When it comes to soft cheeses, cottage cheese is one of the most popular. It is not only tasty, but it can also be healthy, making it a good choice for a nutritious snack. It is a staple item in many households, and in many instances, it is kept longer than necessary. For most people, one of the common ways of storing it is through freezing.
Can you freeze cottage cheese? If you are wondering about the answer, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll let you know. We will also educate you on what is the best way to store it, making sure that it will remain fresh before it is consumed.
Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Yes – this is the simple answer to this question. It is an excellent way to preserve the natural properties of cheese even for a long time. Nonetheless, this does not mean that freezing it will be an excuse to store it indefinitely. Still, even when in the freezer, time will come that the cheese will go off.
Why do people freeze cottage cheese? The primary reason is to extend its shelf life. As recommended by experts, freezing should be done if you do not intend to use the cheese sooner. In most instances, you can keep it for almost six months. This will depend on the specific brand and whether the cheese has been opened or not.
What Are The Effects of Freezing Cottage Cheese
While you can freeze cottage cheese, it is also important to note that it will inevitably have a negative impact on its overall quality, especially if it is frozen more than the recommended duration.
As a soft cheese, it has liquid contents. When thawed after being frozen for some time, they will melt. This will have an effect on the texture and flavor of the cottage cheese. There is a tendency for it to be watered down, and hence, the taste will be quite bland.
How Do You Freeze and Thaw Cottage Cheese
Freezing cottage cheese should not be as simple as throwing it in the freezer and expecting that it will still be as good after some time. There is a right way of doing this to ensure its freshness and optimal condition.
One of the best ways to freeze cottage cheese is to keep it in a container that is clean and dry. It is also important that it comes with an air-tight seal, which will prevent the penetration of external elements. This will make it less prone to spoilage.
Alternatively, you can also use a freezer bag with a tight seal. Again, the seal is important to avoid external elements from spoiling the cheese. When placing it in the freezer, position it on the top. Putting anything else above the bag can deform the cheese. Also, keep it away from raw meat and any other frozen item that can possibly emit a strong smell.
Muslin cloth, a type of cotton fabric, can also be used when freezing cottage cheese. First, dip the cloth in water. Wrap the cheese around the cloth and have it secured. In this way, only the cloth will be dried after freezing and this can retain the moisture of your cottage cheese.
Before freezing the cottage cheese, it is also important to stir it first. This will lessen the likelihood that milk fat will separate and will also minimize the tendency of clumping. Regardless of how it is stored, however, expect that the texture will no longer be the same once it is thawed.
Aside from proper freezing, you should also pay attention to the right way of having it thawed. At all times, to not let it sit in the counter at room temperature. This will make it prone to bacterial growth, and hence, will result to spoilage.
When it is time to thaw the cottage cheese, just leave it in the fridge overnight. The lower temperature compared to the freezer will allow the cheese to soften without making it prone to microbial infestation.
Once it has thawed, use a spoon to scoop out any watery portion of your cottage cheese. For some people, they also consider adding sour cream, which is a good idea. This gives it a more distinct flavor since freezing and thawing can make it end up blander than usual.
Keep in mind, however, that once it has already thawed, it should be used preferably within three days. This will give you an assurance that it is still in its tip-top condition.
Using Thawed Cottage Cheese
Sky is the limit when it comes to ideas on how you can use cottage cheese that has been frozen and thawed. Eating the cheese on its own may not be a good idea, especially because of the changes in flavor and texture.
One good thing that you can do is to use it as a main ingredient in your pasta recipes, such as for lasagna. It can also be used for baking bread and pastries. Omelets and quiches can have a more distinct flavor if you add cottage cheese. You can also add it in mashed potato and tomatoes sauces for a creamier texture.
Below are some of the best ways to use cottage cheese:
Can you freeze cottage cheese? Yes, you can do that! Aside from answering this question in this article, we have also discussed the following:
- Freezing cottage cheese is an excellent way to extend its shelf life by as much as six months. However, this is often not recommended because it can lead into being watered down, which will negatively affect the flavor and texture.
- When freezing cottage cheese, it is best to keep it in a container with an airtight seal or a freezer bag. This will prevent the penetration of external elements that can lead to spoilage. Wrapping it in wet Muslin cloth can also be good, especially because it can preserve the moisture.
- Thaw the cottage cheese in the fridge and never at room temperature. To make it taste better, once it has thawed, you can consider adding sour cream.