Can You Freeze Yogurt?

Simon King
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How Is Yogurt Made?

Yogurt is a high-protein, low-fat dairy product made by culturing pasteurized milk through bacterial fermentation. It is frequently produced by fermentation of lactose with bacterial cultures of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. After the fermentation process is completed, the product is cooled and stored at a temperature that maintains its bacterial cultures and stabilizes the milk proteins.

Yogurt forms a major part of the diet of the people living in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and other parts of Asia and the Mediterranean. The variant used for savory dishes is usually seasoned with herbs. It is especially popular in areas with hot climates, since it is both cool and refreshing.

History credits the Turks with the discovery of yogurt. This is perhaps due to the geographic proximity of the Turks to the early civilizations of Western Asia and the Middle East, where yogurt-like dairy products had been consumed for centuries.

In fact, the world’s first known yogurt came from China, and some historians link its discovery to the nomadic Turkic tribes of Central Asia who were known to bury milk in the ground to keep it cool. In the process, stomach-friendly bacteria would ferment and thicken it.

How to Freeze Regular Yogurt?

It's very easy to freeze yogurt. The trick is to avoid introducing large amounts of air as this can cause the yogurt to spoil. Air causes yogurt to develop icicles in the freezer that will not go away, even when you defrost.

Take small containers (most yogurts come in these) and fill them with yogurt. Leave about two inches at the top for the yogurt to expand.

Next add a lid. If you don't have lids then small pieces of foil should suffice.

Finally, place the filled containers inside of a plastic bag (large enough to nicely fit your containers). Place the bag inside the freezer.

Once frozen, remove your yogurt containers from the freezer and thaw as needed. It's important to remember that frozen yogurt will always be more watery after thawing, so take this into account when thawing to avoid disappointment.

Yogurt Ice Pops

A delicious variety of yogurt treats can be made with the addition of colorful popsicle molds and fresh fruit. Alternate layers of yogurt and fruit in the molds, and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Plain yogurt

  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Fresh fruit
  • Honey

Yogurt and fruit blended together

  • Fresh fruit and a drop of almond extract
  • Fresh fruit and a drop of vanilla extract
  • Yogurt, pureed fruit, and honey

Vodka Treatment

Things to Consider before Freezing

Yogurt is delicious. It can also be versatile and used in many healthy recipes. But if your yogurt won’t hold its shape (crumbles), or it looks distorted or discolored after thawing, it’s probably not a good idea to freeze or refreeze it. To make sure that your yogurt will be fine in the freezer, consider the following things:

The ingredients will affect the outcome of freezing yogurt. Some ingredients like gelatin, honey, fruit puree, etc do not freeze, so those yogurts should not be frozen at all.

  • Is the yogurt made from whole milk or low-fat milk?
  • Did the yogurt contain artificial ingredients and was it processed, or did it use natural ingredients and was it uncultured?
  • Did the culture contain Stabilizer B?
  • Was the manufacturer recommended to freeze it?
  • Was a stabilizer added to the yogurt before or after it was frozen?

How to Thaw the Yogurt

Can you freeze yogurt and how to thaw the yogurt? It’s not always possible to use up a whole container of yogurt at once. So what should you do if you want to just refrigerate some instead of freezing it? Or if you do freeze your yogurt but you need it for something special, how do you defrost frozen yogurt? To freeze yogurt, you need a container you can freeze, and you need to get rid of all of the air bubbles. Once that’s done, freeze it right away to help it last longer.

The best container for freezing yogurt is a lockable plastic container called an “ice cube tray.” It’s perfect because you can very easily access the yogurt by just popping out one cube and into a bowl or whatever you are going to eat it out of. If you use a freezer bag, you will have a harder time getting it out of the bag.

Make sure you pop out any air bubbles before you put it in the container or freezer bag. That will probably be the most tedious part of this operation. Before freezing the yogurt, you will need to get rid of as much air as possible. If you don’t, most of the space in the container will be taken up by the air bubbles.

Final Thoughts

The brown sugar in yogurt is slightly inverted in the freezing process and actually tastes better after freeze and thaw cycles.

It will, however, take a few tries and you’ll lose some valuable "freezer" space while you perfect your freezing technique. Finally, as yogurt melts, the sugars will rise to the top and you’ll notice that it appears sweeter than when it was frozen.