Sometimes after cooking, we have some components left and it is vitally essential to keep them respectively. Nobody wants to spoil their food, right? One of the foodstuffs that cause a lot of questions regarding its keeping is ricotta cheese.
Can ricotta cheese be frozen?
Is there a way to help it last longer when you have pretty much of this dairy foodstuff left after cooking?
Keep on reading and you will find all the answers you ever wanted to know regarding this issue!
Meet Ricotta Cheese! Its Origin and Specifics
Ricotta cheese derives its history from Italy. The word ricotta can be literally translated as “the one that is cooked two times”. This dairy product is originally produced from cow’s milk, skim or whole, and has a very soft texture and a very light sweet flavor.
As a cooking ingredient, it is widely used in many dishes both hot dishes and even desserts.
If you have ever wondered how to define high quality ricotta, pay attention to its texture: a ricotta cheese of good quality must keep its shape well and have a wet texture with fine granules.
Related: Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?
Keeping of Ricotta Cheese for the Newbies. Suggestions and Advice
This dairy product is a fresh product made of milk which makes its maintenance somewhat tricky (the same as the storage of any dairy products, for example mozzarella cheese, actually).
Unopened ricotta can stay in a fridge for one week or fourteen morrows the longest and your ricotta cheese container must be airtight! The same duration is valid for an opened cheese.
As for keeping it outside the fridge (on the table of a kitchen counter, for example), ricotta will only last for a couple of hours. After two hours of being outside the fridge, ricotta must be thrown away.
How to prolong ricotta lifespan?
To prolongate the ricotta cheese duration period, use freezing.
The most proper thing to do will be to use airtight containers or special packets for freezing for this purpose. It will prevent spoilage so that your cheese will last longer.
- Does ricotta cheese freeze well? Yes, of course. The maximum period that ricotta can stay in the freezer being still valid is nearly three months.
- Can you freeze unopened ricotta cheese? Yes, it is also possible to do it. If you bought it in a hard container made of plastic, simply put it in the freezer. No extra covers or containers are required for this.
Also, if you unfreeze your ricotta by transferring it to the fridge from the freezer, it can last for three to four days more. But if you thaw it in a kitchen appliance, you must use it immediately!
Does ricotta cheese lose its qualities when being frozen and then thawed? Yes, it does in a certain way.
If you freeze ricotta, the taste and flavor will remain the same but the body of cheese will become different. The influence of low temperature causes the moisture in the cheese to turn into ice and, after being defrosted, ricotta becomes a bit dry and crumby.
How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese. Detailed and Precise Instruction
Want to know how to keep ricotta in a freezer correctly to prolong its life?
- First of all, mind where you are going to keep it. If we are talking about unopened ricotta that was bought in a plastic container, all you have to do is to put it into the freezer. However, to take care of the leftovers, use an airtight container or particular plastic packet for freezing to store them.
- When freezing leftovers, stir them finely. Like that the cheese will freeze thoroughly.
- Delete any excess liquid from the cheese so that it won’t turn into ice under the impact of low temperature.
- If you use a freezer bag for keeping, wrap the ricotta in plastic cover. Also, remove the air from the bag before locking it.
- In the situation when you chose an airtight container, divide ricotta into pieces and wrap each bit into a plastic wrapping. Only then it is ok to place these portions to the container.
How long can you freeze ricotta cheese? Generally, if we are talking about the freezer, the duration of preservation should not exceed two months, however, some say that three months is the longest period that ricotta can spend being frozen.
Is It Ok to Freeze Ricotta-Containing Products?
Ricotta is widely used in cooking, for example, in salads, desserts and savory dishes as a topping or filler. Naturally, the question may occur whether it is allowed to put some of those products to the freezer if there is too much left or you simply want to keep them till the next time you will cook dinner.
Can you freeze ricotta cheese mixture? Yes, it’s absolutely fine to do it. One can keep various mixtures that contain ricotta in the freezer, in a plastic freezing bag or in a specific container.
How to Unfreeze Ricotta And Not to Ruin It?
Many people wonder how they can thaw ricotta without destroying its qualities.
Well, if you defrost your cheese, no difference what method you will be using for it, ricotta will not lose its taste or flavor which is good. However, its texture might change a bit.
As long as fresh ricotta has a very moist consistency, after melting all the liquid will come out and the cheese itself may look a bit dryer than usual with its texture more crumby.
Anyway, the best decision for unfreezing your ricotta is to remove it from the freezer and put it to the fridge at once. In this case, the process of thawing will be less “stressful” and the structure of cheese will get fewer damages.
On the contrary, if you decide to unfreeze ricotta using, for example, microwave or any other fast-defrosting way, you will most likely get a crumby and overdried product that doesn’t look that good.
No matter which way you choose, defrosted ricotta is much better to use as an ingredient in different dishes, for example, as a topping or a filling, rather than a separate ingredient in a salad.
We hope that these hints will help you to store your ricotta cheese properly when you buy it next time. They are very easy to use and follow, besides, for applying them, you will only need the items that you can always find at the household or even in your own kitchen! Take care!
Cooking With Ricotta. Healthy Recipes For Everyone
Ricotta is a truly versatile foodstuff! It is widely used in Italian cuisine in various foods from pasta to lasagna but why not add it to your own cookbook? This cheese makes any dish milder and aromatic so it’s always a win-win addition!
No matter whether you’re an experienced cook or just start making your first steps in the world of cooking, learning several easy recipes with ricotta will add a large plus to your experience, even if now it’s small. Check out several simple suggestions below to surprise your family and friends next time!
- Ricotta is good in any vegetable salad recipe as a topping
- Since it’s so soft, smear it on your toasts along with beans, hard cheese, or ham, or make ricotta a part of the spread mixture
- This cream-like cheese is perfect for an Italian lasagna carbonara recipe. It will make lasagna feel more creamy and smooth in texture
- The simplest recipe with ricotta is to bake this cheese and serve it with a spicy mixture of peppers
- Feel free to sprinkle a small amount of crushed ricotta and some parmesan over a plate of hot pasta to make this simple dish taste awesome
- Ricotta can serve as a part of filling mixture for ravioli
- Another recipe that welcomes ricotta is pancakes. Add a spoon of the blueberry-lemon mixture to enhance the flavor
- Sausage and ricotta-baked cannelloni is similar to lasagna but it’s a good option when you have less time for cooking
- Roasted sweet peppers with a spoon of ricotta and herbs filling in each half will decorate any meal!
Top Questions About Ricotta You Always Wanted to Ask
Ricotta is such a popular foodstuff today that people keep on asking lots of questions about how to make use of this creamy cheese, the recipes it can fit as an ingredient, as well as about storing, making, freezing ricotta cheese, and thawing it. That is why we decided to provide everyone with answers to the most common inquiries.
We hope that this brief list will help you to learn more about freezing ricotta, cooking with it, and dealing with frozen ricotta.
- Whenever I’m freezing ricotta cheese, it becomes covered with icy particles on the top. Why is that?
The most obvious reason is that your frosting camera is working too hard and it’s way colder in there than necessary. Try to regulate it and set the proper temperature if you can, or contact the specialist.
- Is ricotta similar to cottage cheese?
Even though these two sorts of cheese can be used in recipes interchangeably, they have certain distinctions both regarding making them and their appearance.
When cheese is made, milk or cream is separated into curd and whey by the cheesemaker. Ricotta is made of whey whereas cottage cheese is produced of that separated curd. For this reason, ricotta has a significant creamy, soft, and grainy texture. On the contrary, cottage cheese is lumpier, no matter whether the curds are small or large.
By the way, because of their softness, both ricotta and cottage cheese are sold in the same firm round package.
- Is it ok to keep ricotta in its original package after opening it?
Many people get concerned about the fact that ricotta can turn bad if we keep in the store cover and don’t seal it. Well, it all depends on you. The cheese can either be left in its native packet or removed to the new tank, only remember to seal it tightly after you place it there.
- I don’t feel well after eating leftover ricotta. Is it out of date or bad?
It depends on how this leftover ricotta was kept. It could become bad if exposed to excess heat or oxidized. Or the expiry date could pass by. Usually, leftover cheese is still healthy if kept correctly. In your situation, it means that something went wrong either with the leftover whey product or with its storage.
- What place is the best for keeping ricotta?
This healthy whey cheese will remain delicious longer if we keep it refrigerated and tightly packed. Like this, it will be ok to eat it within 5 days maximum. For prolonged keeping, freezing ricotta will be the optimal choice to extend its lifespan to nearly a month.
- Is it safe freezing ricotta? Shall I drain it before freezing ricotta cheese?
Some people believe that freezing ricotta cheese means that it will turn bad faster. In fact, freezing ricotta is absolutely safe as it prevents the cheese from degrading. Besides, frozen ricotta lasts way longer.
It is also necessary to drain the liquid before freezing ricotta to protect the cheese from spoiling. Also, frozen ricotta changes texture after thawing and becomes dryer but it’s still ok to eat.
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