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Does Freezing Sour Cream Make It Go Bad?

by Aline Lindemann

Rich and creamy sour cream is a part both sweet and savory recipes. If you have an abundance and want to keep it longer, you might think about freezing it. Don't do it. Freezing sour cream doesn't make it go bad, or sour, but it does alter the texture and flavor, making it mostly unusable.

Refrigeration

Sour cream must be refrigerated. Unopened, store-bought sour cream has a shelf life of 45 to 60 days. Some brands will last longer. Once opened, sour cream will stay fresh for one to two weeks. Store sour cream in the coldest part of your refrigerator -- usually near the back or the bottom -- for best results.

Extreme Temperatures

Subjecting sour cream to extreme temperatures by either boiling or freezing it, will create a chemical reaction that causes it to separate. This will cause sour cream to lose its thick viscosity and creamy texture. It won't be inedible, but it will not be the same as it was when you first bought it, even if you allow it to cool again.

Use It Up

To use an abundance of sour cream before it goes bad, bake with it or use it in an ice cream recipe. You'll reap the benefits of your sour cream without compromising the quality of your finished product.

Substitutions

Use sour cream, cup for cup, in place of buttermilk when making buttermilk pancakes. Make pancakes ahead and freeze them individually -- pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast. Or, add sour cream to cake recipes. Unfrosted cupcakes can also be frozen.

About the Author

Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.

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