Ohio Living

Tuesday Tip: Dairy Freezer Stockpile

Tuesday Tip: Dairy Freezer Stockpile

Sara’s dairy product score from last week

Sounds like a lot of us were up to our eyeballs in dairy products after last week’s fantastic Ruggles/Smith Dairy sale at Buehler’s.  With four kids who are growing like weeds, using milk isn’t an issue in our family…we easily go through 6-7 gallons a week, even when it’s not on a fabulous sale.  If you don’t use that much and you don’t want it to go to waste, you can either borrow my kids for a little while, or figure out a way to safely store it for longer.

Pretty much any food can be frozen, with the exception of canned foods and eggs in the shell.  As long as the temperature is below 0° Fahrenheit, it’s safe indefinitely, although quality can diminish the longer food is kept frozen.  Freeze food in air-tight packaging, and consider an extra layer of wrapping if the store packaging could allow air in (extra air can dry the food out and cause freezer burn). 

Here are a few guidelines for freezing your dairy deals.  The food will likely still be safe to use beyond these guidelines, but quality and texture might start to change.

  • Milk: Pour a little out before freezing to be sure it has room to expand.  Good for 3 months in the freezer (may affect texture).  Thaw in the refrigerator
  • Butter: 6 to 9 months, original packaging may need to be over-wrapped to keep air out.
  • Packaged Shredded or Sliced Cheese: several months–use straight out of the freezer or thaw in refrigerator. Freezing may slightly affect texture.
  • Ricotta Cheese: 2 to 3 months, may affect texture.  Thaw in refrigerator, and if the liquid separates, stir well before using.
  • Sour Cream: Freezing will change the texture, but it can be usable for cooking
  • Cream Cheese: Freezing can make it crumbly, but it can still be used for cooking
  • Yogurt: can be safely frozen, but texture may be affected.  Kids’ yogurt sticks (like Gogurt) freeze very well, and can be served frozen or thawed
  • Non-dairy creamer (like CoffeeMate): can be frozen for several months (I was bummed to discover the last of my stash from a few months ago!)

Bottom line: pretty much anything can be frozen, but be aware that texture can be affected, especially the longer it’s in the freezer.  Make sure you mark any products with the date they head into the freezer, and when you take them out, be careful to use them in the usual amount of time since the “use by” dates won’t be much help. 

Which products have you frozen with success?  Any that didn’t hold up as well?  Check back next week for more information about freezing meat.


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