Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yogurt Cheese: Spreadable Deliciousness

Now that I'm feeling pretty confident with making yogurt- and am churning it out by the litre full- I decided to try my hand at yogurt cheese. Past experiments have been unexplained, sorry failures (it looked like yogurt before and after the experiment!).

The following process, a really really easy one from Mother Earth News, worked! The by-product of essentially STRAINED YOGURT, was a creamy, stiff spreadable cheese. Since I used homemade yogurt it was easily 1/3 of the price of cream cheese, and the prep time was under 5 minutes.

Here's how I did it:

Layered 4-8 layers of cheese cloth (found at dollar and grocery stores) in a pasta strainer and put the strainer on a pie plate. 
 Poured plain  (you can use flavoured) yogurt into the cloth covered strainer: I got about 1/2 the measure of cheese from 1 part yogurt.  

Covered the entire thing with a plastic bag and put it in the fridge overnight. The whey strained out and settled in the pan.

NOTE: I have a friend from Greece who simply wraps up the cheese cloth around the yogurt and hangs it above the sink. 

I still need to experiment with using the whey- I've read you can put it in bread, use it watered down as a liquid fertilizer, add it to shakes, feed it to pets... but I haven't tried any of this yet! Any uses for whey that you know of?

And lining the strainer is cheese! Look how stiff it is- it holds its shape, but is more spreadable than cream cheese.

Here I served the cheese with olives and pita. About an hour before serving I had mixed in oregano, lemon juice, worcester sauce, and pepper. On another occasion I mixed it with hot pepper jelly. If you do it, let me know what other spice mixes you try to add to my repertoire.


RootAndTwig said...

I really have to try this! Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

There are great ideas for the use of whey in "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Thanks for the resource, Anonymous!