What is the average shelf life of cottage cheese? How long does cottage cheese last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store cottage cheese to increase its shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:
Shelf Life of Cottage Cheese
|(Unopened)||7-9 Days||2-3 Months|
|(Opened)||5-7 Days||2-3 Months|
Cottage cheese is uncured, soft, and fresh and is a highly perishable dairy product. It can easily last for 7 to 10 days beyond the date that is printed on the package. However, you need to store it properly. Its shelf life is influenced by some elements of the type of cheese it is, which determines its processing technique, along with its packaging date. Some other factors include the best-by date and its exposure to heat. Its different forms are composed of milk with various fat levels. These are also made in large curd or small curd varieties. Therefore, when cottage cheese is properly stored at temperatures under 40 degrees, it can easily last until the date mentioned on the container.
Purchasing Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is finished being made a step before allowing the cheese to solidify. This results in the development of high-moisture curds. If you thoroughly drain cottage cheese, it becomes farmer’s cheese. Cottage cheese is produced in three different curd sizes, and the type that is most widely available is small curd cheese. It is the whole milk version of the cheese and only contains 2 grams of fat per ounce. The low-fat version has 1 gram of fat per ounce, and you can buy non-fat cottage cheese, as well. A type of cottage cheese includes ricotta, which has a hint of acidic taste and a nice creaminess.
Storing Cottage Cheese
Once you have opened and used your cottage cheese, storing it correctly will increase its shelf life. Make sure that you always freeze the cheese. You can place in an airtight container, or you can also use heavy-duty freezer bags. Dry cottage cheese freezes quickly in comparison to creamed cottage cheese. Creamed cottage cheese becomes a bit too mushy after the freeze. Also, storing cottage cheese upside down is recommended. It seems funny, but by doing so, you are creating a vacuum at the top within the container, which prevents any growth of bacteria. However, make sure that you keep the lid tight, or prepare yourself for a mess.
Handling Cottage Cheese
If you want to remove acidity from your cottage cheese, then you should wash it. It will give you sweet curd cheese. If you have placed your cottage cheese in the freezer, then make sure to thaw it at room temperature before using it. Melting the cottage cheese at room temperature enables the cheese to retain its fresh taste for an extended period of time. Washing the cottage cheese will allow you to get rid of the extra fat, and it is ideal for building muscle strength. However, now you can find cottage cheese with 1% fat on the market.
Cooking Cottage Cheese
Because cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and is relatively low in calories, you can use cottage cheese in preparing food. You can blend it into your creamy sauces for pasta, or you can also add it to a variety of dips. Gratins can taste good with cottage cheese. If you are making lasagna, then you can always replace ricotta with cottage cheese to keep it low-fat, and of course, low-cost. Cottage cheese can be served nicely in some sandwiches. The only trouble with cottage cheese is that it is high in sodium and low in calcium, so you can balance it out with some other foods that are high in calcium and low in sodium.