Can You Freeze Yogurt? – The Ultimate Guide
Yogurt is not only a delicious treat, but it’s also full of healthy fats and, depending on the type of yogurt, probiotic cultures as well. With the rise in coconut yogurt, even vegans and lactose-intolerant people can enjoy the creaminess and health benefits.
Because it’s a dairy product full of live bacteria, many people wonder if you can freeze yogurt and maintain all the benefits. After all, it’s nice to have around and particularly enjoyable on a warm day.
So, can you freeze yogurt? You can freeze yogurt for up to 2 months. It’s best to freeze yogurt in small portions in a tightly sealed container, placed in the middle or back of the freezer to prevent temperature changes.
The texture, consistency, and flavor will change slightly once thawed. If you use yogurt that’s been frozen in recipes, you won’t notice the difference. You can also add a few easy ingredients and just make frozen yogurt.
This is the ultimate guide to freezing yogurt where you’ll find answers to all your questions about freezing yogurt, along with simple tips and what to expect when you freeze yogurt. We even teach you how to make fro-yo style frozen yogurt, so keep reading.
This article is all about freezing yogurt, but before we go too deep into the freezer, we wanted to give you a few simple solutions to preserving yogurt without freezing it.
How To Keep Yogurt Fresh Longer
If you’ve bought a bulk-sized quantity of yogurt, simply follow these simple rules for storing it to keep it fresh for as long as possible:
1. Keep it sealed
Once the yogurt has been opened, it can and will soak up flavors and bacteria from the air very easily. If you’ve purchased a large container, make sure you seal the lid very carefully every time it’s returned to the fridge.
Better yet, transfer all the yogurt to a glass container with an airtight seal.
2. Never eat it directly from a large container
Always transfer a serving size to a separate bowl to eat. Even if you don’t mind sharing germs with the other members of your family, eating it straight from the container can contaminate the healthy probiotic cultures.
3. Store it in the main body of your fridge
If you haven’t figured it out by now, yogurt is very sensitive. Constant fluctuations of temperature as the door opens and closes are not good for the healthy bacteria in your yogurt and it will spoil much more quickly.
If you’ve decided to freeze your yogurt, either because frozen yogurt is a delicious treat or simply to maintain the quality and benefits for longer, you’ve made a wonderful decision.
The rest of this article is dedicated to the best yogurt freezing practices and answering every question about freezing yogurt you have ever had.
How To Freeze Yogurt
To freeze yogurt successfully, just follow this one important tip: freeze yogurt in small portions. The smaller the portion size, the better the consistency and texture will hold up once it’s thawed.
We recommend investing in some silicon freezer trays, like this 2 pack from Souper Cubes. They come with a freezer-safe, air-tight lid and you can freeze everything from yogurt to soup in perfect 1 cup sizes.
If you want portion sizes smaller than 1 cup, you can also use an ice cube tray. Each cube is about 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons. This works better if you’re planning on using your frozen yogurt in a smoothie or cooking it from frozen into a sauce.
If you use an ice cube tray to freeze your yogurt, transfer frozen yogurt cubes to a freezer-safe bag once they’re thoroughly frozen. This will protect them from picking up any flavors that are flowing through your freezer and also from getting too frosty.
MOMables – Laura Fuentes has a great step-by-step tutorial for freezing yogurt. Check it out below.
What Happens When You Freeze Yogurt?
Freezing yogurt effectively can mean that your yogurt will stay fresh and healthy for up to 2 months, even if that’s beyond the “best before date” stamped on the package.
However, it won’t be the same yogurt that went into the freezer. It evolves during the freezing process and you should be aware of a few significant changes your yogurt will undergo during its time in your freezer.
1. The texture becomes grainy
Because yogurt is a dairy product, the fat and water tend to separate when frozen. When it thaws out again, instead of being silky smooth, your yogurt will have a bit more grit to it, leaving a slightly grainy mouthfeel.
2. The flavor changes
One of the biggest perks of yogurt is the healthy live bacteria that live inside it and make your gut their home after you eat it. This bacteria is incredibly good for you but it’s also what gives yogurt the slight tang or sourness.
Freezing enhances this tang. Many people love it, especially if you’re a fan of fermented products like kefir, but it can be a bit of a shock to those who’re used to their yogurt tasting more like a dessert.
3. The consistency becomes thinner
Returning to the concept of separation, the consistency of your yogurt will change because the water and milk go their own ways during the freezing process.
You can reconstitute your yogurt by mixing thoroughly, but it will forever be thinner and slightly more watery than it was before being frozen.
How To Use Frozen Yogurt
If all those changes make previously frozen yogurt less appetizing as a stand-alone snack, there are still many ways you can use frozen yogurt.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to use frozen yogurt:
- Baking with it. Use previously frozen yogurt in any baked goods that call for yogurt and you’ll never notice the difference.
- Cooking with it. Similarly, if you’re making a simmer sauce or using yogurt in other areas of cooking, the slight differences in texture, consistency, and flavor will be hidden well once cooked.
- Using it in sauces, spreads, and dips. If you’re mixing up your yogurt to make a dipping sauce or creamy spread, this will change the flavor and texture anyways, so previously frozen will work just fine.
How To Make Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is different from yogurt that has been frozen. The water content in yogurt will freeze it into a solid cube, not a scoopable creamy dessert. If you want to make “fro-yo”, you have to add a few extra ingredients and do a bit of churning.
If you have an ice cream maker, it will make frozen yogurt a breeze. If you don’t have one, a high-powered blender will work, though your results will be less consistent.
We’ve come up with a few different combinations that work really well for making frozen yogurt. You can mix and match the techniques and flavorings to create a frozen yogurt treat that is perfect for your tastes and equipment.
Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Recipe – Ice Cream Maker
Start with the highest-fat yogurt you can find. Greek yogurt works best, but if it’s too tart for you, at least opt for whole-milk yogurt.
Add more fat to keep the yogurt smooth, scoopable, and creamy. You can choose heavy cream, coconut cream, cream cheese, or even mascarpone cheese, as long as the fat content is high, preferably at least 30%.
You do need to add some sugar to prevent your frozen treat from icing up. You can use plain white sugar, or try adding flavor with honey or maple syrup.
You could use only those ingredients and get a yummy frozen yogurt, but chocolate makes everything better. Since the cream is naturally sweet and we’ve added sugar, you can use unsweetened cocoa powder and it won’t come out too bitter.
Add all your ingredients to your ice cream maker (no need to pre-chill) and churn it up until it’s the consistency that you like. Eat it right away or store it in a freezer-safe Tupperware container for future indulgence.
Here is the ratio of ingredients that worked best for us:
|Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Recipe – Ice Cream Maker|
|4 cups (1 quart) high-fat yogurt||½ cup high fat cream or cheese||¾ cup sugar or syrup||1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder|
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe – No Ice Cream Maker
Strawberries add moisture and sweetness, so you can reduce the sugar for your frozen yogurt when you’re adding fruit instead. In fact, this recipe is more frozen strawberries than yogurt, but yogurt is crucial to getting the creaminess.
As mentioned, this recipe is mainly strawberries with drastically reduced sugar and no added heavy cream.
You can swap the strawberries for nearly any other frozen fruit, with the exception of watermelon, which is too watery to work well.
Whenever you make frozen yogurt in a blender, the water and fat will still separate when returned to the freezer, and turn into something closer to a block of ice than ice cream.
If you’re freezing leftovers, be prepared that you may need to let it thaw on your counter for 10-20 minutes before it will be scoopable again. For this reason, we highly recommend re-freezing in individual portion sizes.
For making frozen yogurt, frozen strawberries work best. Chop them up in your blender before adding the rest of the ingredients. To get your frozen yogurt nice and creamy, you will need a reliable, high-powered blender that doesn’t overheat when challenged.
|Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe – No Ice Cream Maker|
|½ cup high-fat yogurt||2 – 4 tablespoons of sugar or syrup||4 cups frozen strawberries|
Top 7 Questions About Freezing Yogurt
We’ve scoured the internet for even more questions about freezing yogurt, just to make sure no yogurt-freezing queries of yours will go unasked.
1. Can you freeze yogurt to make frozen yogurt?
You can absolutely freeze yogurt to make frozen yogurt, but you will need a few extra ingredients and steps to make a traditional frozen yogurt. We’ve included 2 different methods for turning yogurt into frozen yogurt above.
If you like the tangy flavor of yogurt and don’t mind a thinner texture, you can simply freeze yogurt and eat it as is, but again – this won’t be quite like a typical frozen yogurt.
2. How long does it take to freeze yogurt?
How long it takes to freeze yogurt will depend entirely on the amount of yogurt you’re freezing in a single container:
- If you freeze 1-ounce portions in an ice cube tray for use in smoothies or cooking, each cube should be frozen within about an hour.
- If you’re freezing 1 cup portion sizes, it may take up to 3 hours to freeze all the way through.
- If you’re trying to freeze an entire quart or more at once, you’ll want to leave your yogurt in the freezer for at least 6 hours, maybe even overnight.
3. Can you freeze Yoplait yogurt?
You can freeze any type of yogurt, but depending on fat content, the outcome will vary.
Yoplait is one of the biggest yogurt brands on the market and they offer a wide range of options, though the highest percentage of milk fat seems to be about 3% in their Minigos.
This means the consistency and texture changes will be more pronounced because of the lower fat content, but the defrosted yogurt will still be suitable for cooking or baking with.
4. Can you freeze yogurt and eat it like ice cream?
This is slightly different from the frozen yogurt question of earlier and the answer is no.
Simply freezing yogurt will just give you a solid block of yogurt. It won’t naturally turn into a soft, creamy, and easily scoopable dessert like ice cream.
You have to churn it and add more fat and some sugar to the mix to keep it from freezing solid. Check out the recipes listed above in the article for inspiration!
5. How long can you freeze yogurt?
When you freeze yogurt, it will stay fresh longer than the best before day implies, however it will deteriorate more quickly than most other frozen foods. You always want to place a date on your yogurt so that you know when it was frozen.
For best results, try to eat it within 2 months of being frozen. Higher fat content yogurts will last a bit longer, but 3 months is typically the most you’ll get out of freezing your yogurt.
Once you take your yogurt out of the freezer and thaw it, you will have as much time left as you would have if you hadn’t frozen it at all.
This is another reason to date your yogurt when you freeze it. Simply count the number of days from when you froze it to it’s original best before date. If that was 5 days, consume your previously frozen yogurt within 5 days, etc.
6. Can you freeze probiotic yogurt?
Many people ask does freezing yogurt kill probiotics. Another common variation is to ask if you can freeze Activia yogurt specifically, and we assume this is because Activia is a yogurt brand that is highly regarded for creating probiotic-rich yogurt.
All yogurt contains live bacteria, but not all live bacteria are considered probiotic. If you’ve gone out of your way to buy a specific probiotic brand, you don’t want to ruin your health efforts by killing off the good bugs.
Luckily, studies have shown that freezing does not kill probiotics, so go ahead and freeze that yogurt, with all the above notes in mind.
7. Can you freeze Greek-style yogurt?
Greek yogurt fans ask a lot of questions about freezing yogurt. Can you freeze Greek yogurt for smoothies? and how to make frozen Greek yogurt pops are also common inquiries that we’ve lumped into this one answer.
Yes, you can freeze Greek-style yogurt and yes, you can use it for smoothies. The slightly higher fat content will give you slightly better consistency and texture results if you choose to defrost it.
But if you want to use it for smoothies simply freeze it in small portions (like in an ice cube tray) and put the frozen bits directly into your blender.
To make frozen Greek yogurt pops, you’ll want to blend all your ingredients until smooth before putting them into your popsicle tray.
You can use simply Greek yogurt and fruit or berries with a little bit of sugar or syrup to prevent the formation of ice crystals, or you can add more fat to the mix for a creamier, softer version.
Fruit and yogurt will be hard, though delicious. Adding heavy or coconut cream or even cream cheese will soften the pop to be more like a solid ice cream bar.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe Without Ice Cream Maker
This strawberry frozen yogurt is the easiest recipe we've made. Just use your favorite blender and enjoy a refreshing sweet treat!
- ½ cup high-fat yogurt
- 2 – 4 tablespoons of sugar or syrup
- 4 cups frozen strawberries
- Before adding the other ingredients, chop the strawberries up in a high-powered blender.
- Place yogurt and your sweetener of choice into the blender and blend until mixed.
- Feel free to enjoy the yogurt right away, or if you prefer a more solid frozen yogurt, you can transfer it to an ice cream container or another freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 month.
For frozen yogurt, frozen strawberries work best. Chop them up in your blender before adding the rest of the ingredients. To get your frozen yogurt nice and creamy, you will need a reliable, high-powered blender that doesn’t overheat when challenged.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g