Yogurt is a popular dairy product known for its incredible health benefits and versatility in the kitchen. It can be enjoyed alone, added in smoothies and cereals, or used as a cooking ingredient.
This fermented milk comes in various sizes, although the large container usually comes at a lower price. If you only use a spoonful or two each time, you might be concerned when it’s nearing the expiration date. At this point, you might be wondering: Can you freeze yogurt?
This post shares the easy ways to freeze yogurt and whether it is a good idea to start with. Sounds interesting? Read on!
How Freezing Affects Yogurt
Freezing yogurt has similar effects to freezing other soured, cultured milk like buttermilk and sour cream.
While freezing does lengthen shelf life and preserve the nutritional benefits, cold temperatures alter its consistency and texture. After thawing, the fat tends to separate from the liquid part. As a result, the cultured milk loses its smoothness and becomes somewhat grainy.
It may be fine after a vigorous stir, but maybe it’s better for cooking and baking purposes.
So, what type of yogurt can you freeze?
We can get a bunch of yogurt varieties in the store, such as:
- Regular, low fat, and Greek yogurt
- Drinkable or thick
- Plain or fruit-flavored
That being said, yogurt is not created equally. Added or reduced ingredients may affect how well the fermented milk turns out after freezing and thawing.
In general, any variety can be frozen with great success, including the increasingly popular Greek yogurt.
Some brands, such as Chobani, mentioned on their websites that their products can be frozen. So, that’s a good sign, to begin with.
How To Freeze Yogurt
If you have an unopened product, it can go straight to the freezer. No prep required. For an opened package, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container.
For freezing fruit-flavored yogurt, stir well up to the bottom part to ensure that the flavor and fruit pieces are mixed evenly before freezing.
If you plan to use yogurt for smoothies or other recipes that call for a small quantity, freeze it in ice cube trays. This method allows you to take as little or as much as you need without thawing the whole package.
1. Fill in ice cube trays with yogurt. You can also use muffin tins for a slightly larger portion.
If you don’t have ice cube trays available, use a cookie/ ice cream scoop to take the product and lay it on a lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave some space between yogurt balls. This method only works for thick, creamy yogurt.
2. Flash freeze for several hours.
3. Once frozen hard, remove the cubes and pack them in a freezer bag.
4. Label the package with a freezing date and pop it back in the freezer.
Thawing and Using Frozen Yogurt
The best and safest way to defrost frozen yogurt is by placing it in the refrigerator. Let it thaw completely, give it a good stir (or put it in a blender), and it’s ready to use.
Keep in mind that yogurt is a perishable item. So, leaving it out for too long is not a good idea because the chance of spoilage increases. Take as much as you need and keep the rest refrigerated in an airtight container.
In case you forgot to defrost it in the fridge, thaw it in cold water or in the microwave. If using these methods, thawed yogurt needs to be used immediately. Don’t let it stand at room temperature for more than two hours.
Thawed yogurt is as versatile as before freezing. If you’re happy with the final texture and consistency, you can go ahead and drink/ snack it.
Otherwise, it is excellent for baking and cooking recipes that call for this fermented milk, such as for:
- Refreshing drinks, such as smoothies, slushies, and lassi
- Baked goods, such as muffin
- Creamy salad dressing and dips
- Curry and stews
How Long Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Yogurt?
Yogurt has a short life span indicated on the packaging. Luckily, freezing helps preserve this cultured milk for a little longer, up to 1 to 2 months.
For the best flavor and taste, use it within this time frame. After thawing, use it immediately and refrigerate unused portions for up to 2 to 3 days.
It may remain safe to eat after that as long as it is frozen continuously at 0 ºF, but after a while, it might lose its flavors, and freezer burn starts to set in.
Yes and no. Technically, you can freeze yogurt, take out the frozen product, and eat it. However, the taste and consistency won’t be anywhere close to ice cream.
No. Unfortunately, freezing yogurt won’t instantly give you ‘frozen yogurt.’ To make fro-yo, you need to add other ingredients such as heavy cream, sugar, and fruits to create the desired consistency and flavor. Next, you need to combine all ingredients into a mixture, churn it in an ice cream maker, and finally freeze it.
Technically, you can refreeze it safely as long as it is not left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. However, repeated thawing and freezing will ruin its texture. So, better thaw it as necessary.
There are plenty of delicious and creative ways to use up this fermented milk. You can enjoy it on its own as a quick, healthy snack. Add into smoothies or eat with fruits. The dairy also makes a healthier option for creamy salad dressing and a substitute for mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream. Or, just freeze it for a later date. Follow our tips above to freeze this fermented milk successfully.
No. Freezing inactivates the active cultures, aka probiotics, but doesn’t kill them. Once thawed, they are live and active again, especially after ingestion and reach body temperature. (*)
Freezing yogurt is totally easy. The only thing to anticipate is the altered texture. But, this is not a problem at all when it is used for baking and cooking!
Also learn how to tell if yogurt is bad and substitute for yogurt.