30 January 2011

Yogurt Cheese

I've read about yogurt cheese in clean eating magazines and books. It's basically yogurt that has been thickened by removing the whey, so you can use it to replace things with higher fat sugar content. It takes a bit to adjust since it really isn't the same as cream cheese, but it's really versatile, really easy and much healthier. Here's what you do:

Place a piece if cheesecloth or coffee filter in a strainer, fill it with yogurt. Put it over a bowl to catch the whey.  Cover and let this sit in the fridge for several hours, depending on the consistency you want. The longer you leave it, the firmer it will be.

It can be used for dips and spreads, as a replacement for sour cream and cream cheese. This way you can add what you want, and sweeten it if you want.  Try mixing it with nut butter, fruits or herbs and use it as a spread for bagels and sandwiches.  I'm not sure if using flavoured yogurt would work to make flavoured spreads but I reallly can't see why not. I'd be curious to know. Since I started making my own yogurt, I have a good supply of plain to play around with. Recipes can also be found with a good Google search or cookbook.  Here's a couple:

Boursin Style Yogurt Cheese
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

I'm going to attempt to replace some cream cheese in Dave's birthday cheesecake with yogurt cheese. I haven't been able to find the recipe that's in my head. I think I will just experiment and see what I can come up with by combining recipes, fingers crossed. I'll let you know if it turns out or if it's a total disaster and I end up hitting up the grocery store bakery.

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