Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Make It Yourself: Homemade Cream Cheese

Homemade cream cheese? Oh yeah! Well, I guess you could call it yogurt cheese (I think that's the technical term). It's so easy, and with the added bonus of aquiring whey which is extremely beneficial when used to soak grains.

First, I make plain yogurt in my crockpot . Refrigerate overnight. The next morning place a fine sieve over a large mixing bowl and line the sieve with a tea towel. Pour the whole crock full of yogurt into the sieve and wait. The whey will drip into the bowl. It takes a while... sometimes all day...

When the yogurt is fairly thick, tie the corners of the tea towel so that you have a neat little package of cream cheese. Tie the contraption around a wooden spoon and hang it from... well, somewhere. I used my kitchen cabinet handles. Make sure the bowl of whey is still underneath because it will continue to drip. Leave it hanging until it is no longer dripping.

When it stops dripping whey, unwrap the towel and using a spatula, scrape the cheese into a container. This makes somewhere between 16 and 20 oz. of cheese depending on how much you strain it and how thick you like it. In this last batch that I made, I got over a quart of whey!

By The WHEY...

Whey can be used to soak grains for easier digestion (for those who have trouble digesting wheat -- like myself -- this can be especially useful).

Whey can be used for lacto-fermented veggies, salsas, and other condiments (I use it for pickles and sauerkraut).

Some people swear that drinking a few tablespoons of whey every morning cures a host of ailments (I haven't had the guts to try this yet).

Whey can be used in smoothies for added nutritional benefit.

Whey can be used as a fertilizer (50% whey and 50% water).

There are probably a million other uses for whey but these are just the ones that I know of!