Yogurt cheese is, undeniably, one of life's finer pleasures. Personally, I like it with garlic, cracked black pepper, and sea salt. I use this spiced yogurt cheese (yog-eese? chees-urt?) as a spread on crackers - delicious!
Best of all, yogurt cheese is extremely easy to make. Let's give it a shot, shall we?
~ Yogurt (homemade yogurt is ideal, but store-bought works just as well)
~ Strainer (colander+cheesecloth/fine mesh sieve/finely-woven dishtowel, etc.)
~ Bowl or Cup (or anything that can collect the whey, or 'yogurt water')
+ extra goodies, if desired - ideas for flavor variations are listed below
You can strain yogurt with:
~ a colander double-lined with cheesecloth (or any finely-woven cloth)
~ a fine mesh sieve
~ a suspended cheesecloth (or other fine material) pouch, as pictured
~ another innovative method I haven't thought of yet
Next, add your yogurt to the strainer! Since I make my own yogurt, I've got a steady supply. You can use any kind, non-dairy, low-fat, whatever - just use yogurt you like!
Here's my set-up - you might notice there's not much clearance between the funnel and the bottom of a glass. I ended up having to switch the glass out for a bigger jar, since the whey rose too high.
Now, you wait. Depending on how thick you want it, let the yogurt cheese stand for 12-24 hours, or until the whey stops draining.
I'm usually a 12-hours-or-less kinda gal, because I've got a touch of the impatience. Luckily, I got sleepy and had to let this stand overnight.
Here's how mine turned out, after 20 hours (notice how the yogurt compressed by about 50%):
** You've also made sweet whey - chock full of protein, vitamins (B12 & Riboflavin), minerals (Potassium & Phosphate), and enzymes. Don't throw it out! You can use it in baking, for lacto-fermentation, in stews... check out 16 Ways to Use Your Whey for even more ideas.
~ salt + cracked black pepper + minced garlic
~ chopped kalamata olives + sundried tomatoes
~ fresh basil + rosemary
~ salt + lemon juice
~ cracked black pepper + chives
~ honey + strawberries
~ whatever your heart desires!
I chose the first variation for this batch, and mixed in the minced garlic (raw, for its rad medicinal effects!), salt & pepper. So very, very tasty.
What are your favorite flavors to add in? Do you have any great recipes that use yogurt cheese?
You might like:
- Make Yogurt!
- Crunchy Almond Granola
- Chocolate Almond Milk: How-To
- Kombucha: Brew Your Own 'Booch
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