Tag: dairy

Dairy

Can You Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk?

We’ve talked about freezing evaporated milk previously but what about condensed milk? Can you freeze sweetened condensed milk?

Condensed milk, which is often used in desserts, has a long shelf life. This dairy product is made by removing the water content of the milk using a special vacuum process, giving the product a distinct goopy consistency. It is also extra sweet thanks to all that sugar.

Since the condensed milk contains small amounts of water and plenty of sugar, it will keep so well in storage. In addition, the milk has been heat-processed to kill the harmful microbes that could otherwise cause the product to go bad quickly! But if you have a lot of condensed milk tins that are nearing their expiry date, you can always freeze the condensed milk.

How to Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Image used under Creative Commons from AJC1

Sweetened condensed milk is often sold in cans and the container is not ideal for freezing. You have to transfer the milk in a freezer-safe container first. We highly suggest dividing the condensed milk into manageable portions prior to freezing. This way, defrosting the frozen milk is less of a hassle.

You can use small resealable baggies or a couple of ice cube trays as a container for the condensed milk. Just open a can of sweetened condensed milk and pour the contents carefully into your desired container. Do not fill the container to the brim; leave about 2 inches of space to give the condensed milk enough room to expand as it freezes. If you’re using a resealable plastic bag, remove the excess air and then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you’re using ice cube trays, place the filled trays in the freezer. Leave the condensed milk to freeze for two hours or more. Once the condensed milk is frozen solid, take the ice cube tray from the freezer. Gently transfer the condensed milk cubes in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out the excess air and then seal. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Why buy sweetened condensed milk when you can make this at home using the best ingredients? It’s surprisingly easy! Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

7 Ways to Use Leftover Sweetened Condensed Milk

Hot Drinks

Give your favorite drinks, such as coffee and hot choco, a rich, sweet taste by adding a little condensed milk. You can also mix the leftover condensed milk to iced coffee and milk teas. If you froze leftover condensed milk in an ice cube tray, try adding one cube first. You don’t want the drink to become too sweet!

Baked Goods

You can use sweetened condensed milk as an ingredient in baked goods such as cornbread and pound cake. The sweetened condensed milk will impart a subtle sweetness to the baked goods.

Sweet French Toast

Brighten your mornings with a serving of yummy French toast! But rather than going for the traditional recipe, use your leftover condensed milk to whip up a custard-y, sweet French toast! This breakfast treat will go perfectly with your morning coffee.

Fresh Fruit Topping

Give sour fruits a creamy, sweet flavor with sweetened condensed milk. Just prep the fresh fruits as you normally would then drizzle a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk and you have a healthy dessert to share with the whole family. Sweetened condensed milk pairs perfectly with tart fruits like strawberries!

Image used under Creative Commons from Paul Alexander

Pie Fillings

If you love custard pie fillings then you can make use of your leftover sweetened condensed milk to make a classic lemon pie, custard pie, or Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie! Just follow your favorite pie recipe as you normally would then add the sweetened condensed milk to the filling.

Sweet Milk Tea

Give your favorite hot tea a sweet, creamy flavor with a cube or two of frozen sweetened condensed milk! The cubed sweetened condensed milk will melt instantly, giving your hot tea a refreshing twist.

Homemade Ice Cream

If you scream for ice cream then you can make this classic dessert at home using leftover sweetened condensed milk. Just follow your favorite ice cream recipe (Nigella’s no churn ice cream recipe sounds dreamy) and add sweetened condensed milk to give the ice cream a thick, creamy texture and delightfully sweet flavor!

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

Frozen sweetened condensed milk will keep for 3 to 6 months. Keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize flavor changes. If you can, consume your supply as soon as possible for optimal flavor.

If you’re using the sweetened condensed milk for hot drinks, there is no need to thaw it at all. Just drop a cube or two of sweetened condensed milk directly to the hot drink and the milk will melt on its own. If the sweetened condensed milk requires thawing, just transfer the container to the fridge. Leave the frozen sweetened condensed milk to thaw overnight. If the milk solids are separating from the liquids, give the thawed sweetened condensed milk a vigorous whisk until smooth.

Summary

Can you freeze sweetened condensed milk? Of course, you can! Condensed milk has a long shelf life as it is but it’s nice to know that you can freeze the product to extend its shelf life even more. Sweetened condensed milk has a lot of uses so make sure to keep a can or two in the pantry so you don’t run out.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Evaporated Milk?

Love making low-fat dishes using milk? If you do then you must have cans of evaporated milk in your pantry! Evaporated milk is a type of processed milk with 60% of its water content removed. This dairy product has a thick, creamy texture but it’s surprisingly low in fat, about 1/4 of the cream fat! Of course, certain brands offer light versions of evaporated milk so these products are even healthier and diet friendly.

Now, say you have cans or packs of evaporated milk that’s nearing their expiry date, can you freeze evaporated milk? There are times when a recipe calls for evaporated milk, not a full can. How do you store leftover evaporated milk?

The quick answer is yes, you can freeze evaporated milk. However, it is quite tricky to do so because freezing tends to cause separation between the milk solids and the liquids when thawed. When this happens, no amount of stirring would homogenize the ingredients back to the milk’s original texture. Still, if the milk solids separate from the liquids, the evaporated milk is still usable in cooking. As long as you are planning on using the evaporated milk for cooking then freezing should be a great way to store leftover or canned evaporated milk.

How to Freeze Evaporated Milk?

can you freeze evaporated milk

Image used under Creative Commons from TummyRumble

Freezing Canned Evaporated Milk

Got several cans of evaporated milk sitting in the pantry? You can extend the shelf life of evaporated milk until you are ready to use up your stash by freezing it. However, you have to transfer the product to a freezer friendly container first. Tins do not hold up well in the freezer and are prone to bursting at cold temps.

To prepare the evaporated milk for freezing, punch a hole on either side of the top so the milk flows freely. Pour the evaporated milk into an opaque container with an airtight lid, leaving a couple of inches of space. You can also pour the evaporated milk in ice cube trays if you’d like to divide the milk into single serving portions. Cover the container with cling wrap then cover with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer. This freezing instruction goes for leftover evaporated milk too. Just find a suitable container for the milk and you’re good to go.

Storage Tips for Evaporated Milk

If you bought cans of evaporated milk to save money, you might not use up your supply as quickly. To maximize your supply, always check the expiry dates of the products. Choose those with a long expiry date, about a year. If you have older cans of evaporated milk, use those first before using your newer stocks.

If for some reason the canned milk starts leaking or bulging, discard the product. Check the cans for dents, cracks, and rust, if you’re seeing these, throw out the cans. For newly bought cans of evaporated milk, place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, store the unopened cans of evaporated milk in the cupboard or kitchen cabinet to prevent rusting.

Treat evaporated milk like fresh milk. You can store the milk in the fridge and it will stay fresh for up to 5 days. However, keep the container sealed because the evaporated milk has the tendency to absorb fridge odors and flavors.

5 Uses for Stored Evaporated Milk

Stored evaporated milk can be used in so many ways!

Image used under Creative Commons from Melissa Wiese

Whip It!

You can turn thawed evaporated milk into whipped cream. Just thaw the frozen evaporated milk until it is fluid yet still cold. Then, pour the thawed evaporated milk in your mixer then beat at high speed until you get stiff peaks. Add vanilla and sugar to sweeten the whipped cream and use immediately.

Add to Your Favorite Drinks

From coffee to tea, hot chocolate to smoothies, you can use leftover evaporated milk to give your favorite drinks a creamy, rich taste! The best part? Evaporated milk contains less fat than regular milk so it’s the perfect additive to hot or cold drinks.

Ingredient in Baking

Do you love baking? You can use evaporated milk as a substitute for milk in bread recipes. You can also use leftover evaporated milk to whip up fudge, pies, and milk cookies.

Used in Cooking

Evaporated milk is a great ingredient in any recipe that calls for regular milk, heavy cream, and half-and-half. Evaporated milk won’t curdle at high temperatures so it’s the perfect milk sub for cooking. You can add your leftover evaporated milk in mashed potatoes, stews, and even mac n’ cheese!

Dressing, Soups, and Sauces

Evaporated milk adds richness and depth to different sauces and dressing. If you want to whip up an egg-free dressing for pasta or potato salad, use room temperature evaporated milk. You can also use evaporated milk as a substitute for regular or heavy milk for making cream soups and thick sauces.

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, evaporated milk will keep for at least 3 months. However, we recommend using up your supply as soon as possible for optimal flavor. There is no need to thaw the frozen evaporated milk when used in cooking. But if a recipe calls for room temperature evaporated milk, you can thaw the leftover milk by transferring it to the fridge. Leave the frozen evaporated milk to thaw overnight then rest for a few minutes before adding to the recipe.

Summary

Can you freeze evaporated milk? Freezing may not the best storage option for evaporated milk but you can try it when you are out of options. Just keep these tips in mind so the milk will remain usable after it’s been frozen and thawed.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Velveeta Cheese?

Velveeta cheese is a processed cheese product with a soft, smooth texture. It can be enjoyed as is, melted to make cheese sauce or dips, or as an ingredient in sandwiches and finger foods. Can you freeze Velveeta cheese? Technically, you can freeze any type of food, including cheese. However, Kraft, the maker of Velveeta, does not recommend freezing this product at all.

As seen on Kraft’s official Facebook page, the company explicitly warns about the changes that could happen if Velveeta has been frozen:

“We do not recommend that you freeze VELVEETA Pasteurized Process Cheese Product. Freezing VELVEETA Pasteurized Process Cheese Product may cause changes in the texture of the cheese. Crystals may form within the product, which may make it grainy, or its texture to become mushy. Freezing can also break down the ingredients used to make the cheese. This may cause water to form on the surface of the product. Freezing can also negatively impact the flavor.”

How to Freeze Velveeta Cheese?

If say, you are still committed to freezing Velveeta regardless of these changes, it’s surprisingly easy to prep the product for freezing:

Velveeta cheese cubed

Image used under Creative Commons from Donald Durham

Velveeta cheese is sold in blocks packed in cardboard boxes. Regardless if you’re freezing opened or unopened boxes of Velveeta cheese, you have to transfer the product to a freezer-safe container. The original packaging is not freezer-safe at all.

To prep the cheese, take the product out of its original packaging. You can either freeze the cheese as a block or cut a block into cubes so you can divide it into serving portions. Cover the cheese with cling wrap, making sure there are no exposed spots.

Place the wrapped cheese into a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag then squeeze out the excess air. Seal, write the storage date then stick in the freezer. We highly suggest placing the cheese at the back of the freezer. The cheese has to be kept at a steady temperature to reduce texture changes.

If you defrosted the frozen Velveeta cheese, there should not be any leftovers. Never refreeze thawed Velveeta cheese. Frozen Velveeta cheese should only be used in cooking because of the texture changes.

Easy Recipes Using Velveeta Cheese

Since frozen and thawed Velveeta should only be used for cooking, try experimenting in the kitchen using these recipes:

RO*TEL Famous Queso Dip

Velveeta 3-Step Spicy Bacon and Spinach Sliders

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen Velveeta cheese will keep for at least 3 months. But we recommend consuming the cheese as soon as possible to minimize the texture or flavor changes. To thaw the frozen Velveeta cheese, just transfer the product in the fridge. Leave the product to defrost overnight.

Velveeta cheese on the shelf

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

Ideally, you should thaw the frozen cheese slowly. But if you are in a hurry, you can use your microwave to defrost and reheat the frozen cheese. Just remove the wrapper and cut the cheese into cubes. Place the cubed cheese in a microwave-safe container then nuke on high in 2 minutes intervals until the cheese is melted completely.

You can also thaw and melt the cheese at the same time by adding Velveeta straight to the dish being cooked. Just whip up a dish as you normally would. Cut the cheese into cubes then add the cheese gradually when the recipe calls for it.

Summary

Can you freeze Velveeta cheese? As long as you are reserving the cheese for cooking, freezing helps extend the shelf life of the cheese. You can use the frozen Velveeta cheese for making dips, classic mac and cheese, and cheese casseroles without worrying about flavor changes.

Dairy

Can You Freeze American Cheese?

American cheese is a type of processed cheese with so many uses. It’s a kitchen staple that’s best enjoyed in a sandwich but you can also use the cheese for cooking or as a quick snack.

But what if you bought American cheese by bulk, can you freeze American cheese?

Although freezing is not a recommended storage option for American cheese, it can be used to extend the shelf life of the product. American cheese is generally made from semi-soft, processed cheese. Since American cheese has low water content, flavor or texture changes are kept at a minimum. Still, there is a good chance that the cheese could turn brittle, tasteless, or crumbly when frozen.

Is Freezing a Good Idea?

As you know, freezing any type of dairy product is tricky because there’s a good chance that the texture and flavor will be altered after the product has been defrosted. The cheese could turn crumbly, dry, or tasteless if it’s not prepped properly prior to freezing.

Freezer burns are also a concern when freezing any type of cheese. If the product has been packed poorly, ice crystals will start forming on the surface and within the cheese, causing freezer burns. Freezer burns will alter the texture of the cheese.

Since American cheese is heavily processed, it should keep for weeks in the fridge with no problems at all. The preservatives will extend the shelf life of the cheese, which means freezing isn’t necessary. That being said, you can freeze American cheese if left with no choice. Do note, however, that the frozen cheese should be strictly used in cooking.  If you’re not planning to use the cheese for cooking, do not freeze it.

can you freeze American cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Jonathan Lin

How to Freeze American Cheese?

American cheese is often sold in individually packed slices, pre-sliced block to slabs. You can prep the cheese in different ways for optimal flavor:

Freezing American Cheese Slices

Freezing American cheese is easy because the product itself is packed in a freezer-safe packaging. In addition, the slices of cheese are packed individually so prepping the product for freezing is down to a minimum.

If you bought American cheese in bulk, leave the cheese that you’d like to freeze unopened for optimal freshness. Just place the packs of sliced American cheese in a freezer safe bag then squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If say, you are worried that the plastic wrapping will stick to the cheese slices after thawing, you could remove the packaging first prior to freezing. Just unwrap the cheese slices one by one and then layer them with a piece of waxed paper in between each slice. Place the cheese slices in a double layer of freezer-safe resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Pre-Sliced American Cheese Blocks

Unopened packs of pre-sliced American cheese blocks are easy to freeze. Just place the product in a freezer-safe container, write the storage date then stick in the freezer. For leftover blocks of cheese, wrap the leftover cheese in aluminum foil then place the cheese in a double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal then write the storage date.

Freezing American Cheese Slabs

Unless you have a walk-in freezer, we recommend dividing the block of American cheese into manageable portions prior to freezing. This way, thawing the cheese won’t be as inconvenient.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cheese into smaller pieces (no larger than a ½ pound each), the size will depend on the capacity of your freezer. Wrap the pieces of cheese in cling wrap then placer them in a freezer safe double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal then write the storage date.

Freezing Grated American Cheese

Yes, you can grate blocks of cheese prior to freezing. This is a great option if you’d like to divide a large slab or block of cheese into manageable portions. We do, however, recommend consuming the grated cheese as soon as possible. Leaving the grated cheese in the freezer for months on end could cause the product to turn brittle due to the freezing temps.

Start by cutting the cheese block in two. Using a grater, grate the cheese by hand. Prepare a couple of freezer-safe resealable plastic bag and spoon the grated cheese into the bag. Squeeze the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

can you freeze American cheese

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Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen American cheese will keep for 3 months and beyond in the freezer. However, we do not recommend waiting this long before consuming your supply. Use the cheese as soon as possible for optimal flavor. To reiterate, frozen and thawed American cheese should be strictly used for cooking. You can use the cheese for making soups, casseroles, and sauces.

To thaw the frozen American cheese, simply transfer the container to the fridge. Leave the cheese to thaw overnight. Once the cheese has been thawed completely, you can cut it into the desired portions and add to the dish directly, no reheating needed.

Summary

Can you freeze American cheese? It’s great to know that you can freeze American cheese with ease and avoid waste! Just keep these storage tips in mind to retain the taste and quality of the cheese!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Nacho Cheese Sauce?

Nacho cheese sauce and chips make a knockout pair because life is infinitely better with cheese! But what if you made too much cheese sauce? Can you freeze nacho cheese sauce? Dairy products are quite tricky to freeze and nacho cheese sauce is no exception. When done the wrong way, the end product is a runny, unappetizing mess. But when done right, you can enjoy the cheese sauce for months.

So the quick answer is yes, you can freeze nacho cheese sauce successfully! However, homemade cheese sauce tends to have a much shorter shelf life than its store-bought counterpart. That’s something to keep in mind when making the cheese sauce from scratch.

Easy Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe

Homemade nacho cheese sauce is superior to store-bought cheese dip in flavor and quality so go ahead and make your own using the finest ingredients! Try this easy nacho cheese sauce recipe:

You will need:

¼ cup melted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon all-purpose flour
3 cups cold pasteurized milk
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper salt to taste
½ pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
¼ pound Muenster cheese, shredded

Instructions

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat then sprinkle 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of flour. Whisk the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and thick. Pour the cold milk into the mixture gradually, whisking constantly until the ingredients are incorporated well. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes but continue stirring.

Add the paprika, ground chipotle, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt, stir well then reduce the heat to low. Then, add a handful of the sharp Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Muenster cheese at a time while stirring constantly. Once all the cheeses are added to the mixture, stir the sauce until smooth. Season with salt to taste, leave to cool down then serve!

Image used under Creative Commons from jeffreyw

How to Freeze Nacho Cheese Sauce?

As you can see, nacho cheese contains different cheeses so you are running the risk of separation between the ingredients if you froze the sauce improperly. Good thing prepping the cheese sauce for freezing is easy!

Freezing Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

If you intend to make the cheese sauce in advance for freezing, leave the sauce to cool completely first. Once the sauce has cooled down completely, transfer the sauce in an airtight container. You can either use a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid or a resealable plastic bag. When pouring the sauce, leave about an inch of space or two. This way, the sauce could expand without leaking. Seal the container then wrap in another resealable plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick the sauce in the freezer.

Freezing Store-Bought Nacho Cheese Sauce

Store-bought nacho cheese sauce is often sold in sealed glass bottles so you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container prior to freezing. Spoon the product into a resealable plastic bag or a plastic container with an airtight lid. Do not fill the container completely, leave about an inch or two of space. Seal the container then wrap in another resealable plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick the sauce in the freezer.

Freezing Tips

Freezing is a great way to preserve cheese sauce but to retain the quality of the sauce, consider these tips:

Store at a Steady 0 degrees

Generally, dairy products are tricky to freeze because you run the risk of altering the taste or consistency of the product. The cheese sauce is no different. To extend the shelf life of the nacho cheese sauce in the freezer, keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature inhibits bacterial growth that could otherwise cause the product to go bad. The steady temperature also protects the cheese sauce from contamination.

Divide into Serving Portions

Defrosting a massive slab of nacho cheese sauce can be impractical unless you’re throwing a huge party. To save yourself the hassle, divide the cheese sauce into serving portions prior to freezing. There are many ways to do this but our favorite involves using ice cube trays.

Just scoop the product into your desired container and freeze the cheese sauce for two hours or more. Once the cheese is frozen solid, pop the cheese sauce squares out and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Bring the bag of frozen cheese sauce squares back in the freezer. Just pop a couple in the microwave when you’re ready to serve!

Use Pasteurized Milk

When making nacho cheese sauce at home, do not use powdered milk or ordinary milk. These milk products may turn rancid much more quickly. Defrosting the cheese sauce with ordinary milk or powdered milk increases the risk of cross-contamination too. If you’re making a large batch of nacho cheese sauce, use pasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk is free from contaminants that could either shorten the shelf life of the sauce or cause sickness.

Double Bag

It’s best to use a double bag to store the cheese sauce to prevent freezer burns. Using two freezer-safe bags prevents leakage too.

Image used under Creative Commons from jeffreyw

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Homemade nacho cheese sauce should keep in the freezer for six months or more if the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, store-bought nacho cheese sauce will keep beyond the six-month mark. However, we recommend consuming the sauce as soon as possible. Regardless if you are using homemade or store-bought sauce, the quality of the product will degrade the longer it is kept in the freezer.

To thaw the frozen cheese sauce, transfer the product to the fridge and leave to defrost overnight. Once the cheese sauce thaws, the milk fats might clump together, leading to a clumpy, watery consistency. Give the sauce a quick mix to incorporate the ingredients together. To reheat, pop a portion of the sauce in the microwave then nuke for a minute or more. You can also simmer the cheese sauce over low heat then serve.

Summary

Can you freeze nacho cheese sauce? As you can see, making, freezing, and defrosting nacho cheese sauce can be done easily! With these tips, you can freeze a large batch of cheese sauce and store the rest for future snacking!

Dairy

Can You Freeze String Cheese?

Can you freeze string cheese? String cheese is a popular snack made from mozzarella or mozzarella-cheddar cheese mix. Generally, string cheese can be frozen although there is no guarantee that the product will taste the same after it’s been thawed. That being said, freezing will not affect the stringiness of the cheese at all. Some cheese varieties tend to turn crumbly once they have been frozen.

Can You Freeze String Cheese?

Yes, string cheese can be frozen thanks to its low water content. Since it contains less water, string cheese could retain its original texture after it’s been thawed and frozen. This means the product will remain stringy once frozen and thawed. Individually packed string cheese and blocks of string cheese could be frozen with relative ease.

Image used under Creative Commons from Chris Hsia

How to freeze individually packed string cheese?

There’s no special preparation needed to freeze string cheese. You can put the product in the freezer, original packaging and all, and leave it to freeze. When you’re ready to thaw, just transfer the product to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. If you’re adding several individually packed string cheese sticks to your children’s packed lunch, just leave the frozen product in their lunch box. They should thaw within a couple of hours, just in time for recess.

How to freeze blocks of string cheese?

If you’re freezing blocks of string cheese, additional prep is needed to ensure even freezing. Start by wrapping the string cheese in a resealable plastic bag or placing the product in a freezer-safe container. Seal the container then write the storage date then freeze.  String cheese will keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. When you’re ready to thaw, just transfer the product to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight.

Will freezing change the texture of string cheese?

Foodies and chefs have varying opinions and recommendations when it comes to freezing any type of cheese, however. Still, string cheese it is less likely to turn crumbly or brittle once it’s been frozen and thawed. It will, however, take on a rubbery texture and a deeper yellow color if frozen for too long.

Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of string cheese although re-freezing is not recommended. You can only freeze string cheese once and never re-freeze otherwise; the texture and flavor may be altered.

How to tell if string cheese is no longer safe to eat?

It’s easy to tell if string cheese has gone bad. If you’re seeing mold or greenish gray specks all over the product, the string cheese is no longer safe to eat. If say, the string cheese has taken on a dry texture but there is no presence of mold, it is still safe to eat. However, dry string cheese is best used in cooking because of the different mouth feel.

Is it safe to freeze string cheese sold in plastic packs?

Some people are concerned about freezing any type of products sold in plastic packs. That’s because some packaging chemicals may seep into the product. In addition, certain types of plastic materials aren’t ideal for freezing.

Image used under Creative Commons from k.steudel

Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not disclose what type of plastic they used for the packaging. There is no way to say if the plastic packaging is safe to use in extremely cold temperature. To be on the safe side, consume your supply as soon as possible. You can always unwrap the string cheese and transfer them in a freezer-safe container if you’re really worried about the safety of the product’s original packaging while in a deep freeze.

Will freezing affect the nutritional value of string cheese?

String cheese is a popular snack among kids because it is high in essential vitamins such as calcium, vitamin A, and protein. Some brands even fortify their products with vitamin D and zinc. The good news is, freezing will not affect the nutritional value of string cheese.

Summary

Can you freeze string cheese? String cheese freezes wonderfully although there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. Just keep these freezing tips in mind to make the most out of your supply!

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

Image used under Creative Commons from cookbookman17

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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!