Some dairy products freeze well and others will curdle and separate. Here’s the rundown of which ones make good freezer candidates:
• DO NOT freeze half-and-half, sour cream, cottage cheese, and buttermilk. They have a tendency to separate, become watery, and sometimes curdle.
• Milk – 1 month. Make sure you take 1 cup per gallon of milk out of the container since it will expand when frozen. Milk should be consumed in a week once thawed. Whole milk and 2% freeze better than skim milk. If your family goes through multiple gallons of milk per week, stocking up when it goes on sale and freezing it could save you a bundle!
• Cheese – Up to 6 months. Yes, you can freeze cheese! The National Dairy Counsel suggests freezing cheese for six months or less. Freezing can change the texture of some cheeses, making them crumbly once thawed, and the firmer varieties (cheddar, Gouda, and Swiss) seem to hold up best. As I like to say, “The firmer the cheese, the better it will freeze!” Stock up on shredded cheeses that you’ll be using for cooking and freeze – you won’t notice a difference in taste or texture in your recipes. You can even freeze cheese slices!
• Butter – up to 12 months. I frequently stock up on sticks of butter when it goes on sale in November and December during the holiday baking season. Spreadable butters also freeze very well, too. I pop them directly in the freezer, no need for a freezer bag or container!