Greek yogurt is a popular snack and kitchen item, and people buy Greek yogurt in bulk at grocery stores because it is healthy, delicious, and versatile. But what if you have a considerable stash of Greek yogurt you’d like to preserve? Can you keep it in the freezer?
You can freeze Greek yogurt to keep it fresh and prolong its shelf life if you have huge tubs and won’t be able to consume everything before it spoils. You can freeze Greek yogurt in ice trays, sealed containers, or in its original container. You can even make yogurt popsicles for your kids.
In this article, I will talk about the different ways to freeze Greek yogurt, depending on how you intend to consume it. I will also discuss how long you can keep your Greek yogurt in the freezer and how to tell if it has gone bad. We will then touch on the various health benefits you can enjoy from eating Greek yogurt.
How To Freeze Greek Yogurt (6 Easy Ways)
You can freeze Greek yogurt in different ways, depending on how you intend to enjoy it.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Freeze in its original container.
- Freeze in an airtight container.
- Freeze in ice trays.
- Freeze in scoops.
- Make Greek yogurt popsicles.
- Make Greek yogurt tubes.
Let’s dive right in!
Freeze Greek Yogurt in Its Original Container
This is the simplest way to freeze your Greek yogurt. Store the yogurt in the freezer immediately, and you can be sure that you will have it close at hand whenever you want it.
This is ideal for single-serve Greek yogurt containers. However, it is important to note that yogurt tends to expand when frozen, possibly causing the container to crack.
So, you may want to consider wrapping the single-serve container in plastic wrap or sliding it into a sealed reusable bag to avoid a mess just in case the container splits open while freezing.
If you have a bigger tub of yogurt and you know that you can’t consume it all within a week or two, you may want to think about the next option before putting it in the freezer.
Freeze Greek Yogurt in an Airtight Container
This is ideal for big batches of yogurt. Divide your Greek yogurt into portions, so you only thaw what you intend to consume. Since yogurt expands when frozen, remember not to fill up each container to give the yogurt more room.
You can use glass or plastic jars or containers. Just make sure that the container’s lid offers an air-tight seal so the yogurt doesn’t get freezer burned.
Freeze Greek Yogurt in Ice Trays
A great way to freeze Greek yogurt that you plan to use for smoothies, shakes, and other cold beverages is to put it in ice cube trays. Instead of ice cubes, you could drop the frozen Greek yogurt cubes straight into a drink.
You could also plop it right into the blender if you wish to make Greek yogurt smoothies.
Go for ice trays with lids to keep the yogurt fresh and clean. If these are hard to find, you can instead transfer your frozen Greek yogurt cubes into airtight containers or freezer bags once they are solidly frozen. This is a great way to save space in your freezer.
Tip: You can also freeze Greek yogurt in ice trays with fun shapes to make cold drinks more enjoyable for kids.
Freeze Greek Yogurt in Scoops
Another entertaining way of freezing Greek yogurt is to freeze it into scoops and mix it into your drinks. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out portions of your Greek yogurt, and place them in large airtight containers. Drop the frozen yogurt balls into your smoothies and shakes for added flavor and nutrients.
Note: Make sure your Greek yogurt is thick and well-chilled in the fridge before scooping, or it will fall apart.
Make Greek Yogurt Popsicles
One way to encourage kids to eat yogurt and fruits is to pour Greek yogurt (fruits are optional) into popsicle molds (Amazon.com) and let them sit for a few hours. I like keeping them in the freezer for at least 5 hours to ensure that the yogurt is completely frozen and won’t fall off the sticks. It’s like eating ice cream, but much healthier.
Make Greek Yogurt Tubes
You could also turn your Greek yogurt into a fun and healthy snack for your kids by freezing it in freezer tubes (Amazon.com). You can find these at Amazon, or you could make your own with long plastic food-grade tubes.
What Happens When You Freeze and Thaw Greek Yogurt?
When you freeze and thaw Greek yogurt, it compromises its texture and consistency. You will notice that when thawed, it is no longer as homogeneous and thick as it originally was. Greek yogurt will separate, become watery, and will be grainy.
That is why it doesn’t make sense to freeze Greek yogurt unless you won’t be able to consume it by its expiration date. Also, avoid re-freezing Greek yogurt because the quality will be further compromised the more you freeze and thaw it. Freeze in batches, so you only thaw what you will consume.
How To Thaw Greek Yogurt
You can take your Greek yogurt out of the freezer and put it on the counter to thaw. Keep a close watch on it, though, because letting it sit out for too long may allow it to go bad.
The safest way to thaw frozen Greek yogurt is in the fridge because temperature changes won’t be as drastic as when you just leave your yogurt out on the counter to thaw. This will help reduce the chances of your yogurt spoiling.
As mentioned above, you will notice a stark change in the consistency of your thawed Greek yogurt. Don’t worry, however, because there is an easy fix! Simply stir your Greek yogurt once it is completely thawed. Giving it a thorough stirring will return previously frozen Greek yogurt back close to its original taste and texture.
If there are fruits in it, make sure that they are evenly distributed. Once thawed, Greek yogurt must be used or consumed within a few days.
How Long Can Greek Yogurt Stay In the Freezer?
An unopened tub of Greek yogurt can last for 2-3 months past its best-by date in the freezer. Once the container has been opened, however, consume your yogurt within the month. Freeze Greek yogurt in smaller batches to avoid unnecessarily opening containers.
How To Tell If Your Greek Yogurt Has Gone Bad
It is easy to tell when food has gone bad. Changes in consistency, color, smell, and texture are usually tell-tale signs. However, this can be a bit tricky when it comes to Greek yogurt, particularly when it has been frozen and thawed.
As previously mentioned, thawed Greek yogurt will separate and become grainy, and a puddle of water will form on top of it. You might quickly assume that your Greek yogurt has spoiled.
You can tell your Greek yogurt has spoiled if it has started to curdle at the bottom and if an unusual amount of water has formed at the top. The formation of molds is a dead giveaway that your Greek yogurt is no longer safe to consume.
Is Greek Yogurt the Same As Regular Yogurt?
Yogurt is a type of dairy product that is produced through fermentation. There are different kinds of yogurt available:
Among the most popular of these, especially among people who watch their diet, is Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is not the same as regular yogurt. It contains half the amount of sugar and carbs and less sodium, and it’s packed with protein, almost twice as much as that of regular yogurt. Greek yogurt has a tangier and more sour taste than regular yogurt. It’s also much thicker.
How Greek Yogurt Is Made
Greek yogurt is also known as “strained yogurt.”
Like any type of yogurt, it starts with the fermentation process. Here, lactose is converted into lactic acid by introducing bacteria. Then, the fermented product is strained to eliminate much of the lactose, whey, and other liquids to make Greek yogurt.
The straining process is what makes Greek yogurt thicker and tangier than regular yogurt. This is also why it is generally more expensive.
Straining requires more milk to achieve the desired consistency and taste.
Health Benefits Of Greek Yogurt
There are a lot of health benefits attributed to Greek yogurt, which is why it is the yogurt of choice for people who want to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Here are some of the health benefits of Greek yogurt:
- Rich in probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms usually found in fermented foods. They are friendly bacteria known for preventing and treating diarrhea, reducing allergies, and boosting immunity.
- Heart friendly: Fermented dairy products like yogurt are linked to reduced risk of plaque build-up in the heart’s artery walls. This translates to lower blood pressure and lowered cholesterol levels.
- Aids in weight loss: Greek yogurt has high levels of protein. Protein intake is associated with reduced calorie intake resulting from prolonged feelings of fullness.
- Safe for people with lactose intolerance: People who are lactose intolerant typically suffer from diarrhea, bloating, and other digestive issues when consuming dairy products. Greek yogurt has lower lactose content, which practically eliminates these digestive problems. The probiotics in yogurt also aid in promoting better digestion.
Freezing is the way to go if you want to prolong your Greek yogurt’s shelf life. You can eat it with fruit, Graham crackers, granola, and cereal. You can even consume it on its own. You can also incorporate it into various recipes and drinks.
Freeze your Greek yogurt in batches, so you thaw only what you will consume within a matter of days. With this versatile and yummy treat in your freezer, you’ll always have a healthy treat within reach.