clotted cream is quite delicate, it’s good to know that you can freeze this dairy product to extend its shelf life. Now that you know how can you freeze clotted cream, go ahead and take advantage of that sale. Buy clotted cream in bulk and store the rest in the freezer!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Kefir?

Kefir is a popular health drink made from kefir grains. This fermented drink is similar in taste to yogurt and it contains millions of bacterial culture that aid in digestion and promotes immunity.

If you love stocking up on this yummy drink, we’re happy to report that you can freeze kefir and enjoy it anytime! The good bacteria in kefir will stay dormant when frozen so freezing it will not affect the quality of the drink at all.

Image used under Creative Commons from Bad Reichenhaller

Once thawed, the bacterial culture will come to life! As with any type of dairy product, the fats in kefir may cause splitting after thawing but there is a way to achieve its original consistency after defrosting. When frozen, kefir will keep up to 3 months.

How to Freeze Kefir?

The proper way to freeze kefir is to transfer the drink to an airtight container. Pour the product into a freezer bag or a rigid plastic container, leaving about 1 ½ inch of space to allow the liquid to expand as it freezes. You want to remove as much air as you could to maintain freshness. After packing the drink, get a marker and label each one with the expiration date.

Lay the container on the coldest spot in the freezer, which is near the wall. Putting the product in the coldest spot in the freezer hastens the freezing process, preventing vapor or moisture damage.

How to Defrost Frozen Kefir?

The best way to defrost frozen kefir is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leaving it to defrost on its own for 24 hours. Of course, the thawing time will depend on the container you used. Solid blocks of frozen kefir will take more time to defrost!

Image used under Creative Commons from miss_yasmina

If the drink started splitting after defrosting, get a spoon and give the drink a good stir. If you transferred the drink in a covered tumbler, give the tumbler a good shake!

Summary

If you have a large jug of kefir and you plan to consume one serving at a time, we recommend transferring the drink in smaller packaging before freezing. This way, you don’t have to thaw the entire container for a single serving of kefir. As with any dairy product, thawed kefir should not be defrosted a second time. It’s best consumed after it’s been thawed.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Half-and-Half?

Can you freeze half and half? Yes, despite what others say, it’s possible to freeze half and half and other dairy products! That said, cream-based food items are tricky to freeze. The thinner consistency of half and half means it is prone to breaking or splitting once it is defrosted, giving the thawed half and half a curdled appearance.

Image used under Creative Commons from Yuri Ivanov

Although thawed half and half is safe to eat, it’s better used in cooking and baking rather than mixing with coffee. That said, we know a trick that could help retain the original consistency of thawed half and half. When stored in the freezer properly, half and half can keep for up to 3 months. Below is the guide on how to freeze half and half

How to Freeze Half and Half?

Freezing Unopened Half and Half

The best way to freeze half and half is to chuck it in the freezer unopened and in its original packaging. Because it’s unopened, the product is not exposed to oxygen so once thawed, the half and half won’t split.

Freezing Leftover Half and Half

If say, you are freezing leftover half and half, we recommend transferring the product into a  clean plastic jug with an airtight lid. Just pour the liquid into the jug, making sure you leave an inch of space to allow half and half to expand in the freezer.

Freezing Small Servings of Half and Half

If you’d like to freeze half and half in smaller servings, you can. Get several ice cube trays and start pouring the liquid gently to fill each tray. An ice cube of half and half is equal to 2 tablespoons. Stick the ice trays in the freezer and just pop a couple of cubed half and half whenever!

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Snodgrass

How to Defrost Frozen Half and Half?

The best way to defrost frozen half and half is to transfer the frozen product from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the frozen half and half to thaw for several hours. Once thawed, it’s normal for dairy to split because the butterfat has clumped.

To restore its original consistency, get a whisk and start whisking the half and half away until all ingredients are incorporated nicely. After whisking the thawed half and half, it is now ready to use in your coffee, or in baking or cooking!

Summary

Just like any type of dairy-based foods, it’s not a good idea to re-freeze thawed half and half. If you are planning to use up your stock gradually, then consider freezing the half and half in smaller servings.

This way, you don’t have to defrost the whole jug just to get several spoonfuls of the product. Now that you know how to freeze half and half properly, you can keep leftover product in the freezer for future use!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Whipped Cream?

“Whipped Cream,” just the mention of it brings to mind visions of luscious desserts. BUT, what if you can’t eat it all, can you freeze whipped cream?” The answer to the creamy question is, “YES,” you can freeze it.

Real whipped cream is NOT what spews out of the cans you find in the dairy aisle at your local grocery mart. Care in preparing the whipped cream topping is important as it will affect how your topping looks, tastes and, yes, how it freezes.

You have to use a good quality heavy cream to make whipped cream that will set to become firm for freezing. Trying to use a cream with less than 30% of fat or substituting half and half is simply not going to work.

Whipped cream

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How to Freeze Whipped Cream?

A few suggestions or points of information about whipped cream are good to know, so you’ll understand how wonderfully delicate whipped cream is and the care needed in freezing it and thawing it. Below is the guide on how can you freeze whipped cream:

Making the Whipped Cream

A basic recipe for whipped cream is to use one cup of the heavy cream to three to four tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar (white powdered sugar) and, finally, one teaspoon of vanilla.

The heavy cream needs to be really cold and the mixing bowl it’s prepared it needs to be really cold, as well. You’ll need to whisk or beat the heavy cream in the cold mixing bowl until it becomes fluffy and light, then you can add the sugar and vanilla. Now, your fresh homemade whipped cream is ready to serve or can be kept cold in the refrigerator for a couple of days or you can freeze it!

Preparing the Whipped Cream for Freezing

Use a few kitchen basics to help prepare your whipped cream for freezing; a metal cookie sheet, a rubber bowl scraper, possibly a spatula, wax paper or a thin plastic prep board.

Line your cookie sheet with the waxed paper or lay the plastic prep board directly on the cookie sheet. The metal cookie sheet is going to get colder than the plastic board and you’re going to need the “cold” to help set your whipped cream.

Scoop serving sized dollops of whipped cream with your rubber scraper onto the cookie sheet with waxed paper or prep board. Use a knife or the scrapper to form little swirls and peaks, as this is how your dollops will look after freezing. Don’t put the dollops of whipped cream directly on the cookie sheet as the whipped cream will stick or be very difficult to remove.

Flash-Freezing the Whipped Cream

Put the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes so that the dollops of whipped cream become really cold and firm to the touch.

Freezing the Whipped Cream

Remove the whipped cream dollops individually and place in an airtight food storage container. You should actually be able to just peel the dollops off the waxed paper. Gently use a spatula, if needed.

How to Defrost Frozen Whipped Cream?

Defrosting frozen whipped cream is so easy. Thaw just one single dollop of your whipped cream or the entire container by placing the frozen whipped cream in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes. Each individual dollop is ready to be gently placed directly on top of the dessert of your choice.

Summary

With this guide, you learn to make your own whipped cream from scratch as well as proper storage. Now that you know how can you freeze whipped cream, you can maximize leftover cream for later. Use your leftovers to top your favorite desserts!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?

Can you freeze cream cheese? Everyone knows it tastes best when it’s fresh. While many people use it often, many ask if it is okay to freeze it.

 

Cream cheese is a delicious cheese that is soft in texture and has a high-fat content along with a mild taste. The cheese is most useful as a spread on top of bagels, crackers and vegetable sticks. Others use it for making creamy sauces for pasta dishes. Or for making creamy frostings that top cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. As you can tell, those popular uses won’t be that good with frozen and thawed cream cheese.

Freezing cream cheese changes its texture significantly. The texture becomes crumbly. In most dishes, crumbly cream cheese is a no go. But if you plan to use it for baking goods, the altered texture is not a big deal because you cannot notice it. With that said you could stock up on cream cheese when it is on sale and freeze it if you plan to use it for baking goods only.

Otherwise, cream cheese is best, as it is fresh out of the package and not frozen. You can keep it stored in your refrigerator safely for about a month without it spoiling. So the freezing method should only be used if you do not plan to use the cream cheese up within that time. Below is a guide on how can you freeze cream cheese:

how to freeze cream cheese

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How to Freeze Cream Cheese?

Freezing Unopened Cream Cheese

If you do decide to freeze cream cheese, it is best to freeze it once you buy. Leave it in its original packaging, but place the entire package into a freezer bag and freeze it that way. This prevents any frost burn from occurring on it.

You can keep cream cheese frozen this way for up to 6 months, but storing it any longer than that is not a good idea.

Freezing Leftover Cream Cheese

If say, you have leftover cream cheese that’s nearing its expiry date, you can use its original packaging or transfer the product to an airtight container prior to freezing.

If you’re using the original packaging, wrap the product well to seal it. Then, place the product in a resealable plastic bag. The extra layer of protection will prevent frost from seeping into the cream cheese. Squeeze out the air as you seal the plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

On the other hand, if you’d like to transfer the leftover cream cheese in an airtight container, do so using a spoon. Carefully spoon in the product into the container, filling it halfway through. Cover with cling wrap before sealing with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Cream Cheese?

To thaw it, remove it from the freezer the day before and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. After, you can use the cheese for whatever recipe you decide to use it in, but keep in mind it will not make good creamy sauces or spreads.

During the freezing and defrosting process, your cream cheese will become dried out and crumbly in texture and even a bit watery. The cheese though will still keep its mild-tasting cheesy flavor.

Summary

When it comes to freezing cream cheese it should only be considered if you cannot use it within a month or only plan to use it in baked goods. Otherwise, buy it from the store on sale in bulk and just leave it in your refrigerator this way.

Now that you know how to freeze cream cheese properly, the product will keep fresh for a while and hold its true creamy texture for months.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Since mozzarella makes an outstanding topping people ask if they can purchase it in bulk amounts and freeze for later.

The answer to this question is yes and no. This is because a fresh handmade ball of mozzarella cheese does not freeze well. But a bag of store brand shredded mozzarella cheese does.

The reason behind that is that most store brand shredded mozzarella contain preservatives. Preservatives keep the cheese fresh. Fresh or shredded, this cheese is the perfect topping for baked tomato dishes, leafy green salads, fresh pasta and pizzas of all kinds.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t freeze fresh mozzarella balls because it will drastically change the texture and flavor of it. A mozzarella ball is always best fresh. That’s when it has the best flavor and texture.

Freezing shredded mozzarella cheese when you have too much on hand is perfectly okay. Shredded cheeses can, in fact, remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-months safely. That’s how you should keep it to keep the texture and true flavor of mozzarella cheese. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze mozzarella cheese:

How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Freezing Unopened Mozzarella Cheese

If you buy bulk bags of shredded mozzarella cheese and do not plan to use it all up at once, freezing is the way to go. Take some of those unopened bags, place them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer this way. This will prevent frostbite and the cheese from drastically changing in texture and flavor.

Freezing Leftover Mozzarella Cheese

However, if you have an open, you can place the leftover shredded cheese into freezer bags and store the cheese in the freezer safely for up to 2-months. With that being said, the shredded cheese you freeze must be from a freshly open bag.

Trying to freeze shredded cheese that is even a couple days old is risky. You do not want the overgrowth of bacteria to occur on the cheese before freezing it. If that’s the case, you might end up with food poisoning from eating it because it spoiled.

can you freeze mozzarella cheese

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How to Defrost Frozen Mozzarella Cheese?

Here’s the best way to defrost mozzarella safely. Take a bag of the frozen shredded mozzarella from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator. It will need at least 8 to 12-hours to defrost.

Don’t try to defrost shredded cheese on the countertop, in a bowl of water or in the microwave. That will cause the cheese to mush, change in texture and in flavor.

Once the cheese has defrosted in the refrigerator it will be ready to sprinkle on or into any dish you plan to make. Best of all, the mozzarella cheese will still have its same gooey smoky flavor and texture that makes it so desirable good.

Summary

Who doesn’t love a mozzarella cheese? If you love cheese then it’s important to know the right way to preserve the product. Now that you know how can you freeze mozzarella cheese, there is no need to worry about the cheese spoilage as it nears its expiry date. Just stick the mozzarella cheese in the freezer and it will keep fresh for weeks.

 

Dairy

Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?

Can you freeze feta cheese for later? You can freeze feta cheese to help preserve it a bit longer than in the fridge if you know how to do it properly. This article will teach you how to do it.

Freezing should only be considered when you have a large quality of feta cheese that you cannot use up before the expiration date. Otherwise, it should remain the refrigerator where it will hold its true feta flavor along with its pleasant crumbly texture that makes it so delicious tasting.

Feta cheese stored in its brine can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-months, which should give you plenty of time to use it up before the expiration date.

However, feta cheese drained from its brine will only last a few weeks before it spoils and becomes mushy and sour tasting. If feta cheese becomes mushy and sour tasting, it should be tossed out to prevent food poisoning.

How to Freeze Feta Cheese?

The proper way to freeze feta cheese is to strain the brined water from it so you end up with just a block of feta cheese.

Next, you pat the cheese dry with a paper towel, place the block into a freezer bag, and store it away in the freezer. You should always use frozen feta cheese up within 3-months because the texture and flavor will change to a sourer flavor.

can you freeze feta cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

How to Defrost Frozen Feta Cheese?

When it comes to thawing frozen feta cheese, do it slowly so the cheese won’t turn soggy or mushy. When you are ready to use your feta cheese, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for at least 12-hours.

Feta cheese previously frozen tastes best when you use it in burgers, sauces, casserole dishes and mixed in with warm pasta. This is because the feta will be slightly damper in texture than usual, which makes it difficult to crumble in large chunks over fresh Greek leafy green salads or other cool vegetable dishes.

In addition, it will not have the same rich cheesy flavor as fresh or refrigerator stored feta cheese.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze feta cheese properly, you can go ahead and do it if you have a large amount that will not be used up by the expiration date.

Of course, it is best too just keep your extra bit of feta cheese in the refrigerator so it remains in its true tasty form that tastes delightful crumbled over fresh leafy green salads, black olives dishes, Greek pizzas and all kinds of pasta dishes.

Heck, you can even enjoy this cheese, as is when it is fresh and not previously frozen. You might even find it delightful when it is at room temperature for spreading on crackers, toast, or biscuits. Still, if you left with no choice, it is better to freeze feta cheese than leaving it to spoil.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Blue Cheese?

Even though blue cheese isn’t one of dairy products that go bad after a few days, the question can you freeze blue cheese? shows up every so often. If you’re one of the people asking this question, freezing is a good way preserve it fresh for longer.

You could also take advantage of promotions and buy more cheese at cheaper prices. Furthermore, you can store a little more of it if you do not have time to go shopping in the next few days. But what about freezing, can you freeze blue cheese?

Blue cheese can freeze successfully if you plan to use it in cooking. Blue cheese has added flavors and bacteria that give it a characteristic flavor. Its versatility and flavor get better as it ages and gets laden with molds. Besides, it freezes quite well and you can use it anytime you need it.

Expect that there will be a little change in texture, and the cheese might crumble after it thaws. However, it remains safe to consume without requiring any additions. You shouldn’t use frozen blue cheese in dishes that depend on its flavor and texture. You can use in salad dressings, soups, sauces, and casseroles, though.

Different varieties of blue cheese

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How to Freeze Blue Cheese?

There are several ways that you can freeze blue cheese. Blue cheese can spend up to six months in the freezer and remain safe to use. Unfortunately, it slowly loses its flavor after about two months. Thus, use the cheese within two months of use for the best results.

Freezing Blue Cheese Slices

Start by removing the cheese from its original packaging. Make small slices of the block, each about a half a pound in size. Then wrap each slice tightly in a plastic freezer wrap. That helps avoid freezer burn and prevents it from taking other flavors in the freezer.

You can use frozen slices straight into sandwiches for work or school. They will be thawed by lunchtime. You also add these straight to bread to grill or broil the bread. You can also add it right from the freezer to other dishes as toppings, pie, and lasagna.

Freezing Blue Cheese Blocks

The second method involves freezing cheese small block rather than slices. You can freeze blue cheese in blocks of about half a kilogram. Take the blocks and wrap them in a moisture-proof, airtight plastic bag.

For better results, you may wrap it in an aluminum foil before putting it in an airtight wrap. You may place several wrapped blocks in a plastic container then cover it with a lid. This saves space and makes it more accessible by members of the family.

Freezing Grated or Shredded Blue Cheese

The third method involves grating or shredding the cheese blocks into pieces. You can do it using a hand grater or by placing the cheese in a food processor that has a shredding blade.

Pick a resealable bag and fill it with pieces of grated cheese. Leave some space near the seal of about half a centimeter. When the cheese freezes, it will cling together and to the bag, thus, if filled to the top, the seal may open. Also, you should press the bags flat gently to get rid of any air that might be trapped inside the bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Blue Cheese?

To thaw a piece of the blue cheese, remove it from the deep freezer and place overnight in the refrigerator. If you need to use the cheese on the same day, remove it from the freeze and thaw on the counter.

 

Barkham Blue Cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Jessica Spengler

Please note that the slower the cheese thaws, the better the quality in the end. Once thawed, place it on a table at room temperature for about half an hour. In this period, it develops the flavor and texture. There will be some discoloration on the cheese and it might crumble on thawing. The texture and taste will also be slightly distorted.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and consume within two days. You should never refreeze thawed blue cheese. If the frozen cheese tastes rancid or emits an odd odor, please discard the cheese. Furthermore, if it has any not-natural mold, toss it out.

Summary

Blue cheese has a long shelf life but it’s great to know that you can extend its shelf life even more by freezing. After all, blue cheese isn’t cheap. Now that you know how can you freeze blue cheese, go ahead and freeze your leftovers for later use!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

Can you freeze parmesan cheese? Unless you often use Parmesan cheese, it can take few months to use up a small block. Because of that, you may consider freezing it to extend its shelf life. Here is a look at how you can freeze Parmesan cheese and what to expect when you do.

Although it is safe to freeze parmesan cheese, it is not typically a recommended method to store cheese. When cheese is in the freezer, the moisture within it freezes, forming tiny ice crystals. Because water expands when it freezes, these crystals create tiny holes throughout the cheese.

While too small to notice by the naked eye, these holes remain once the cheese is thawed. Its structural integrity is permanently altered. The smooth, creamy texture of the cheese becomes noticeably crumblier.

Parmesan cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Alexandria Perone

Harder cheeses like Parmesan typically withstand the freezing process better than softer cheeses. The taste and color of the cheese should not be affected by freezing. While it will still make the cheese more crumbly, this textural change may not be a problem, depending on the intended use for the Parmesan.

Parmesan has a shelf life ranging from several months up to a year when kept wrapped loosely in wax paper in the refrigerator. It depends on the specific variation and age of the cheese. As Parmesan is an aged cheese, it is safe to consume as long as there is not mold on it. Placing Parmesan cheese in the freezer will extend the shelf life by several months.

Below is the guide on how can you freeze parmesan cheese:

How to Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

When deciding whether to freeze Parmesan cheese, first consider how often you use it in your cooking. Take a look at the size of your block.

If you use parmesan cheese semi-regularly and have a small block that you will use within the next few months, keep it in the fridge. Enjoy it fresh.

If you only use Parmesan sporadically or have purchased a large block that will last more than a few months, it may be best to freeze at least a part of it.

You will also want to consider how you intend to use the Parmesan cheese when deciding if it makes sense to freeze your block. The textural change that accompanies freezing should not be an issue if you melt a small portion of it. Dishes such as creamy sauces or pasta fillings.

It is not ideal to freeze the cheese if you plan on using it as an unmelted topping, such as in a Caesar salad.

You can freeze Parmesan cheese as a block or shredded. You do not want to thaw and refreeze the same block of cheese, cut the block into smaller portions before freezing.

If you are shredding the cheese, select the finest grate possible. It will withstand the freezing process best.

No matter which way you choose, you will want to put the Parmesan in an airtight container. It can be a plastic or glass dish with a lid or a plastic zip bag. Make sure to leave much head space.

How to Defrost Frozen Parmesan Cheese?

To thaw Parmesan cheese, move it over to the fridge and wait. You will want to do this at least 24 hours ahead of when you plan to use it. That makes sure it has plenty of time to thaw. Obviously, larger blocks will thaw longer than smaller chunks or shredded cheese.

If you have shredded the cheese and you plan to melt it, you can add it to your dish or sauce while it is still frozen. The process of cooking your meal will thaw the cheese and melt it.

Summary

Although freezing is not the most ideal method to store cheese, it works great in terms of preserving the integrity of the product. Now that you know how can you freeze parmesan cheese, you can avoid waste and keep the cheese in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.