Strawberry, French vanilla, and key lime pie — no, these aren't slices of your favorite pie; they're the flavors for the eight-ounce cups of yogurt you bought a couple of weeks ago when the supermarket was having a sweet three-for-$5 deal. Did you forget about them and just spotted them in the back of the fridge? Yeah, they're probably pretty close to expiring now, but if you're contemplating throwing them out, don't. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it's safe to freeze yogurt at 0°F for one to two months. Take a look at a few tips on how to do it.
- As with any food item, freezing an unopened and sealed container of yogurt is, of course, always best, but you can freeze the dairy product even if opened. The important thing is to store it in an airtight container — we like these Sistema Klip It Collection Rectangle Food Storage Containers ($7 for three).
- Don't forget to label the container with an expiration date. Use a label and marker to write down the date of freeze, and add the yogurt flavor for ease.
- Before you freeze fruit-flavored yogurt, mix it well. This kind tends to separate, with the yogurt resting at the top of the container while fruit settles at the bottom. If you want to make sure your yogurt freezes evenly, open the yogurt and transfer it to an airtight container, stirring it thoroughly.
- Freeze preportioned amounts of yogurt if your plan is to use it for smoothies or baking. Fill one to two ice cube trays with yogurt for a few hours, then place the frozen cubes in a plastic zip-top bag for freshness, date the bag, then put it back in the freezer. Use the cubes at your convenience and before the one- to two-month expiration period.
- To thaw yogurt, simply remove one of your containers from the freezer and let it sit in the fridge until it defrosts. If you don't want to thaw a full container, use an ice cream scoop to portion what you'd like to use. After thawing, you might notice the yogurt's consistency is different than it originally was (a little more liquid); that's normal. If you're not into its new texture, freezing yogurt is probably not for you, though you will notice this less when using the yogurt in smoothies or for baking.