Cream cheese is one of the most delicious ingredients completing your palate in a way, fluffy, dense clouds covering the deep blue sky. This minor ingredient can alter your dish and even your lifestyle. There are thousands of ways to enjoy this delicious treat; the texture is light and soft with a creamy taste having a slight acidity tone to balance everything. Unlike French cheese, it has a more flexible consistency without being drippy or soggy. The best thing about cream cheese is the creamy texture, which makes it ideal for pouring it on the bread straight away, instead of pasta, vegetables, and fresh fruit. In this article, we will discuss the uses, freezing methods, and cream cheese substitute.
The popularity of cream cheese emerged with a sudden increase in dairy farms in New York and Philadelphia. However, the origin was England, but these states gave a global recognition to the cheese. It is often prepared by combining some exotic herbs with fresh cow milk, offering an intensity to its mild texture.
Cream Cheese Uses
It isn’t easy to choose any cheese over cream cheese because of its rich texture and pleasing taste. However, the thing that rules every cheese out is that it has unlimited uses. The health benefits are endless, making it the top three most preferred cheese in the world.
#1. Vitamin A enriched
The cream cheese is enriched with Vitamin A. It is very beneficial for eyesight, majorly for iron and zinc deficiency.
#2. Antioxidant provider
If you lack in antioxidants, then don’t worry, just put some cream cheese on your bread daily for breakfast every day. It will fill every hollow antioxidant giving you a healthy immune system.
#3. Probiotics effects
Cream cheese has the best impact on the deficiency of probiotics. It is manufactured using lactic acid bacteria. Moreover, These bacterias are strained to transform into probiotics. These probiotics are friendly bacterias having multiple health benefits.
#4. Best for lactose intolerants
Lactose intolerance is one of the significant health hazards these days. People can’t consume much dairy. However, cream cheese being dairy doesn’t affect the lactose-intolerant people.
Best Cream Cheese Substitute
Some of the best cream cheese substitutes often beat the original because of the better consistency or flavor. These include:
- Ricotta cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Hung curd
- Little Swiss
- Soft bean curd
#1. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is the most used alternative for cream cheese. It is milder and milkier than other cheeses having the origin of Italy. Ricotta has a very crumbly texture; however, the right consistency can be achieved from mixing some of it with an equal amount of yogurt. After achieving the right texture, it can be used in cooking or for making dips. You can use pure ricotta cheese as a replacement for cream cheese in making gravies.
Moreover, you need to add some sugar for sweetness as it is sugarless. Instead of yogurt, you have to mix it with equal parts of heavy cream for attaining the best texture for baking.
#2. Cottage Cheese
The form of fresh cheese made straight from yogurt without drying or aging-process is known as cottage cheese. It can be used as a healthier cream cheese substitute having less fattening nutritions. You can use it for gravy and can mix heavy cream with it for frostings.
Neufchatel is a soft cheese similar to cream cheese inconsistency. It is considered to be the best alternative for most people around the world. You can get this type of cheese in age and new forms; however, the fresh Neufchatel is the best when treating it as cream cheese replacement. Young, fresh Neufchatel cheese works best.
#4. Hung Curd
Another promising substitute for cream cheese is plain yogurt. It is quite simple but highly effective than others. Most people use full-fat milk yogurt as the cream cheese alternative providing the ideal texture matching the cream cheese in flavor and texture.
#5. Little Swiss
A type of French cheese, an ideal alternative for regular cream cheese, is Little swiss. It is one of the healthier options and a better one too. You can add some herbs and spices for treating it as a savory dip. Little Swiss is an unsalted version of fresh cheese with a thick texture similar to yogurt. You can transform it into a delicious frosting by mixing some fresh berries and sweeteners like jam, marmalade, honey, or chocolate.
#6. Soft Bean Curd
The all-rounder vegan substitute for cream cheese is smooth bean curd, also called tofu. Being completely vegan-friendly, it has infinite nutritious value. It has a firm texture, which doesn’t make it ideal cream cheese replacement in pure form. However, you can buy some readymade options which are entirely suitable for spreading on your bagel.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
One of the ideal ways of using cream cheese is to store it safely in your freezer. It will not only improve its durability but the taste and texture as well. Though, some people don’t usually prefer the texture to be perfect for spreading on bread. However, the frozen cream cheese can be used to bake, decorate, or eat raw with salad. Some ideal usage can be casseroles or frosting for your pound cake.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese
There are two major ways of storage, depending on the packing of cream cheese.
#1. For the unopened cream cheese
Most people prefer buying things in bulk to make the best out of their time. They do similar stuff with cream cheese too. You can put those cream cheese bars or containers straight in the freezer without opening it. The best thing about the unopened packaging is that the cheese will be under several layers, including cardboard boxes and foil wrap. This will protect it from freezer burn and can be kept for a long time.
#2. For the opened cream cheese
If you have opened the pack of cream cheese long before using it, there will be a high chance of it going bad. However, use your brain wisely and convert all the cream cheese into an airtight container. It will be helpful if you write the storage date through which you can keep track of it getting ruined, which will be no less than two months. Another thing to consider is you have to see the expiration date in packaging before considering freezing it.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
One of the easiest things to store and freeze is cream cheese frosting. You can keep it in the freezer unless you want it on top of your cake. We’ll describe to you the stepwise procedure of freezing cream cheese frosting.
You can easily make your favorite frosting, and before placing it into an airtight freezer bag, remove all the air bubbles off it by transforming into a flat layer. After that, you can seal the bag and check for any further leaks or flaws. Write down the manufacturing and freezing date of the frosting. If you have a larger batch to freeze, convert it into small ones and stack them on top of each other, saving your space.
You have to freeze the cream cheese frosting in airtight bags because of its three main benefits. Initially, it’ll be turned flat when frozen, and all the other items can be stacked over it. Secondly, if you have a relatively large batch, you can store it in smaller ones to prevent unfreezing the whole thing every time you need a spoon of it.
Finally, these plastic bags can work as piping bags by simply cutting any edge for putting frosting on your cakes. After your cream cheese frosting is entirely frozen, strip any bottom edge of the airtight bag in a triangular shape and easily use it to pip your baked items.
Can You Freeze Heavy Cream
There are two essential methods of heavy cream which depend on the amount to be stored.
#1. For large quantity
If your recipe line up requires a sufficient amount of heavy cream, you must need it in large amounts. This is often when your family members like cake more than usual. It is ideal for freezing the cream in the carton in which it came. However, if the container is full, then pour some of it out and give it the room to expand for freezing. After then, put that container in the freezer.
#2. For small quantity
If you use a small amount of heavy cream frequently while cooking, then it’ll be helpful if you freeze the cream at the same quantity. For this, the ideal utensil can either be small airlocked bags or an ice cube tray. You have to pour down the heavy cream into the tray and throw it into the freezer. After the cubes are frozen completely, scoop them out, put them in an airtight bag, and freeze it. Each of these cubes will be equivalent to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. You can further test your tray initially with water to check the measurement.
I am hoping to benefit you from this complete guide about the storage, freezing, uses, and origin of cream cheese.
Also Read: How to Freeze Green Beans