Q. I bought several containers of Greek yogurt on sale, but I can’t eat them all by their expiration date. Can you freeze Greek yogurt?
A. Yes, you can freeze Greek yogurt, extending its shelf life by several months. The quality and benefits of the yogurt should remain intact if frozen properly, although the consistency may change once thawed. The yogurt will separate, making it necessary to stir thawed yogurt to improve the consistency. Also, yogurt may lose some of its smoothness and a bit of its flavor in the freezer. Freezing Greek yogurt will not result in the ice cream like consistency of commercially prepared frozen yogurts. That requires additional ingredients to ensure a smooth, consistent texture.
While you can freeze unopened containers of Greek yogurt, the yogurt may expand in the freezer. It’s recommended to freeze yogurt in airtight freezer bags to avoid both freezer burn and the yogurt absorbing odors from the freezer. Seal the freezer bags completely, and then label the yogurt with the date frozen using a permanent marker. Frozen yogurt should be consumed within six to eight months of freezing.
Many people don’t like the consistency of the yogurt once it has been defrosted and don’t eat it plain. Instead, thawed Greek yogurt is perfect for baking, thickening soups or casseroles, or for adding to dips. It also makes great smoothies. To freeze Greek yogurt in small, single serving quantities for smoothies, scoop some yogurt into ice cube trays. Place the trays into the freezer. When yogurt is frozen through, pop the cubes out of the tray and transfer them to freezer bags. Remove the air from the freezer bags and seal completely. Label the bags with the date frozen using a permanent marker. Remove one or two cubes at a time when preparing smoothies.
Plain yogurt can also be flavoured before freezing, by adding small pieces of fruit or fruit puree to the yogurt before freezing. Freezing yogurt in ice cube trays allows for several different flavours to be made at once, without having to work in several batches.
To use frozen yogurt, remove bag from freezer and let defrost in the refrigerator for several hours. Remove from bag and stir to improve consistency if separation has occurred. For cubes, remove a cube from the bag and add directly to smoothie ingredients, or allow the cubes to thaw in a bowl in the refrigerator.