You can absolutely freeze yogurt, just like how you can also freeze sour cream and other dairy products. So if you’ve bought too much yogurt the last time you went to get groceries, this is the best way to save them for later. You’ll be able to spare money and lessen your food waste in one go! Continue reading, and we’ll guide you how to properly freeze and thaw your leftover yogurt.
How to Freeze Yogurt
Freezing yogurt is as easy as freezing cream cheese. It only takes a couple of steps to freeze and thaw these two ingredients, then they’re good to go. Regardless if you have homemade, fat-free, low-fat, full-fat, strained, or mixed yogurt with fruits, the process is the same.
And just like cream cheese (or any type of food for that matter), yogurt must be frozen at 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C to be considered safe. This is the optimal temperature for preventing bacteria build-up that causes immediate spoilage.
Here are several ways to properly freeze your leftover yogurt depending on how you plan to use it.
Straight From the Container
It’s possible to freeze yogurt directly from its container. Directly putting it into the freezer will do the trick, even for those small store-bought cups of yogurt.
Keep In Mind
Yogurt is partially liquid. It will expand once it freezes. So make sure that your container has extra space to give it room to expand. You can transfer it to airtight freezer-safe containers if you have purchased a large tub.
Using Ice Cube Tray
Pour your leftover yogurt into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Afterward, you can transfer the cubes into a freezer-safe bag. This is ideal if you plan to make smoothies and other blended goodies. You can easily throw your desired amount of frozen yogurt into your blender and just blend away.
Using Plastic Tubes
For a fun way to freeze yogurt, create homemade ice pops for the little ones to enjoy! You can mix fruit purees for flavor and vacuum-seal it until solid. However, once you take it out of the freezer, you shouldn’t place it back in the fridge. After opening your homemade ice pops, they should be consumed right away. Breaking the vacuum seal will make your frozen yogurt vulnerable to lots of microorganisms that will eventually cause it to develop molds, making it unsafe for eating.
Using Cookie or Ice Cream Scoops
Use a cookie scoop to put yogurt onto a tray or pan with a lined baking sheet. Freeze it until firm or solid. You can then transfer the frozen yogurt scoops into a freezer-safe bag to save up some space.
How Will Yogurt Change After Freezing?
All yogurt products contain good probiotic bacteria that help maintain overall gut health.
And even if you do decide to freeze yogurt, researchers suggest that the product’s health benefits will remain unchanged for at least a few weeks. However, you may notice inevitable changes when it comes to the food’s taste and texture. You can find them in detail below.
Liquid tends to separate when you freeze yogurt. Aside from a little enhanced acidic taste due to the freezing process, yogurt’s flavor wouldn’t change much after it’s frozen and thawed.
However, you might have to shake or mix it before consuming to blend the liquids together, restoring the flavor it originally had.
Unfortunately, frozen yogurt won’t have the same curd-like texture like it once had. After thawing, it will become runny and a bit grainy. You can still consume it as is without a problem. But if you are texture-conscious, you can just use it for yummy yogurt recipes like this kale smoothie.
The changes in yogurt after it’s been frozen and thawed wouldn’t be obvious when you use it to make drinks, or for cooking and baking.
- Put thawed yogurt into a blender and blend it for a little while to get it to thicken again. It might not have exactly the same texture as before, but it's better than the soupy one.
How Long Does Yogurt Last in the Freezer?
Freezing yogurt extends its shelf life. Generally, it should be safe to eat for at least six to eight weeks. Getting creative with this process sure brings fun, but nothing lasts forever. Yogurt can be frozen past its expiration date, but you still have to consume it sooner rather than later.
There are endless possibilities for what you can make with yogurt. It ranges from savory dishes, like this Arby’s Greek gyro, to sweet desserts. With countless recipes, we doubt that your yogurt would even last that long. After the six to eight-week storage span, yogurt will get icicles and freezer burn, which isn’t ideal. So make sure to consume it before then.
How to Thaw Frozen Yogurt
Thaw your preserved yogurt by transferring the amount you need from the freezer into the refrigerator. It should be done the night before you intend to use it. This is to make sure that it stays at an ideal cool temperature to prevent it from spoiling.
In case you forgot to thaw it ahead, you can let it defrost atop your counter and make sure you consume it within two hours. Otherwise, be sure to promptly put it back in the freezer to keep it from going bad.
Does Yogurt Go Bad After Freezing?
Does yogurt go bad even if you already froze it? The answer is yes. Although you’ve stored it in the freezer to extend its shelf life past the expiration date, it can still go bad. So if you’re wondering if you can freeze yogurt indefinitely, the answer is no.
If you notice molds and separate curdling floating on excess liquid, then your yogurt has already gone bad. Normally, yogurt shouldn’t have a strong sour smell like sour cream. So if it has a sour and striking rancid smell, then it’s probably best to get rid of it to avoid getting sick. It’s not really advisable to consume expired yogurt unless you freeze and store it to preserve it properly.
How to Use Frozen Yogurt
Unless you’re intentionally making yogurt ice pops or using the portions of frozen yogurt to make other cold treats, you would most probably have to thaw it out. Although consuming yogurt directly after freezing and thawing is safe, a lot might not enjoy its texture. You can use it for shakes and smoothies, but it’s generally best to use this preserved ingredient for cooking and baking. Below are a couple of recipe suggestions you might enjoy making.
Yogurt’s creaminess, especially the Greek variety, is key in making the most memorable moist desserts. Plus, its tanginess can also boost the flavor of any dish. Here are some of the best recipes to consider:
- Greek Yogurt Donuts – Thaw out a portion of frozen non-fat Greek yogurt and combine it with all the necessary ingredients to make a batch of these heavenly donuts!
- Chocolate Yogurt Cake – Incorporate full-fat Greek yogurt into the usual chocolate cake batter to achieve this moist and luscious dessert.
As with most things, yogurt tends to lose its original texture once it has been frozen. That’s why it’s best to incorporate thawed yogurt into dishes that need more of its tangy flavor rather than its silkiness. Here are some examples:
- Marinated Yogurt Chicken Kebabs – Stir thawed low-fat Greek yogurt with lemon juice and spices to make an acidic marinade that can tenderize your chicken pieces before cooking. This, while packing the meat with delicious flavor in the process.
- Copycat Red Lobster Crab Cakes – Combine the yogurt with flavorful condiments, seasonings, and crab meat to make this delicious seafood dish.
Sauces, Dips, and Spreads
After thawing yogurt, you may also combine it with other condiments to make the tastiest sauce, dip, or spread for your meal. Here are some examples:
- Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki – Use thawed Greek yogurt as the Tzatziki sauce base for this Greek-inspired chicken dish.
- Green Goddess Ranch Dressing – Mix yogurt with sour cream, buttermilk, herbs, and spices to make this bright-tasting salad dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Freeze Greek Yogurt?
It is indeed possible to freeze Greek yogurt. Although it has a thicker consistency and a couple of other characteristic differences from regular plain yogurt, freezing Greek yogurt is no different than the process above. Achieve the best result by following the same instructions.
Your leftover product doesn’t have to go to waste. Preserve it properly and save it for later use. Whether it’s for cooking or baked goods, every ounce of an ingredient is meant to be part of a delicious and filling dish! Just bear in mind that freezing Greek yogurt also makes it rock solid like regular yogurt, so you won’t be able to eat it like ice cream.
Can You Eat Frozen Yogurt Like Ice Cream?
The answer to this question really depends on preferences. Sure, you can eat yogurt as it is after freezing. But remember, just freezing it will make it rock solid. You can, however, eat it as a kind of ice pop.
It’s best to keep in mind that the main purpose of freezing yogurt is so you can save it for later use. This process is entirely different from making the frozen yogurt dessert fro-yo, which is essentially yogurt with the texture of ice cream. Hence, you can’t just freeze yogurt to make the frozen yogurt dessert. If that’s what your taste buds are looking for, then you might want to check out this recipe for blueberry frozen yogurt.
Can You Freeze Yogurt for Babies?
Yes, you can freeze yogurt for babies. There is no harm in doing so, as long as you don’t keep the food in the freezer beyond the two-month limit. Within this range, babies can still get all the nutritional benefits from yogurt’s good bacteria, and more. They might even enjoy sucking on mini frozen yogurt treats from time to time!