Friday, May 25, 2012

Homemade Yogurt Cheese and Whey

Yogurt Cheese is probably one of my all-time favorite snacks.  It is fresh-tasting, very filling, and perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  Whole milk yogurt cheese is packed with probiotics, healthy fats and energy, and it tastes like heaven!

Since I didn't have any homemade yogurt on hand, this batch is made with an organic, whole milk, store-bought yogurt.  Greek yogurt will have substantially less whey, but I used American yogurt because I have other plans for that whey!

The first step in making yogurt cheese is finding a filter suitable for separating the cheese and whey.  I used a coffee filter because it fit very well into the jar that will catch the whey.  You could also use a spare cloth, such as layered cheesecloth.

I fit the coffee filter into the opening of my jar and scooped in a fair amount of yogurt.  You can use whatever sized jar you have on hand!  If the opening is large, you might want to secure the filter/cloth with a rubber band around the lip of the jar.  Since my jar was small, I just folded the filter over, as you can see in the above picture...

Let the whey drain out of your yogurt for at least 4 hours.  The longer you let it sit, the thicker the cheese will get.  This last batch I made was on my counter all night, and it turned out to be thick like cream cheese!  (I let mine separate on my kitchen counter, but you could move your jar to the fridge during this process.)

This is how I eat my yogurt cheese! :)  The small amount that I made (around 1/4 cup) was more than enough to satisfy, and by adding fresh Florida blueberries and a drizzle of honey, it was a sweet treat!  Peaches, strawberries or mangoes would also be delicious in yogurt cheese.

The whey that I collected can be kept in cold storage for up to 6 months.  I use whey for fermented veggies and beverages!  For more information fermented beverages, click here.  For a great recipe for fermented green beans, click here.

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