Yogurt is a staple in diets around the world and is associated with good health and longevity. The making of yogurt from herd animals is believed to have developed around 6000 BC.
Does yogurt go bad? Safe storage and a little date monitoring will keep you and your family well-stocked in this versatile treat. Read on to learn more.
So How Does Yogurt Go Bad?
However, if you find yourself with more yogurt than you can use by the expiration date, you can freeze it for up to six months. FoodPyramid.com suggests several options, including freezing yogurt in ice cube trays for smoothies.
Once thawed, it should not be refrozen. Also, once it thaws, yogurt may separate a bit or taste tarter than you expect. You can avoid this by enjoying it as an ice cream treat!
As small containers of yogurt sit in your refrigerator, they may separate a bit. Per Fine Cooking expert Dabney Gough, removing the excess water from yogurt is a great step to a delicious treat.
You can capitalize on yogurt separation by settling a coffee filter inside a fine sieve and spooning yogurt into the filter.
- Place a plate or bowl under the sieve and refrigerate.
- As the water in the yogurt drains away, you'll be left with a thick, creamy and delicious dairy product similar to cream cheese.
You'll get a better quality strained yogurt from a product that doesn't have gelatin in it as a stabilizer. Strained yogurt is a wonderful base for parfaits and other desserts.
Can yogurt go bad? Eventually. But if you use it once it separates, it can also be very good.
How To Tell If Yogurt Is Bad
Commercially produced yogurt is sold with an expiration date. This date, per foodies at Gourmandize.com, can be stretched for up to two weeks without causing harm or illness.
This advice only pertains to plain or fruit based yogurts, not to yogurt-based desserts, custards, or any dish containing eggs. You can limit the risk of spoiled yogurt by storing it on the shelves of your refrigerator and not in the door; it will stay colder.
Homemade yogurt is not difficult to prepare. Food experts at Epicurious.com offer several simple options for making your own plain yogurt. This product will keep for about two weeks in your refrigerator. The longer it sits, the more sour it will become.
If you enjoy fruit or sweeteners with yogurt, they should be added with each serving. Don't add sugar or fruits to large batches of plain homemade yogurt; the bacteria that turn milk into yogurt will feed on the sugar and ruin it.
How Yogurt Is Made
Lactic bacteria is used to culture yogurt; specifically, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Food scientists from Canada's DairyGoodness.ca point out that this culturing process makes yogurt a usable dairy product for those who are lactose intolerant.
The culturing bacteria are added to pasteurized milk, and the milk is heated to an optimum temperature to thicken the milk and provide the tangy taste found in plain yogurt.
Once the yogurt is cooled, fruit, sweeteners, and other products including gelatin can be added to customize the flavor and texture.
Yogurt Is An International Treat
Mediterranean food traditions use a lot of plain yogurt. The word "yogurt" is Turkish in origin. Turkish cooks often purchase yogurt in large recyclable buckets that they use to transport yogurt home from each trip to the food market.
Labneh Yogurt Cheese is a delicious example of a savory dish based on strained yogurt. It is easy to prepare, extremely nutritious, and versatile as a dip or spread on veggies, bread or crackers.
Decorated with olives, dried mint and good olive oil, this is a dish that will impress and delight your diners. The flavor of Labneh is unique in that it tastes very different on bread than it does on pita chips or vegetables. Try it out!
From tiny cup to bucket, yogurt is a powerhouse of nutrition and goodness used in a wide variety of ways around the world. It can be enjoyed from appetizer to dessert.
Properly handled, yogurt will last for weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer. Enjoy!