If you are like many homeowners, you make sure to pick up a container of sour cream for every Taco Tuesday and baked potato night. The problem is that sour cream expires faster than you can use the entire jar, leaving you with a wasted tub you may have used on another occasion. So can you freeze sour cream?
Is this the answer to all of your problems? Considering that sour cream expires usually within a week or two of buying it, freezing sour cream is going to be your best option. We’ve all probably had that one heart-breaking experience, where we reach for the sour cream only to realize it’s expired.
Taco in hand, you stand there, crushed. You only bought the sour cream a couple of weeks ago. How could it be expired so soon? Avoid this little upset by using these few simple steps to freeze sour cream.
Things to Know Before Freezing Sour Cream
While nothing compares to fresh sour cream, freezing sour cream the proper way can still taste great after thawing. It is critical to note that, as with any frozen food, the texture changes in the process.
Can sour cream be frozen and still taste great?
If sour cream isn’t prepared properly before freezing, it will break into small chunks instead of blending smoothly. The result is sour cream that has a similar consistency to cottage cheese. This outcome is not an ideal situation.
You may also notice a watery substance at the top of the sour cream as it separates from the moisture in the container. There are ways to avoid this, however, especially if you follow the steps below.
Can I freeze sour cream in the container it comes in from the store?
To lock in the freshness of your sour cream, freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag. While the original container it comes in is excellent for maintaining it until you buy it, it should not be the way you store your sour cream after opening it.
The only way you can adequately store your sour cream in the same container it comes in is if it remains unopened with an unbroken seal. Using this rule of thumb ensures that it retains its freshness and consistency.
How Can You Freeze Sour Cream in 3 Simple Steps?
1. Blend the Sour Cream Thoroughly
One of the highlights to freezing sour cream is that there is no need to fry or blanch it ahead of time, much like you do when you freeze fresh mushrooms. Instead, the best way to freeze sour cream is to blend it first. Much like other dairy products, sour cream contains watery moisture that is absorbed by the cream when it’s fresh.
You may have noticed a similar occurrence when opening a container of cream cheese for the first time. To retain as much of the creamy texture as possible, stir the sour cream ahead of time. Mix with a spatula until there is no visible moisture left in the container.
For sour cream to freeze well, you also want to ensure you are using fresh sour cream. Do not use sour cream that is close to its expiration date, and certainly never use any that has passed that time frame.
This will avoid that cottage cheese type texture that may occur after thawing. For the easiest way to freeze cream cheese, a product similar in freezing techniques as sour cream, use the provided link.
2. How to Store Sour Cream
Storing sour cream is just as simple as getting it prepared for freezing. The most valuable pieces of equipment you need are freezer-safe bags and containers. Scoop the sour cream into the Ziploc bag or jar.
For both, allow a little room for the sour cream to spread once it has started to freeze. Remove all air from plastic bags before sealing.
Afterward, label the containers with a permanent marker, notating the dates to ensure you don’t eat them past their extended expiration dates.
3. How to Thaw Frozen Sour Cream
When it’s time to use your frozen sour cream, make sure you are preserving the flavor and texture in the best way possible. Thaw sour cream by moving it from the freezer to the fridge. It will melt overnight and reach the perfect temperature in less than 24 hours.
Don’t let the sour cream thaw at room temperature, as this may cause the dairy to spoil and invite disgusting bacteria to form. Once thawed, blend it well. If the texture still looks off, despite your best efforts, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to smooth it out.
If you are unable to reduce the wateriness or cottage cheese texture of your sour cream, all hope is not lost. Even with this new consistency, the sour cream is still safe to consume after thawing. The only thing that may differ is how sour cream is used.
Adding this crumbly sour cream to soups, casseroles, or even chilis is the perfect solution. In these cases, the sour cream melts or blends into the creation anyway.
You won’t notice the change in consistency or flavor. You can even use it to make Lisa Fain’s Famous Sour Cream Enchiladas, which call for you to melt the sour cream to a soup-like texture.
Try Our Favorite Recipe with Frozen Sour Cream
While you may already have your own favorite recipe with frozen sour cream, there are plenty of yummy new dishes to try. This delicious hash brown casserole is one to add to your list of recipes.
Not only will it use up that leftover batch of sour cream, but it will also leave tummies happy and satisfied. The recipe makes up to eight servings, which means there will be plenty left for seconds!
Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F, and add your favorite non-stick spray to the base of a baking dish. Using a whisk, blend the mushroom soup, two cups of sour cream, and the salt and pepper thoroughly. Gradually add the cheese, onions, and hashbrowns to the mix.
Ensure all items are blended evenly before pouring into the baking pan. In a separate bowl, mix the last few ingredients and sprinkle them over top of the food in the baking dish. Bake your cheese casserole in the oven for 50 minutes, then give it five additional minutes to cool. Serve and enjoy!
You no longer have to worry what will happen to your sour cream if you stock up during a sale. Gone are the dreaded days of reaching for the sour cream in your refrigerator, only to be disappointed by the expiration date.
Freezing sour cream increases its shelf life by up to six months, meaning you will have plenty when the time comes to make your Mexican sour cream dip or a French sour cream buttercream. Delicious! We’re already hungry just thinking about it.
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