Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese? Some Eye-Opening Facts About This Food!
So your local grocery store has a special offer for cottage cheese, and you want don’t want to miss out on this? Well, we all know that dairy products are usually cheaper if we purchase them in large quantities. Or perhaps you have some cottage cheese leftovers that you don’t feel like eating anytime soon, but you definitely don’t want to throw out? The problem is that you don’t know how to store this soft cheese or whether it will be good after thawing. At this point, you probably are wondering: Can you freeze cottage cheese?
This is not an easy question to answer, I bet. But, worry not! After reading this article, you will have a thorough understanding of how to freeze this healthy and delicious food and how to use it more effectively. Just read until the end, and let us solve the problem for you!
What Is Cottage Cheese Exactly?
Although it wasn’t officially documented until 1831, it’s believed that cottage cheese has been around for decades. The cottage cheese market in the United States reached its zenith early in the 1970s, with Americans consuming approximately 5 pounds of the food every year. Ironically, the food will forever remind us of President Nixon’s downfall as he ate a meal of cottage cheese and pineapple right before announcing his resignation in 1974.
The 1950s saw cottage cheese’s rise in popularity due to its many health benefits, and until now, it’s still a staple of the average American’s diet and health regimen.
Basically, cottage cheese is a “fresh” cheese, so it does not go through an aging or ripening process to develop flavor. You can call it a type of cheese curd since it was prepared by acidifying milk, causing the curds to separate from the whey. After the curds are formed, they are chopped into smaller pieces, rinsed, and often salted. This process is somewhat similar to that of other cheese, with the only difference being the proportion of milk used to get the final product.
On the market, you can find nonfat, reduced-fat, or full-fat varieties of cottage cheese, each comes in many different curd sizes. You can even find a wide range of cottage cheese flavors, but it’s worth nothing that added flavors might affect the nutritional content.
About the taste..well, it’s slightly sweet and salty. Just like how tofu tastes, cottage cheese is sort of bland, so you can add it to any dish without affecting the flavor. If curdled cheese is not your thing, the texture would be the real problem: It’s soft, creamy, and rather bumpy. But if the texture doesn’t bother you, then the taste itself can be pleasant for your tongue.
You might also want to read: Is Whey Gluten-Free?
Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Now, let’s get to the real deal: Can you freeze cottage cheese? Technically, the answer is yes. Like any form of cheese, you can definitely throw this popular dairy treat into the freezer.
How long does cottage cheese last there, you ask? If it hasn’t been opened, you can store the food in the freezer for up to 3-6 months, while opened cottage cheese can be frozen around 2-3 months.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But the problem doesn’t end here: While freezing doesn’t affect its nutritional value, it changes the texture, sometimes drastically. The same applies to other cheeses, such as Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Brie. Hence, if you wonder ‘Can I freeze Ricotta cheese?’, the answer is the same. Furthermore, freeing changes the flavor of cheese, making it difficult to enjoy it by itself.
That said, although it’s okay to freeze and thaw cottage cheese, it won’t come out as delicious and good-looking as before. Before storing your cheese, you should consider your purpose of using it later, the quality you demand your cottage cheese to be, and the amount of time you want to freeze it. If you want to include cheese in cooking recipes like lasagna, soups, or several cakes, you are good to go. But if you plan to dip your fruits in a bowl of beautiful, smooth, and creamy cottage cheese? Forget about freezing!
Also, the type of cottage cheese you choose also affects its quality after being thawed. The higher fat content your cheese has, the better it will turn out after freezing. This is because cheese with more fat contains less liquid. As a result, the cheese will not drain as much liquid as the low-fat kind after coming out of the freezer.
Go for a larger curd cheese also. Avoid fat-free cottage cheese and small curd cottage cheese if you want to stock it up for long-term use.
A Complete Guide To Freezing Your Cottage Cheese
Before storing your cheese, it’s important to consider how you will use the dairy product after it’s thawed. For example, if your recipe requires a cup, you should just keep the exact amount of cottage cheese in the freezer.
After determining the portion, the freezing process is quick and simple. Read the following instruction and you will know what to do!
How To Freeze Your Cottage Cheese
You need a freezer bag or an airtight container, and a pen.
- Step 1: Divide your cottage cheese into portions according to your plan. I don’t recommend storing it in huge portions because once you put it in the freezer, it can’t be undone! You can keep the whole package if the cheese remains unopened.
- Step 2: Transfer the cheese to an airtight container or a freezer bag. In fact, a freezer bag will make a better choice as you can lay it flat in your refrigerator. It’s also less likely to get freezer burn. If you use a container, there is a chance freeze burn will affect it, so you can use a bag to store it for long-term use. Make sure you squeeze out as much excess air as possible.
- Step 3: Use the pen to write a label with the date you start to store the cheese. Then put them all in your freezer.
And… done! It’s super fast and easy, and I bet you don’t even need 5 minutes to finish all the steps!
How To Freeze Dairy Product
How To Defrost It?
When it comes to defrosting, you have two methods. Both of them are just as quick and simple:
- In the freezer: If you have a lot of time to prepare your cottage cheese dishes, thawing in the fridge is the best method. This is the classic way, and of course, it will work for your cheese as well. All you have to do is throw the bag or container in the freezer for at least 18 hours (I often do it in the evening and take it out in the morning). Keep in mind that the larger your portion is, the longer you need to defrost, so plan carefully. Once the cheese is completely thawed, drain out the excess liquid. It might get a bit too dry, so you can mix it with some sour cream.
- On the counter: In case you are in a rush and only have a few hours before making your dishes, this method is the way to go. Throw the bag or container in lukewarm or cold water. If you have less time for it to defrost, opt for the lukewarm. You can change the water every half an hour to accelerate the thawing process. As the surface defrost, you can take out the frozen cottage cheese. Remember to stir it frequently to ensure that the dairy product thaws and spreads evenly.
How To Tell If Your Cheese Has Gone Bad?
You can tell whether or not your cottage cheese is spoiled just by looking at it. If your dairy product has gone bad, here are the signs:
- The color of the cheese changes to yellow.
- It has a sour or any odd scent. In general, cottage cheese should smell mild and fresh, not sour in any way/
- The taste also turns sours. You should not expect your cheese to taste like sour cream.
Several sites mention that cottage cheese should maintain its texture, otherwise it has gone bad. In fact, this is wrong. Some separation is perfectly normal. You might even open a new container and see the contents separated, but this is more likely to happen with previously opened cottage cheese that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days. Things will be blended back together if you give it a thorough stir.
In Case You Don’t Know What To Cook With Cottage Cheese…
As mentioned, what makes cottage cheese magical is that it can be adapted to so many different recipes and uses. Frozen or not, these mild, protein-packed curds can be used to make so many different things, from pasta and pancakes to dips and desserts.
Whether you are new to cottage cheese or just want to get a bit more creative with this ingredient, here are some surprising cottage cheese dishes that you will love!
Cottage Cheese Lasagna
Homemade Cottage Cheese Lasagna Recipe
If I can only recommend one cottage cheese dish for starters, I would say Lasagna. You can see many recipes that use ricotta cheese, but back in the day, finding ricotta cheese might be challenging, especially in rural areas with limited market options. That’s why cottage cheese has proven to be the ideal replacement.
Cottage cheese is lower in fat and calories, but it is no less creamy and tasty in Lasagna. Who can tell the difference?
Cottage Cheese Alfredo
Cottage Cheese Alfredo Pasta Recipe
Can you make your Alfredo sauce even richer and more creamy? Yes, it’s possible with some cottage cheese! Believe it or not, cottage cheese Alfredo is way tastier than the traditional recipe with heavy cream or milk!
The best thing about cottage cheese Alfredo is that it contains fewer calories and fat. A sauce that’s both richer for your pasta and healthier for your body – that’s what I call perfection.
Cottage Cheese Cheesecake
Cottage Cheese Cheesecake Recipe
How to enjoy your sweet treat in the most hearty way? Make yourself a cottage cheese cheesecake! Cottage cheese is lower in fat compared to other types. Furthermore, it is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and calcium. For those reasons, this dairy product makes the creamiest dessert and serves as the perfect food for those going on a diet.
To make it even healthier, you can top your cake with granola or fresh fruits instead of jam. Good morning to cheesecake!
Cottage Cheese Ice Cream
Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Recipe
If you think ice cream is out of your life because you’re living a healthier lifestyle, you’re in for a treat (and a surprise!).
You can treat yourself to a delicious iced treat just by blending cottage cheese and fruit. But if you want to get more sophisticated, you may consider this yummy ice cream that’s low in carbs and sugar but high in flavor.
In A Nutshell: Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Can you freeze cottage cheese? The short answer is yes, you can! Now that you’ve known the answer, don’t hesitate to try out some exciting recipes with this high-protein, low-carb ingredient. It can go from a hearty breakfast to a satisfying midnight snack and everything in between.
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