Ricotta is a type of fresh cheese gotten from a cow’s whole milk. It has a slightly sweet scent and a smoother text compared to cottage cheese. Well-made ricotta is firm with moist and fine particles. Can ricotta be frozen? This question is a bother, especially after having enough, and a large piece of ricotta remains. For it to stay longer, can it be frozen?
Ok, without proper preservation, ricotta cheese can quickly spoil. One should understand how to store the remaining portion to avoid wasting. This article contains all you should know about ricotta freezing and many other related concerns about it. Keep reading.
How to prepare homemade ricotta cheese
- Lemon juice
- Fine-mesh strainer
Steps to follow include;
- Place the milk, lemon juice, and salt in the saucepan.
- Heat the mixture in medium stove heat.
- Give time for the mixture to boil; afterward, reduce the heat and let it simmer.
- As it simmers, stir it to prevent scorching at the bottom. Continue stirring until it forms a creamy card.
- Separation of the curd from the liquid indicates the ricotta cheese is ready.
- Add around five layers of cheesecloth on a filter to strain the curd from the cheese.
- Allow time to ensure the cheese gets adequately strained.
- When completely drained, there you go with your homemade ricotta cheese, ready to consume.
Can you freeze ricotta cheese?
The procedure for preparing ricotta is not troublesome; however, it needs effort and time. Time is so precious, even better when spent with family and friends. Therefore, it’s better to make more ricotta that can be used for a whole month to stop going back to the kitchen several times.
Fresh ricotta can stay in the fridge for a week and not spoil. But, anything else to make it stay longer than that? Can you freeze ricotta cheese? Of course, you can freeze it. Another question is, what about the taste and texture? The good thing is that freezing other cheese products is similar to ricotta cheese for lengthening its life. Again, don’t worry about the taste; it won’t change. The only contrary and sure thing is, the texture will be altered.
Ricotta cheese is made soft with very high moisture content, but freezing makes it icy and hard. The ice mainly causes a change of texture. Thawing is what destroys the structure of the ricotta cheese. Consequently, its components separate, for example, the whey and curds disintegrate. As a result, the cheese crumbles and dries even more than earlier.
Steps to freeze ricotta cheese
- Ricotta cheese from the supermarket comes packed in a plastic container. You can take advantage of the package and directly freeze it. If you already opened to pick some cheese, put the remaining box in a freezer bag or an airtight container before freezing.
- It’s important to stir the cheese with a spoon before freezing the remaining portion of ricotta cheese. By doing this, the cheese will be equally distributed. Remember to drain the whey from the cheese by pressing it with kitchen paper towels. This helps avoid ice crystal formation unnecessarily.
- When using a freezer bag, be advised to divide the cheese into smaller portions before wrapping them tightly to freeze. This is good practice to evade thawing the whole thing at once to get only what’s needed. Properly press the wrap before sealing to remove air bubbles as much as possible.
- Never freeze your ricotta cheese for more than two months, no matter the technique used. It’s crucial to indicate the freezing date for surety of the expiration date.
How to thaw frozen ricotta cheese
- The best method to defrost frozen ricotta cheese is by putting it in a refrigerator. Avoid placing at room temperature, and in open space because of the possible entry of bacteria.
- Give it some time to soften after which, you should stir with a spoon to restructure the curd and whey connection. Then, you can keep it in the fridge while ensuring using it within two days.
- Never refreeze your ricotta cheese. If you do, it will lose the texture and taste. Therefore, it’s recommended that you freeze them in smaller containers to avoid unnecessary wastage.
What to use with frozen ricotta cheese
1- Mac and cheese
Do you have special guests visiting? Well, nothing supersedes serving them with mac and cheese. Apart from using mozzarella or cheddar, frozen ricotta cheese is an excellent substitute to flavor your mac and cheese. You know what? The kids will celebrate the meal even more.
2- Egg and sandwich
You could be busy but create time on a weekend morning to make a unique breakfast. Think about the ricotta cheese you just thawed hours ago. Get the recipe and make an egg sandwich with a different cheese flavor. Remember to include some greens to complete your nutritional needs.
3- Ricotta cheese cookies
Ricotta’s sweet taste is delicious within a cookie. The good thing is that cookies have a lengthier shelf life compared to other ricotta dishes. Give it a try today.
4- Spinach ricotta calzone
Spinach ricotta is very healthy for kids. The presence of cheese plus vegetables increases children’s appetite. Make efforts to prepare some for them by using ricotta cheese rather than regular cheese.
The bottom line
Ricotta cheese can be frozen. Freezing extends the life of the cheese for up to a maximum of two months. Use an airtight container, or press wrappers to eliminate air before placing the ricotta cheese in the freezer. Don’t forget draining the cud from the cheese to avoid the sour taste.
Use the refrigerator to defrost the frozen cheese. Be advised not to leave it at the counter because of possible exposure to bacteria that reduces its life. Don’t refreeze your thawed cheese. Among the uses of frozen ricotta include making cookies, spinach ricotta calzone, egg and sandwich, mac and cheese, among others. From the above knowledge, you now don’t have to worry about having ricotta cheese in excess.