Cheese is a milk-based food and there are many different types of cheeses, depending on their textures and flavors. Actually, it is considered that there are more than thousand varieties of cheeses in the world.
One of favorite varieties of cheeses is cottage cheese and it has been used all around the world. Cottage cheese is one of the most common types of cheeses and it has been used as an ingredient in many dishes. But, what will happen if cottage cheese has been on sale in your supermarket, so you have bought too much of it? How long cottage cheese can last in your fridge? Can you freeze cottage cheese as well?
In this article you will get the answers to all of these questions. We will tell you if it is good to store cottage cheese and how you can do it properly. You should have in mind that proper storage is the most important if you want to extend the shelf life of your food.
However, before we start to talk about freezing cottage cheese, we will tell you something more about this cheese and its characteristics.
What is Cottage Cheese?
This dairy treat can be made from skimmed milk, part-skimmed milk or whole pasteurized milk of the cow. Cottage cheese is favorite all over the world due to its mild taste and softness. This cheese has also moist texture and it has been drained. Cottage cheese has no color, but it is possible to notice a yellow shade that appears due to the fat level in this cheese. There are three varieties of cottage cheese and these are small, medium and also large curd.
Cottage cheese is loaded with nutrients and it is usually considered a diet food. Cottage cheese can be eaten on its own, but you can also use it in many dishes, for example in lasagna, pasta dishes, quiche, muffins, pizza, casseroles, etc. You can also make great pancakes using cottage cheese. There are many recipes made with cottage cheese and that’s why this cheese is favorite in restaurants all over the world. Now you will see if it is a good idea to freeze cottage cheese and how you should do it.
Is it Possible to Freeze Cottage Cheese?
The answer to this question can be yes or no, depending on what you want to use this cheese for. So, we can say that it is possible to freeze cottage cheese. If you don’t have enough space in your fridge or if you want to save your cottage cheese for a longer period of time, then freezing is the only option. But, you should have in mind that soft cheeses don’t freeze very well, so you have to be careful with them.
After freezing cottage cheese will not be as good as it was before freezing. It is possible that the cottage cheese will change in flavor and texture after freezing, but you will hardly notice any difference if you use this cheese for preparing lasagna, sauces and other dishes. If you decide to freeze cottage cheese in order to use it later in lasagna and other recipes, then there will be no problems at all.
You should know that whole fat cottage cheese will always freeze much better than low fat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese which is fat free is not good for freezing. Low-fat and free-fat cheeses may become to mushy after the freezing process. Because of that it is always better to choose the whole-fat option of this cheese.
However, if you want to find out how to freeze cottage cheese properly and how to extend its shelf life, you should continue reading this article.
How to Freeze Cottage Cheese?
If you decide to freeze cottage cheese in order to save it for later use, you should follow our instructions. It is very important to freeze cottage cheese properly.
It is best to freeze cottage cheese in an airtight container. If you want to freeze the cottage cheese for more than two months, then you should place the airtight container in a special freezer bag. This way cottage cheese may be stored in the freezer about six months.
Another option is to freeze cottage cheese in its original container, but you should double wrap it, in order to prevent that your cheese absorbs some flavors from other foods in your freezer.
You should know that cottage cheese will change in consistency because it contains liquid, but you will not notice the difference if you use this cheese for baking and cooking.
How to Thaw Cottage Cheese?
When you decide to use cottage cheese that has been in the freezer, you need to thaw it. The best way to thaw cottage cheese is to place it in the fridge. The thawing process will last a couple of hours, but it is best to leave the cottage cheese in the fridge during the night. You should not keep cottage cheese at room temperature, because it may cause bacteria to grow.
When you thaw the cottage cheese, you should see if there is any liquid and you should drain it. It is possible that the milk fat separates from other ingredients in this cheese, so it can become watery and grainy. We recommend you to add a small amount of sour cream in order to prevent the dryness of the cottage cheese.
Another important thing is that you should use cottage cheese 3 or 4 days after thawing. Also, you should never re-freeze this cheese. It is recommended to divide cottage cheese in small packages before you put it in the freezer. This way you will be able to take as much cheese as you want.
As we have already said, after freezing and thawing cottage cheese, there may be a little change in flavor and texture, but you may not even notice it, especially if you use cottage cheese in some other meals. The cottage cheese that has been frozen and thawed can be used in preparing soups, casseroles, sauces, lasagna and different types of cakes.
When Should You Not Freeze Cottage Cheese?
So, it is good to freeze cottage cheese when you want to use it for baking and preparing other dishes. But, there are some situations when you should not freeze it. For example, it is not good to freeze cottage cheese if you are going to serve it as a snack dip. It is not recommended to eat this cheese in its original form after it has been frozen, because it may change in consistency and flavor, which we have already explained.
Also, you have to know that cottage cheese may change in appearance. It means that it may not look good on a plate. It will change in texture, so we recommend you to use cottage cheese only for making some other dishes.
How to Know if Cottage Cheese is Spoiled?
We have already told you that cottage cheese may last about three to six months in the freezer, if you store it properly. But, if you store it longer or if you don’t store it properly, it may spoil very fast. It is important to know when the cottage cheese is spoiled.
The first sign that cottage cheese is spoiled is its yellow color and sour smell. Also, if cottage cheese is damp, then you should not eat it.
You have seen in this article that cottage cheese is a very popular dairy product. It can be eaten on its own, but it may be also used in many recipes. If you have frozen cottage cheese, you can use it later for cooking and baking. There are many savory and sweet dishes that you can make using cottage cheese, such as different types of soups, sauces, casseroles, lasagna, etc.
We have explained you how to freeze cottage cheese properly. You can freeze it in its own container, but you can also place it in a special airtight container. You can keep cottage cheese in the freezer for about 4 to 6 months and you can be sure that it will not spoil. When you remove cottage cheese from your freezer, you should thaw it in the fridge.
As we have already said, the cottage cheese may change a little in its consistency and flavor, but it will be still great for baking and cooking.
We hope this article has been useful and interesting for you. You have seen when you should freeze cottage cheese and how to do it properly. We are sure that you will follow our tips and instructions, so you will extend the shelf life of your cottage cheese.
If cottage cheese is on sale in your grocery store and if you are a big cottage cheese lover, then you should buy cottage cheese in big amounts and stock it up. Don’t be afraid, because cottage cheese will not spoil if you freeze it regularly. You will not notice any difference if you use cottage cheese for preparing other dishes.
Now when you know that it is possible to freeze cottage cheese, but it will probably change its taste and texture, you can decide whether you will freeze it or not. As we have already said, it is very important to take into account what you will use cottage cheese for. If you will eat it on its own, then freezing is not the best option. But, if you will use cottage cheese for cooking and baking, then you can freeze it without any problems.