You Should Never Put Yogurt In The Freezer. Here's Why

If popping that large container of yogurt in the freezer sounds like a brilliant way to boost the frozen quality of your morning smoothie, or even as a frozen treat on its own, it's time to think again. Freezing yogurt is not always a great idea — and it can cost you the entire container if you're not careful. As The Kitchn explains, dairy — including yogurt — often separates in the freezer, so the taste and texture are compromised.

The reason this happens has to do with how yogurt is made, which is by heating milk. As the protein structures change during this process, a flimsy gel forms around the water and fat, kind of like a detergent pod with liquid soap inside. When yogurt is frozen, it causes the water inside to be drawn away from the gel, which causes the structure to collapse and separate. This doesn't mean that the yogurt is bad necessarily — it just isn't the best time to eat it on its own. Home cooks can, however, still use it while baking (via Cook's Illustrated).

Yogurts you can freeze

It's not all bad news about freezing yogurt, though. Yogurts that have added pectin and gelatin could actually tend to do better in the freezer. Yogurts like Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt have pectin and ones like Yoplait's Greek 100 Whips!, Thick and Creamy, and Dannon's Light and Fit Greek Yogurt Mousse have added gelatin (via Eat This), which makes them possible candidates for your freezer.

In yogurts with added pectin and gelatin, these ingredients act as stabilizers which supports the protein network of the yogurt. Basically, the texture and structure of the yogurt have a backup that helps to maintain its consistency rather than separate out. That's why these types of yogurt hold up okay in the freezer, which makes them a great frozen addition to smoothies or for longer storage. Just because these have what it takes to embrace the cold, however, doesn't make them healthy. It's worth noting some have a lot of added sugar too. So make educated yogurt decisions — especially if you're looking for healthy options or alternatives.