In this brief guide, we address the question, “can you freeze ricotta cheese” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how can you freeze ricotta cheese, what are the different methods of storage and the ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your cheese.
Can you freeze ricotta cheese?
Yes, you can freeze ricotta cheese. Though, it is not ideal to freeze ricotta cheese. However, this does not mean this is impossible. We have all been there where we bought ricotta cheese for a small recipe and now the rest is just extra. What to do with that remaining ricotta cheese? Waste it?
Why waste it when you can store it for next time you are craving cheese by putting in the freezer. Freezing extends the shelf life of ricotta cheese but it can also limit its uses after thawing. It can be used only in recipes of cooked dishes, and is not preferable for uncooked dishes or dishes that require fresh cheese taste.
This is mainly due to the loss of the creamy texture of ricotta cheese when you take it out of the freezer. Ricotta cheese has a high moisture content. Which means that the water in the cheese crystallizes to form ice when frozen, resulting in a dry and crumbly texture.
Now let’s be real about this, there is no way you can keep the ricotta cheese as fresh as it was when you first opened it.
How to store ricotta cheese?
You can freeze ricotta cheese by following these simple instructions and you’ll be on your merry way to utilize this product in the best way you can.
- Dehydrate: remove all the excess water known as whey water from ricotta cheese by pressing it against the spoon and paper towels. As this water freezes and greatly affects its texture and reduces the quality of ricotta cheese.
- Portion the product: It is always a good idea to freeze items in small portions so that you don’t open and expose unnecessary items to the environment. You can use different sized containers to store different portion sizes and use them as per your ease.
Using this approach, you will also leave no room for leftovers, thereby, eliminating all chances of having to freeze it again when used once.
- Make sure ricotta cheese is isolated: In order to ensure maximum shelf-life, make sure your product is isolated in an airtight container. You can also use aluminum foil to cover the dishes that do not come with an airtight cover.
- Use a resealable plastic bag: If you don’t have small containers available then you can simply use an ice tray. Be sure to cover the ice tray in the freezer and leave them overnight. Once you have small chunks of sour cream, you can put them in a resealable plastic bag and put them in the freezer. Make sure that you draw extra air out before sealing the bag.
How to thaw frozen ricotta cheese
There are various ways you can do this. Keep in mind that thawing is an important process when it comes to dairy products like ricotta cheese. If thawing is not done in a proper manner, the ricotta cheese may lose its consistency and the texture will change altogether rendering the ricotta cheese unfavourable to consume.
The best method to thaw sour cream is to do it overnight in a fridge.
Thawing in the fridge:
This method is recommended for defrosting the frozen product at refrigerated temperature. It may take a couple of hours depending on the portion sizes of the ricotta cheese. This is the safest method because drastic changes in temperature can affect the texture and taste of the ricotta cheese if not done under controlled conditions.
In cold water
This is an excellent and a speedy way to thaw frozen products. Just put a bag or container of ricotta cheese in cold or lukewarm water.
Also make sure you use all of the cheese once thawed. Don’t refreeze once ricotta cheese has been thawed since it will result in drastic changes in the texture and will also increase chances of contamination.
Drop-in frozen way
If you are in a hurry and cannot wait to thaw it, you don’t have to worry. With dishes that require cooking like soup or stew, you can directly add a chunk of frozen ricotta cheese and let the cooking process take care of it. Dishes like these do not require ricotta cheese to have a perfect texture. Moreover, you do not need to worry about the flavour because it won’t change one bit.
In this brief guide, we addressed the question, “can you freeze ricotta cheese” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how can you freeze ricotta cheese, different methods of storage and what are the ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your cheese?