Cottage cheese is a curd cheese renowned for its mild taste and creamy, smooth consistency. It’s an extremely versatile ingredient used in anything from pasta dishes to desserts and dips. If you purchase it from a store but only use a small amount, you’ll be left with a large amount that might go waste. You might be wondering if there’s an alternative to keeping your cottage cheese fresh longer. In particular, is it possible to store cottage cheese in the freezer?
To learn more, let us dive into the article.
What Are The Types of Cottage Cheese Available?
Apart from being available in small curd, large chunky, curd, or smooth types, soft cheese is usually classified into three categories based on the amount of milk fat in the cheese.
Full Cream Cottage Cheese- The cheese is creamy and rich with a minimum of 4 percent milk fat.
Low-Fat Cottage Cheese– The cheese comes in various varieties comprising anything from 0.5 to 2-percent milk fat.
Fat-Free Cottage Cheese- The cheese is called dry curd and comprises less than 0.5 percent milk fat. Because of the low-fat content, this cottage cheese isn’t suggested for freezing.
Can you freeze cottage cheese?
Although there aren’t any definitive guidelines for freezing cottage cheese, it can be stored for up to 7-10 days beyond its expiry date if not opened. Once it’s open, cottage cheese usually lasts about 5-7 days when stored in the fridge. Like other kinds of cheese like tofu, string cheese etc, you can freeze cottage cheese to prolong its shelf life and keep it fresh.
The unopened cottage cheese will last for around 3-6 months when kept in the freezer. However, it is possible to store cottage cheese that’s been opened and can be stored in the freezer for upto two months. However, it is not recommended since it could lead to changes in texture and taste.
How To Freeze Cottage Cheese?
The procedure is simple, even for beginners, taking just five minutes. No special equipment or preparation tasks are required besides getting containers, bags, or freezer-safe Tupperware. It’s a good idea to label every container with its contents and the date you freeze it.
When portioning cottage cheese to freeze, it is best to divide it into even smaller portions. If you intend to use it for baking or cooking, it’s easy to quickly thaw and measure the proper quantity without wasting. You shouldn’t be a risk of thawing all at once since cottage cheese isn’t able to freeze well.
Once your containers are ready to put your cottage cheese into freezers, check out the following simple steps:
Place a portion of cottage cheese in each container labeled and seal.
Make sure all lids are airtight to ensure freshness.
Place the containers in your freezer. They will maintain a constant temperature further back from the back.
After a couple of hours, your cottage cheese will be frozen in one solid chunk.
It is also possible to store cottage cheese in a container if bought from a supermarket. Be aware that larger containers are more difficult to melt and portion according to the amount necessary.
How Long Will Cottage Cheese Last In The Freezer?
Cottage cheese can last up to six months when stored in the freezer if you store it properly. However, it could be as short as two months, depending on the storage conditions and the age at which it was first put in the freezer. If the cottage cheese you purchased was a bit old by the time you freeze it, it didn’t last for as long as it would when it was freshly made.
The amount of time the cottage cheese will last depends on whether it was opened or not before you froze it. The unopened cottage cheese lasts longer than the one opened when it is placed in the freezer. This is because opened cottage cheese is exposed to more air, which means that more contaminants have had a chance to be absorbed into it.
The rule of thumb is that cottage cheese that has been opened can last between 2 to 3 months in the freezer, while unopened cottage cheese can remain longer, lasting for around 3 to 6 months. But remember that this is only the general rule of thumb, and it can change based on the various storage conditions.
How To Thaw Your Cottage Cheese Properly?
The thawing process is more simple and more quick. There are two ways to defrost cottage cheese: inside the fridge or at the counter.
Let us take a look.
In The Fridge
If you’ve got plenty of time to prepare cooking your cottage cheese meals, This is the best method of thawing the cheese. The only things you need to do is
Place the cheese that you have frozen in the refrigerator for a minimum of 18 hours before using it. The bigger the size of the cheese larger, the more time you’ll need to allow them to defrost (up to two days).
When the cottage cheese has fully thawed out, drain all the liquid.
If the mixture is too dry, mix in a bit of sour cream, and mix them.
On The Counter
If you’re working in a hurry, let’s say that you have a couple of hours to prepare your food, this method will save you lots of time. After defrosting, it is recommended that your cheese be used in cooking or baking recipes.
Place the freezer bags or containers in the water. The water could be cold or lukewarm. If you require to speed up the defrosting process, choose the warm.
Change the water every thirty minutes to accelerate the melting process.
When the frozen food has thawed, you’ll be required to remove the liquid and add additional sour cream, if needed.
Cottage cheese is a delicious food item, but most people would not recommend freezing it. However, it’s got an extremely high amount of moisture and loses liquid when frozen, leading to changes in the taste and its texture. However, if you’re baking it as a dish or simply don’t mind the change and want to keep it fresh, freezing it is an acceptable way to ensure its freshness.
The best part is that freezing cottage cheese is a breeze, and thawing requires little effort. It is a quick and efficient method of extending its shelf-life. However, you can include frozen cottage cheese in various recipes, such as soups, panini, pancakes, sauces, and desserts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store your cottage cheese?
To prolong the shelf-life of cottage cheese following the opening, ensure that it is chilled and well-protected, whether in its original container or an airtight container. If properly stored, an open container of cottage cheese will typically last 7-10 days following the opening, provided that it is refrigerated regularly.
Can I eat expired cottage cheese?
Eating it is acceptable if the item isn’t damaged and is only a few days beyond its expiration date. If it’s longer than two weeks from its expiration date, I would suggest that you take the extra step of caution and dispose of it. Ensure the cottage cheese is fresh before eating it, particularly when it’s past its expiration date.
What is cottage cheese used for?
Cottage cheese is low in calories compared to other cheeses, making it a favorite among people trying to lose weight and are health-conscious, like yogurt. It is a great addition to many different food items, including fruit, yogurt, and toast, as well as granola in salads, as a dip, or as a substitute for mayonnaise.
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