Yogurt is definitely one of the most popular dairy products. It is obtained by the fermentation of specific microorganisms from the milk. Those microorganisms stay active in the yogurt itself and they can be very beneficial for your health.
Those are actually healthy bacteria that can provide numerous health benefits to your microbiome that, in recent times, have proven to be very important for our overall health.
Besides regular yogurt that is made by a regular process of fermentation, there is also a very popular type of yogurt known as Greek yogurt.
The main difference between regular and Greek yogurt is the fact that whey or lactoserum is removed from the Greek yogurt during the draining process.
That is the main reason why Greek yogurt has a lower lactose content. Greek yogurt also has a very rich nutritional value, as well as healthy bacteria and a high amount of protein.
Because it has become so popular, you have to know how to handle it properly. Sometimes it can happen that the expiration date is close, so you want to know what to do with your yogurt.
From there, the question arises whether you can freeze Greek yogurt and whether is it okay to freeze yogurt. The answer is definitely positive but you have to know how to do that properly.
In order to find out, please continue reading.
Can You Freeze Greek Yogurt?
So, can greek yogurt be frozen? Yes, Greek yogurt certainly can be frozen. But you also have to know that freezing is not an ideal storage method for Greek yogurt. The best place to store yogurt is in a refrigerator.
The main reason for this constatation is the thawing process of frozen yogurt that is not required after refrigeration. Unlike frozen ice cream, once you freeze yogurt, you have to thaw it.
And, once you thaw it, the defrosted Greek yogurt won’t have the same texture and consistency that the fresh one once had. It will separate once thawed and its texture will become grainy, i.e. frozen and defrosted Greek yogurt won’t be the same creamy yogurt it once was.
But, it is not all that bad because it will retain its nutritional value, as well as the flavor profile to a large extent. And you can still use it in some dishes where texture change is not that important.
You can use it in cooked and baked goods, as well as in smoothies. So, let’s take a look at the best ways to freeze Greek yogurt.
How To Freeze Greek Yogurt?
Now that you know that the answer to the question “Can I freeze Greek yogurt?” is positive, it is time to see how to freeze yogurt properly in order to extend its shelf life.
I will start with the method that requires freezer-safe plastic containers or airtight containers. You can also use some other material if you don’t have a plastic container. This method is used when you’re freezing yogurt for baking or cooking. So, let’s take a look at a few simple steps.
STEP 1: The first thing that you need to do is to check the Greek yogurt recipe in which you will use your yogurt after you defrost it. The main reason for this is to know what the quantity of portions will be.
STEP 2: Your next task is to portion the yogurt into the airtight container. Although you can use freezer bags as well, I would still suggest you use containers because they are safer.
STEP 3: Seal the bag properly in order to avoid freezer burn caused by excess air. Freezer burn can damage the flavor and texture of your yogurt.
STEP 4: Label the container with the exact date of storage and put it in the freezer.
If your intention is to use Greek yogurt in smoothies, then an ice-cube tray is a solution. I do the same thing when freezing half and half so that I can use the frozen half and half cubes for coffee. In order to properly freeze yogurt in an ice-cube tray, follow these simple steps.
STEP 1: First, you need to transfer the yogurt into an ice cube tray by using a clean spoon.
STEP 2: When you do that, you just have to transfer an ice cube tray to the freezer and let it stay there for about 2-3 hours.
STEP 3: After that time frame, you can remove the ice cube tray from the freezer and put it into an airtight container or freezer bag.
STEP 4: Label the bag or the container with the exact storage date and put it in the freezer for your yogurt cubes to freeze.
Freezing Greek yogurt in scoops is another very simple method. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps.
STEP 1: First, prepare one baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
STEP 2: Pull out one ice cream scoop to scoop the yogurt and transfer it to the parchment paper.
STEP 3: Transfer the baking sheet with scooped yogurt to the freezer and let it freeze for 2-3 hours.
STEP 4: After that, pull out the baking sheet and transfer the scoops to a freezer bag or an airtight container. If you decide to use a freezer bag, just make sure to pull out all the excess air by using a Food Savers vacuum sealer.
STEP 5: Seal the bag or the container properly in order to avoid freezer burn.
STEP 6: Label the bag or the container with the exact date of storage and put it in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Greek Yogurt In The Original Container?
The answer is “Yes, you can freeze Greek yogurt in the original container”. But, it is not an ideal solution. There are several reasons that support this claim.
First, the original packaging is not suitable for very low temperatures. When the yogurt freezes, it expands and there is a potential risk of the container bursting.
The second problem is the air that can easily come in contact with yogurt when it is in its original container. It can cause freezer burn that leads to spoiled flavor and texture.
And finally, if the container is large, there might be a problem with thawing, i.e. you’ll have to thaw a whole container of yogurt for just a small portion, and then you will have to refreeze the rest.
Although you can refreeze Greek yogurt, its flavor and texture will seriously deteriorate, so I wouldn’t recommend you to do that.
How Long Does It Take For Greek Yogurt To Freeze?
Generally speaking, it takes about 2-4 hours for Greek yogurt to freeze. However, the exact amount of time mainly depends on the quantity of yogurt, as well as on the type of container in which it has been frozen.
It will freeze faster in the original container because it can come in contact with air more easily. However, that comes with the price since you are risking freezer burn that can seriously damage the flavor and texture of your yogurt.
So, I would suggest you freeze it in an airtight container rather than in its original container.
On the other hand, if you freeze a little portion of Greek yogurt, it will most likely be frozen after just about 2 hours. If you freeze a very large portion, it can take much longer.
How Long Does Greek Yogurt Last In The Freezer?
According to the USDA, dairy products can be frozen for up to 3 months (if stored properly). However, if you want to experience its best quality, it is better to consume it as fast as you can.
On the other hand, if you freeze the opened package of yogurt, or if you freeze it in its original yogurt container, it won’t last for more than 1 month.
Generally speaking, the longer the yogurt stays in the freezer, the more its flavor and texture will deteriorate. That is just how yogurt works. So, if you want to enjoy the best quality Greek yogurt, I suggest you consume it as soon as possible.
How To Defrost Frozen Greek Yogurt?
The best way to thaw Greek yogurt is to immediately transfer it from the freezer to the fridge. After you do that, let it stay in the fridge overnight because that is the best time frame for yogurt to defrost.
Leaving yogurt at that temperature, you will avoid the risk of warming it for too long and eventually spoiling it.
Aside from the fridge method, you can also put the freezer bag with Greek yogurt in a water bowl and wait for it to defrost. Just make sure that the bag with yogurt is properly sealed so that the water doesn’t penetrate the bag.
This is a great way to avoid food waste and you can use thawed yogurt in many delicious recipes. If you have some leftover Greek yogurt, make sure to refreeze them within 2 hours because they will spoil if they stay more time at room temperature, as stated by the USDA.
What To Do With Leftover Greek Yogurt?
There are tons of ways to use frozen yogurt since it retains its nutritional value as well as its flavor profile to a large extent. The texture is not quite good after you freeze and defrost Greek yogurt, but in these recipes, texture is not important.
• Smoothies: If you have frozen your Greek yogurt in an ice cube tray, it is best to use it in a smoothie once you pull it out of the freezer.
• Salad Dressings
• For thickening soups or casseroles
• Marinades: Yogurt is great for thickening meat
Can You Freeze Yogurt For Smoothies?
When it comes to freezing yogurt for smoothies, you definitely can do it. It is just important to freeze yogurt in an ice cube tray. In order to do that properly, just follow the steps explained in this article.
Once thawed, just add it to the food processor alongside other ingredients and make your favorite smoothie. Guess what? You can freeze yogurt for smoothies and you can also freeze smoothies.
What Are The Signs Of Spoiled Yogurt?
If your yogurt has expired or if you haven’t stored it the right way, there is a possibility that it has gone bad.
So, if you are not sure that your favorite dairy product is still safe for consumption and you don’t want to get sick of a cup of yogurt, 4 spoilage signs include curdling, mold, sour smell, and excess liquid.
Can You Eat Frozen Yogurt?
Frozen yogurt can be eaten, generally speaking. But, you have to be aware that it won’t be creamy in that state and you won’t be able to enjoy it like, for example, ice cream.
So, it is best to thaw it or to use it in some of the numerous recipes in which the texture of yogurt doesn’t matter really.
Freezing Greek Yogurt
There are a few types of Greek yogurt including full-fat, reduced-fat, and fat-free Greek yogurt, but one thing is sure and that is the fact that Greek yogurt is very healthy since it is full of calcium, proteins, and good bacteria. It is also very creamy and has a fantastic flavor profile.
That is enough reason to learn how to handle Greek yogurt properly. One of the options when it comes to food storage is a freezer as well and the question arises whether you can freeze Greek yogurt.
And the answer is “Yes, you definitely can!”. And there is not just one right way to do that – there are many. You just need to follow the right steps for each and every freezing way and your yogurt will be safe and sound.