Helpful Tips on Prolonging the Life of Dairy Products
Dairy products are known to have a very vital life span and must be handled safely to keep them good as long as possible. Here are some of the tips you must know for specific dairy products that will change your life.
Storing milk in the fridge might be the most common and known way to store milk to prolong its life. However, it is also important to ensure the correct placement in the refrigerator. It is best to store whole milk or skim milk at about 37 degrees Fahrenheit, which is usually somewhere in the back of the shelves, most commonly located on the lower shelves. You may need to set the milk aside for an easy fit. Also, avoid storing milk on door shelves. It’s an attractive place to store because it’s easily accessible, but it’s warm to the front and the temperature fluctuations caused by frequent door openings cause a faster spoiling of the milk.
There are several options for long-term storage. You can actually freeze the milk in a plastic container (fragile cardboard and glass are not suitable for this application as they expand when frozen). Be sure to store the milk and freeze it before the expiration date, giving 1-2 inches of allowance for expansion.
A plastic jug that often comes with milk works well. It is stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place in the refrigerator and slowly bring to a liquid temperature to thaw. The thawed milk looks coarse because the fat molecules are separated, but it is okay if you shake it or put it in a blender and rotate it. The shelf life of thawed milk is significantly shorter than that of fresh milk. Keep this in mind when sizing the container for freezing milk, as thawed milk should be used within 3-4 days.
You can also buy canned evaporated milk. This is heated concentrated milk that removes about 60% of the milk’s water content. Very creamy, with a slight caramel flavor, perfect for adding to coffee or tea, but unlike regular whole milk, it does not contain the same, so it is normal for babies over 1 year old. Remember that it is not a food source, the number of vitamins, minerals, and fats as regular whole milk or long-lived milk. Canned condensed milk is similarly concentrated, but very sweet and ideal for making caramel, dessert sauces, and simple ice cream recipe.
- Heavy Cream and Half-and-Half
Just like milk, cream and half-and-half are best kept in a cool place in the fridge. Again, the door part must be avoided! The door is for spices. You can also opt to freeze the cream and store it for a long time in either an ice cube tray or a plastic container.
Be sure to shake after thawing or otherwise mix to facilitate the reintegration of milk fat and liquid. When thawed, the heavy cream foams as easily as fresh. Half-and-half freeze well in ice trays, plastic containers, and even freezing bags.
For butter, it is absolutely easier than milk. You don’t actually need to refrigerate it which, in fact, most people are amazed about.
Keeping the butter in a bowl with a lid on the counter makes it very easy to spread for 3 weeks to 1 month. There are exceptions to this: don’t do this if the kitchen is very hot, as it will accelerate spoilage. It also works best with salted butter, as salt helps preserve it.
- Soft Cheese
Brie cheese, goat cheese, and other soft and fluid cheeses are delicious but softer than their chewy cousins. If you see spots of green or blue mold, you should discard them. This is disappointing, but not as much as food poisoning.
If you plan to eat within a few days of purchasing, the wrap you have included is fine. In fact, mozzarella cheese should be stored in a wrap or saltwater and eaten within a week of opening. The best way to keep soft cheese in the refrigerator for more than 10 days is to wrap the cheese in a layer of parchment or paraffin paper, then in a loose layer of foil, store if you haven’t already wrapped it in cheese paper. (By the way, cheese paper is completely reusable).
Soft cheeses could also be stored in the freezer for up to two months, wrapped in vacuum-sealed bags. If it’s a very flashy cheese, it’s best to eat it immediately, as it will lose its original texture a little, but if it’s okay to be a little harder than usual, freeze it. And when you’re ready to eat, put it in the fridge and thaw it. If you don’t have a dedicated cheese drawer, store the cheese in a cold place behind the fridge and keep it away from other odorous things-cheese can absorb odors.
- Hard and Semi-Hard Cheeses
Cheeses that are firm to the touch and have a low water content, such as pecorino, parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese, fall into this category. If you eat them quickly within a few days, it’s okay to keep them in the wrap. For long-term storage, you must wrap in parchment or paraffin paper, followed by wrap or foil.
Like soft cheese, these varieties should be stored in a cold place behind the refrigerator. You can also freeze these cheeses as long as they are tightly wrapped to prevent freeze-burning in the freezer. If you have moldy spots on your hard cheese, you should be able to cut the moldy spots and eat them by cutting the radius of the shape by an inch.
- Shredded Cheese and Sliced Cheese
If you have a bag of pre-shredded cheese, keep it in the bag it came in, or put it in a resealable bag, and it`ll be good in the fridge for a week or two after it`s has been opened. It is also good to be placed in the freezer for it to last up to three months. You can grate your own hard or semi-hard cheese, freeze it, put it in a freezing bag, and easily spread and thaw it. Sliced cheese in a bag also freezes well. Seal in the freezer bag or an extra layer of foil to prevent burning in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.
Keep the yogurt in the fridge. It is best to consume the yogurt within 5-7 days once opened, but it can be extended to about 2 weeks. If you see mold or pink stripes, discard them. Not worth the risk. Fortunately, if you have too much yogurt and you don’t have enough time to eat, you can definitely freeze it. Frozen yogurt is a snack used by chain stores in many countries. Of course, it’s only eaten with granola but put it in the freezer to add flavor. Yogurt drops some of its texture when it’s frozen and thawed, but it’s delightful when kept in the freezer. It can be used to create your own frozen yogurt with different flavors. You could also freeze it in a freezer bag or an ice cube tray if you’d like.
Dairy products really need extensive actions to make them last for the longest time possible. And we hope that these tips will help you in case you have purchased dairy products at your home. In case you are planning to buy daily products in the future, you may try visiting us, Fresh Farms, at any of our locations. We offer fresh dairy items, that’s for sure!
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