Friday, April 26, 2013

Frugal Friday: Kitchen Tip/Tutorial: How to Make Yogurt Cheese

I've posted before about how I make my homemade yogurt (and have done for several years). This has been a big cost savings over time. We use the yogurt in smoothies or eat it with my favorite granola for breakfast. For today's post I want to share how I use yogurt to make yogurt cheese, which is a healthy (and cheap) cream cheese substitute that you can use in many recipes. You can also use yogurt cheese in place of mayonnaise or sour cream.


How to Make Yogurt Cheese:

First place the strainer in the bowl and the cheesecloth or dishtowel on top.


Pour yogurt into the cloth and let  the liquid strain out through the cloth and the strainer. Then put the bowl/strainer in the refrigerator while it is straining for about 12 to 24 hours. 

For this recipe I made homemade yogurt using Chobani Greek Yogurt. I really liked how it turned out. I think it's becoming my new favorite yogurt starter...


I test my yogurt cheese to see if it is done by forming the cloth around the cheese into a ball and gently squeezing. If liquid still drips out, it needs more time. If it doesn't, then the cheese is ready.


Here's what the liquid looks like that drips into the bowl...it's called whey.

Don't throw out the whey. It's really good for you. This batch made about 1-1/2 cups. I will use it to replace the liquid in a recipe that I make soon so that we benefit from all the good stuff in here...

And here's the yogurt cheese - this batch made almost a full cup. 


Homemade Yogurt Cheese

*Makes 3/4 - 1 Cup (or 6-7 oz.) of Yogurt Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
I recipe homemade yogurt or 3 Cups of plain yogurt
Strainer
Bowl that the strainer fits above
3 or 4 layers of Cheesecloth or thin cotton dishtowel

DIRECTIONS:
Place the strainer in the bowl and the cheesecloth or dishtowel on top. Pour yogurt into the cloth and let  the liquid strain out through the cloth and the strainer. Then put the bowl/strainer in the refrigerator while it is straining for about 12 to 24 hours. I test my yogurt cheese to see if it is done by forming the cloth around the cheese into a ball and gently squeezing. If liquid still drips out, it needs more time. If it doesn't, then the cheese is ready. Use immediately in recipes calling for cream cheese, sour cream or mayonnaise, or store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com

COST ANALYSIS OF MAKING YOGURT CHEESE:

In my cost analysis of yogurt post, I found that I could make a batch of yogurt (3 Cups) for $0.65 or less. I just bought an 8-oz. package of cream cheese at the grocery store for $1.65. I realize that's kind of a lot, and I usually wait until it goes on sale around $1.25 or less so I'll do my analysis based on both numbers just for comparison. 

8-oz. package of cream cheese for $1.25 to $1.65 works out to be about $0.16 to $0.21/ounce
6-oz. of homemade yogurt cheese for $0.65 works out to be about $0.11/ounce
The homemade yogurt cheese saves me from $0.05 to $0.10/ounce or $0.40 to $0.80 for 8-oz. 

That's a cost savings anywhere from 46% to 92%. That's significant savings! And will surely add up over time. That's not to mention the health benefits of the yogurt cheese instead of cream cheese.


The properties of yogurt cheese are a bit different than cream cheese so it's not always a perfect swap when using yogurt cheese as a substitution, but for many recipes it works just as good. Do some experimenting of your own or look for recipes that I'll post in the future that use yogurt cheese as a substitution for cream cheese.

Well now you know all you need to about how to make yogurt cheese. Have you ever made it? What did you think? What other things have you done to save money this week? Happy Frugal Friday and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

This week I'll be linking to some of these link parties.

3 comments:

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

I've never tried making yogurt cheese, even though I love to make homemade yogurt. I bet it would make for a tasty dip. Also a fun project to do with the kids in the kitchen.

Thanks for linking up to Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

This is fascinating - a terrific and frugal idea! Love homemade yogurt and looking forward to trying the cheese - I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
Kathy

momstheword said...

No, I've never made it but it looks like it would be fun!

Thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

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