Cottage cheese has been around for quite a long time, and it is also considered the best cheese for a low-fat diet.
If you are thinking about adding this type of cheese to your diet, you may be wondering how it is stored, prepared, and used in your dishes. Also, you may be asking yourself the question – can you freeze cottage cheese?
Before we can answer this question, it is important to know what cottage cheese is and how beneficial it is to your health.
Cottage cheese is considered mild, creamy, and soft white cheese that has not undergone any aging process. In fact, this cheese is derived from the curd of pasteurized cow’s milk and is available in several varieties including regular, nonfat, and reduced-fat varieties. Also, it has lactose-free, low-sodium, and whipped versions.
Is Cottage Cheese Good for You?
If you are wondering if cottage cheese is good for you, then you will be glad to know that it is.
This type of cheese has numerous nutritional benefits and will benefit you if you include this in your diet. Here are some of the health benefits of cottage cheese.
Contains Good Amounts of Vitamin B12
Even though you can easily get vitamin B12 from meat products, some dairy products actually contain good quantities of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper function and development of the different parts of the body including the brain, blood cells, and nerves. When combined with folic acid, B12 can significantly lower the high homocysteine levels in the blood.
Excessive homocysteine in the blood can become toxic in the body and cause various heart and neurological problems.
High Phosphorus and Calcium Content
Cottage cheese contains high amounts of phosphorus and calcium which helps build strong bones and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
A cup of cottage cheese contains about 138mg of calcium, which makes this cheese a good choice for bone-building.
Promotes Detoxification and Boosts Energy
The phosphorus content of cottage cheese does more than aid in bone growth and development, as it also helps maintain a healthy acid level in the body. This mineral aids in proper and healthy detoxification in the body.
Also, phosphorus boosts energy and aids in tissue and cell repair, resulting in the reduction of muscle pain after a workout.
Aids in Weight Loss
Cottage cheese contains high amounts of protein, which will ultimately help you with your weight loss goals. According to studies, protein can help you lose weight because it will make you fuller and reduce excessive food cravings. Also, it promotes muscle building.
So, Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is considered a versatile food item that can be added to different recipes or consumed on its own. Also, as mentioned above, this is an excellent source of protein, calcium, healthy fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and phosphorus.
So, can you freeze cottage cheese? The answer to this question would depend on what you want to use it for, as freezing can change its consistency.
When Should You Freeze Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a soft type of cheese, and the freezing process will make its milk fat separate from the rest of the cheese components. In fact, when you freeze one, you can expect that it will become more watery and grainy when thawed.
If you are planning to use cottage cheese as an ingredient for different recipes, then you can benefit from freezing it. In fact, you can purchase large batches of this cheese and stock them in your freezer.
Also, if you are planning on making a bake sale, you can definitely use frozen cottage cheese in making cheese bars, cake frosting, muffins, and cheesecake. Frozen cottage cheese is great for making large batches of mac and cheese or lasagna for a party as well.
It is important to note, however, that a proper selection of cheese is necessary. When freezing cottage cheese, you have to choose the dry and uncreamed or the whole-fat cottage cheese. Creamed cottage cheese and the low-fat versions will turn mushy after freezing.
Once you have selected the right type of cheese, you have to follow the proper guidelines for freezing it. Here is a list of tips and tricks for freezing cottage cheese.
- Mix the Cheese Well Before Freezing. Before freezing, you should give the cheese a quick stir to mix all the ingredients well and reduce separation upon thawing.
- Freezing Process. You can freeze cottage cheese in its original container. However, it is important to note that it can absorb flavors from other foods in your freezer. Thus, it is recommended that you double-wrap it. You can place it in a freezer-safe plastic container or a freezer bag, and make sure that you leave some room for expansion.
- Always Label Your Frozen Cottage Cheese. You should label the cheese with the expiration date using a permanent marker. Frozen cottage cheese can be used within two to three months of freezing.
- Thaw it in the Refrigerator Overnight. You can thaw the frozen cheese by placing it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. You should never put any dairy products on the counter during thawing as the uneven temperature can cause bacterial growth.
- Drain and remove Excess Water. Once the cheese has completely thawed, you can remove the excess water by draining the container. Then, you can stir it to restore it to its original texture. If it has become runny, you can thicken it up by adding a teaspoon of cornstarch.
Also, it is important to note that thawed cottage cheese is good to use for three to four days only and it must not be re-frozen.
How to Determine if the Cottage Cheese Has Gone Bad
Whether the cheese is frozen or not, it is important to note that if it has turned yellow, has a sour smell and taste, and has already become damp, you should discard it right away.
Cottage cheese, especially fresh ones, has a clean smell and mild flavor with a consistent texture. Any changes in the consistency and taste of cottage cheese should be noted to determine whether or not it is still safe to use. If you are unsure, you should discard it.
The Bottom Line
Cottage cheese can definitely be frozen and used later. But like any other frozen food item, there are ways how this can be done properly. This way, the consistency as well as the taste and texture of the cheese, will not degrade even after it is thawed.
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.