Sour cream is one of those ingredients that’s frustratingly easy to waste. But there is a way to help you freeze it and save it for much longer than just a few weeks. Here’s how to freeze sour cream.
Sour cream is made by having lactic acid bacteria added to it. This type of bacteria thickens the cream, also making it sour after fermentation. Once frozen, sour cream can last up to 6 months. However, you are advised to consume it in three months. In case the pack is unopened, it can last longer than when it is opened.
If you stumble upon a sale in sour cream and are afraid that it might get spoilt, do not worry as you can freeze it for prolonged use. One warning, however, is that the process of freezing sour cream degrades its texture. What happens is that moisture gets separated as it freezes, which gives the cream a cottage cheese-like look once thawed. Although the taste will remain the same, the sour cream will not work as well with certain dishes as it is less crumbly.
How to Freeze Opened Sour Cream
If you want to freeze an opened can of sour cream, follow the steps below:
- Whip it in a container to help distribute moisture evenly and minimise the components separation
- Put your cream in an airtight or Ziploc bag. An airtight container can also be used instead.
- If you decide to use a Ziploc, remove as much air as you can before sealing it
- Put the sour cream in the freezer
How to Freeze Unopened Sour Cream
On the other hand, if you want to freeze an unopened pack of sour cream that you have just bought and don’t want to use immediately, follow these steps:
- Ensure you don’t open the can/pack
- Keep it in the freezer and leave it there until you are ready to make use of it. This helps decrease the moisture particles, which, in turn, will increase the sour cream’s shelf life.
- Do not forget to write down the date on the container or pack
Whether your sour cream was opened or not before freezing, the thawing process is similar. You should move it from the freezer to the refrigerator and give it time to cool down and break the ice covering it. Stir the cream continuously before using it. Alternatively, once thawed, it can be blended, whipped and then stored in the refrigerator. Leave it there to sit for some time to bring back the texture.
If you want it to have that original thick texture, you can mix one or two tablespoons of cornstarch in it and stir. Never thaw it at room temperature as this encourages bacterial growth.
How to Use Frozen Sour Cream
Before you use your frozen sour cream, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for around one day. However, the thawing time depends on the amount you froze. On the other hand, if you decide to add the cream to a soup dish, you can just put it directly in the pot as this will make it thaw faster. There are numerous ways you can use sour cream, including:
- Making dips
- In baked potatoes
- Making homemade cream soup
- Making fluffy and soft pancakes
- Can be made into a salad dressing
- Making a sauce
Important Reminders for Freezing Sour Cream
Before putting your sour cream in the freezer, there are some important pointers to remember, including:
- Store the cream in smaller portions, preferably enough for a single person. This makes it easier to take it out and use it
- Once opened, sour cream lasts for only three weeks. If it is older than that, there is no need to freeze it
- Use the sour cream early to ensure you get the best out of its taste since it usually degrades the longer you freeze it
- Before freezing, ensure your sour cream is fresh. To determine this, check to see that it doesn’t have a yellow look, bad odour or mould.
Other Ways You Can Use Sour Cream
Other than the aforementioned uses, there are other ways you can make use of your frozen sour cream. For example, you can use some of it to make your own batch. Although you might not want more sour cream on your hands, it is great to understand that you can make more using your frozen batch.
One of the best things about the homemade sour cream is the fact that it is sweeter than the one you get from food stores. You can decide whether to make just a little or as much as you would love to. Your family and friends might also be lucky to get a tub of fresh sour cream from you. Also, with such freedom, you can always make just enough for whatever recipe you are planning to use it in. This means that you will never run out of it in your house whenever you are craving for a meal that requires it.