Cheese usually has a lot of fat. I don’t like to buy the low-fat kinds usually because they replace the fat with plenty of chemicals to emulate the mouth-feel. So I rather eat the real full-fat kind and eat less of the chemicals in the process. I do like the reduced fat cream cheese though…
But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be not-so-good for you. There was a time in my life when my doctors eliminated all dairy from my diet. It was absolute HELL!!! At the time, I used to drink at least 2 huge mugs of milk with chocolate a day. Ohhh, I also got caffeine eliminated from my diet too. Caffeine I can understand better, but Milk, Cheese, how?!?!?!?
Over the years, I have learned to have soy milk or rice milk based cheeses. They are actually very ,very nice. There are some better brands than others… I know. But they tend to be expensive. And I have to take a special trip to the natural food store to get them… not usually available at my neighborhood grocery store.
Some years ago, I learned that for people who tend to be lactose intolerant, yogurt seems to agree with them and it’s a great way to get calcium in your diet. Something to do with the live active cultures.
So I decided to make yogurt cheese – all the benefits of yogurt, the consistency of cream cheese. It’s economical, because I can make it with regular yogurt I can find at my regular grocery store. And, there’s hardly anything to it… Too many pluses to count. Don’t you think?
I try to use organic plain yogurt. I always read the label to make sure it has no added gelatin. Unfortunately, most commercial fruit-flavored yogurts (the Dannons and Yoplait yogurts of the world…) all have added gelatin. I usually buy Stonyfield Farms or some other organic brand.
6oz container of plain low-fat yogurt – I started small, but the next time I’ll make a whole pint 1 tsp kosher salt
- In the same container the yogurt comes in, mix in the salt.
- Empty the salted yogurt onto a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheese cloth or 2 coffee filters. I used the unbleached kind.
- Place a bowl under the strainer to catch all the liquid that will drain. Cover the yogurt on the strainer with cling wrap or the cover of the bowl you placed underneath and place in the fridge for about 24 hours.
The whey will drain off and the yogurt left will have the thick consistency of cream cheese.
Use the same way you would use cream cheese or even ricotta cheese – on crackers, toast, in a sauce, on top of pasta…