Cottage cheese is very versatile. It is used in lots of delicious recipes, cooked dishes, soups, and even stew. Dairy products are rich in protein and cottage cheese is not an exception.
There is so much you can do with cottage cheese that it is hard to pass up the urge to buy more you usually do when you come across a special sale. So, if you find out that you have more cottage cheese than you can eat before it goes bad, what do you do with it?
Can you freeze cottage cheese? Yes, you can freeze cottage cheese and prolong its shelf for 4 to 6 months. There is a huge downside however, freezing greatly affects the texture, therefore limiting the way you can use the cottage cheese after thawing.
Cottage cheese can be used to replace cheeses that have a higher concentration of fat when making macaroni. If you are looking for healthy but tasty dairy treats, cottage cheese is your answer.
Why You Shouldn’t Freeze Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese falls under the category of soft cheese, the same as ricotta cheese. They have a high moisture content that doesn’t let them freeze well.
Apart from high moisture content, most dairy products don’t take to the freezer environment too well. The same goes for cottage cheese, you get to see a devastating change in texture and lose a little bit of taste while keeping the nutrients intact. While this might be a win for your body, it doesn’t make eating the cheese any better. So if you had plans to eat your frozen cottage cheese, scrap them.
Although cottage cheese might not freeze well, if the alternative to freezing is spoiled cottage cheese then, freeze it. After thawing, your cottage cheese can still be used in baked goods and cooked dishes. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between frozen and fresh cottage cheese in recipes like that.
What Kind Of Cottage Cheese Freezes Best?
There are various brands of cottage cheese. If you are feeling adventurous, try freezing as many brands as you can get your hands on to see which freezes best. While this might be an expensive venture, it is an investment for you if you are the type that loves to do some premeditated freezing.
Regardless of the brands, full-fat cottage cheese freezes better than low-fat cottage cheese. The higher the fat levels in your cottage cheese, the less liquid you have, and if you have less liquid, this means you have a much thicker consistency upon thawing.
Whole fat and large curd cottage cheeses do not get as much texture damage as low-fat cottage cheese when you freeze them.
How to Freeze Cottage Cheese
Freezing cheese doesn’t require any time-consuming preparation. Just get heavy-duty freezer bags and markers.
Step 1: Portion the Cottage Cheese
There are two ways to freeze cottage cheese, you can freeze them in their store-bought containers or freezer bags. But, for easier usage upon thawing and to help combat freezer burn, I’ll advise that you use freezer bags.
So, get your cottage cheese out of their store-bought containers and section them into portions you can eat at a go.
Step 2: Storage
Place the portions into separate freezer bags, use multiple freezer bags if you have to. When you need to use the cheese, you would not need to thaw the whole batch. You just pick the one you need.
Press the bags flat to expel air before you seal them. The presence of air in the bags facilitates ice crystals that result in freezer burn.
Step 3: Freeze the Cottage Cheese
Before you place the bags in the freezer to freeze. Double them for extra protection, and using the marker, label the bags. Write down the contents and the date of the freeze on the bags before you place them in the freezer to freeze.
This action helps you to keep track of what you have stored, in case you forgot you had it in there. It also helps you to eat the older packs first so you don’t forget them and they end up getting freezer burn.
How to Defrost Frozen Cottage Cheese
Just like freezing it was easy, thawing is as easy as cutting a piece of cake. There are several ways you can go about it though.
Get the frozen bags of cottage cheese out of the freezer and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. While this might take some time and requires premeditation, it is the safest way to thaw cottage cheese.
If you cannot spare the time to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, you can thaw the bag in a bowl of lukewarm or ordinary water. But, don’t leave it out for too long. Better still, you can take your chance and add frozen cottage cheese to your dishes as they cook.
Dairy products contain live bacteria that multiply at high temperatures and can be harmful to one’s health. So, leaving your cottage cheese out for too long can make them unsafe to eat.
How to Recognize Spoiled Cottage Cheese
Spoiled cottage cheese will be characterized by a yellowish color and odd smell. If you notice a musty smell or a bitter or bland flavor then, you should throw out your cottage cheese because it has spoiled.
Avoid eating spoiled food. They can be very harmful to one’s health and can result in mild or severe illnesses. Even death in some rare cases.