Sometimes after cooking, we have some ingredients left and it is vitally essential to keep them properly. Nobody wants to spoil their food, right? One of the products that cause a lot of questions regarding its storage 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 product 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 origin 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 fine ricotta, pay attention to its texture: a ricotta cheese of good quality must keep its shape well and have a moist texture with fine granules.
Storage of Ricotta Cheese for the Newbies. Tips and Advice
This dairy product is a fresh product made of milk which makes its storage somewhat tricky (the same as the storage of any dairy products, actually).
Unopened ricotta can stay in a fridge for one week or fourteen days 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 shelf life?
To prolongate the ricotta cheese shelf life, use freezing.
The most proper thing to do will be to use airtight containers or special bags 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 spend in the freezer being still valid is ninety days.
- 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 defrost your ricotta by removing it to the fridge from the freezer, it can last for three to four days more. But if you thaw it in a microwave, 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 properly 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 special plastic bag 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 storage, wrap the ricotta in plastic cover. Also, remove the air from the bag before locking it.
- In case 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 storage 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 hot 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 special container.
How to Defrost Ricotta And Not to Ruin It?
Many people wonder how they can defrost ricotta without destroying its qualities.
Well, if you defrost your cheese, no matter 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 structure, after defrosting 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 defrosting 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 tips 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 home or even in your own kitchen! Take care!