When even simple gourmet cheeses are expensive at the market, what's a frugal mama to do? Make her own at home, of course! Homemade Yogurt Cheese is one of the easiest cheeses you can make! And it only tastes like a million bucks
Okay, so who likes themselves some expensive creamy soft cheeses to put on a cheese platter, smear on a bagel, eat with a spoon? (Oh, just me on the last one...awwwwkward). Round these parts if you want such a cheese, you'll grab David Wood's Goat Cheese. Also known as Salt Spring Cheese. Those babies run you $8-$10 for a ½ cup thingy! (I mean, the presentation with flowers, herbs, garlic, etc is amazing...buuut) I just can't pay that for something other than a special treat! Did you know you can make your own?
That's right! If you make your own yogurt then dang, this would cost you just a couple bucks instead!
How to Make Yogurt Cheese
We start with straining yogurt.
After it's strained for 24 hours it goes into the fridge to firm up...then I use a 1 tablespoon portion scoop/ice cream scooper to make balls and roll in herbs...
Then I put the balls in a jar (8, 1 tablespoon balls fits in a ½ pint 'salmon jar') and covered in olive oil.
Don't worry! That olive oil isn't wasted! It always needs to cover the balls, but as you use the balls, use that oil for salad dressings, it'll be pre marinated and so flavourful! If you've got your own dairy animals, this is a great way to make an age-able cheese without fancy equiptment!
I get a high yield because I use a high fat milk to make high fat yogurt, so I'd guess I got about a fat cup of yogurt cheese per litre of yogurt.
Cost of Making Yogurt Cheese
Here's my math for my area on what you'll save.
- 4 litres organic milk; made into yogurt, $6
- Strained into 4 cups of yogurt cheese.
- 4 cups yogurt cheese equals eight ½ cup containers of the fancy goat cheese.
- 8 goat cheeses=minimum $64.
- A few dollars of Olive oil+Herbs= savings of atleast $55! Thats no laughing matter folks. Thats big savings.
But you can stretch the savings even further! You can use the whey you strain off the yogurt and the olive oil marinade in the kitchen too!
- The Extra Whey: Use this in smoothies, as the base to lemonade instead of water, to soak your grains or in a soup stock.
- The Extra Olive Oil: As you use the balls, you an leave the olive oil in, or pour off to use in salad dressings and marinades! No waste here!
Herb Rolled Yogurt Cheese
- 1 litre full fat yogurt please don't use skim. Just, just don't.
- Dried Herbs I used an italian herbs blend
- Olive oil it'll be less than ½ cup
- Wet a thin tea towel and squeeze out the extra water and use it to line a strainer or colander.
- Pour your yogurt in and let sit in a pot or bowl (for whey to drain) for 24 hours, stirring a few times. (Or 20 if you OCD like me.)
- After 24 hours, scoop out the yogurt cheese into a bowl, salt to taste, then chill until cold, most likely the next day.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon sized balls (portion/ice cream scoop works great!) onto a plate/pan, and then roll in dried herbs.
- Put balls in a wide mouth mason jar, and pour olive oil overtop to completely cover. I moved the balls around a bit to make sure there was no air space.
- Put in fridge and use as needed! I'd say leave them a week for the flavours to meld. This can be kept for months! The flavour will get stronger and the cheese more flavourful.
Swimming in milk? Try some of these other dairy recipes.
Can I strain fresh, still warm yogurt or should I first chill the yogurt then continue on with the 24h strain for this recipe?
I would suggest chilling it first. Not sure that it would make a difference but that's what I did when making it.
Do you strain on the counter or in the fridge?
On the counter.
Can you use fresh herbs instead?
Yes you can!