How To Freeze Dairy Foods

Most dairy foods may be frozen for future use if the proper procedures are used. Dairy products such as eggs, milk, etc. can be frozen and kept for months if the proper food safety rules are followed.

The storage and freezing of dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese is fairly simple. However, if these processes are improperly carried out, the food can become a dangerous source of harmful bacteria that could result in serious illness. These foods may be frozen, pre-measured for future use in maindishes, desserts, etc. just as fresh dairy products are used, saving time and expense.

Below are the steps to safe storage, freezing and storage of various dairy products.

EGGS

When buying eggs, always choose the freshest produce available. After purchasing, store in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Store with the small end downward and keep away from foods with pungent smells. If any eggs are cracked, use these first. If more than one or two are cracked or seem damaged otherwise, it is best to return these to the store.



If freezing whole eggs for desserts, add one tablespoon of sugar or light corn syrup for each cup of eggs frozen. If using for maindishes, add one teaspoon of salt to each cup of eggs. Stir to mix well (do not beat) and put into freezer containers with tight-fitting lids. Label clearly with the number of eggs used and whether or not sugar or salt has been added. Whole eggs may be stored frozen in waxed cartons, glass jars or plastic freezer containers that have tight-fitting lids. Be sure to leave at least 1/2" of space between the frozen eggs and the top of the container. Whole eggs may be frozen safely for up to nine months.

To freeze egg yolks, break into measuring cup and stir until smooth. Do not beat. For each cup of egg, add one teaspoon sugar or corn syrup if using for desserts. If using in maindishes, add one teaspoon of salt per cup of yolks. Label the each freezer container with the number of yolks included and whether sugar or salt has been added. Egg yolks can be stored frozen safely at 0 degrees for up to eight months for use in recipes. Leftover yolks may be kept in the refrigerator unfrozen for two or three days if kept covered with water in a glass jar with top.

In thawing either whole eggs or yolks, let them thaw completely in refrigerator before using. Do not thaw outside the refrigerator. Leftover egg whites can remain refrigerated for a week to ten days when properly stored.

BUTTER

If butter is made from unsalted sweet pasteurized cream, it may be safely stored for up to six months in the freezer. Butter may be stored in the store package or rewrapped in foil or plastic wrap.

CHEESE

Certain cheeses freeze well but are likely to change in texture. Neither cottage cheese nor cream cheese should ever be frozen. Both may lose flavor as well as texture. Cottage cheese can be kept cold and covered in the refigerator for up to a week. Its container should have a tight-fitting lid since cottage cheese easily absorbs odors from other foods. Semi-soft cheeses may be cubed and frozen individually for use in cooking. They will still maintain their flavor although texture may be altered but are excellent for dishes where melted cheese is an ingredient. Unless frozen, all cheese should be kept in the fresh food part of the refrigerator. To discourage drying-out and odor absorption, cheese should be wrapped in plastic wrap or foil. Mold that may form on cheese is not harmful. The mold may be cut from the cheese and the cheese used as usual.

WHIPPED CREAM

Whipped cream freezes well but must be sweetened and flavored before freezing. Whipped cream should not be kept frozen longer than two months before using. It may also be frozen and stored in indiviual servings. Make dollops of whipped cream on a piece of waxed paper and freeze. Then wrap each frozen portion individually in plastic wrap and put into freezer containers to store. These must be used within two months.

ICE CREAM

Ice cream can be stored in the carton in which it is purchased. If opened, cover the open end of the carton with foil or plastic wrap before reclosing the lid. If not covered, air that enters the box may cause hard ice crystals to form or the ice cream may separate and become gummy. Ice cream can be kept safely frozen up to three months. If the ice cream completely thaws, do not refreeze since the texture will be ruined and the ingredients will have separated. Sherbets and ices may be frozen almost indefinitely if air is not allowed to seep into the container.

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