Fermented Yogurt Cheese
Here lies a quick tutorial on one of my favorite things to keep on hand
Fermented Yogurt Cheese.
Before I loose you, don't let the "fermented" name of this recipe scare you off! Yogurt is already pre-fermented when you buy it, so you have nothing to do but wait for the magic to happen.
The general concept of this recipe is to achieve a cheese like texture, with all the yummy nutritional benefits of a good yogurt! How can you go wrong with healthy cheese?
Finding the BEST yogurt: Yogurt is healthy for us because it is fermented with lactobacillus. lactobacillus is a healthy, living form of harmless bacteria. These are "friendly" bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease. Foods fermented with lactobacillus produce lactic acid, which may prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing the intestines. In other words, it works wonders for our gut health by increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in our intestines. This is why it keeps your digestive health on track.
Yogurt can be deceiving. We are generally led to believe it is packed with healthy Probiotics that are great for your gut and overall health. This can only be true if you know what's in it.
Exercise: Go to the dairy isle at your local grocery store. Towards one end of the long variety of pre-portioned flavored cups of sugar, you'll find the bulk category. You are now narrowed down to 10-12 brands of yogurt that are sold in 32oz or larger containers. I want you to pick up the brands that speak to you, whether that has to do with price, milk quality, availability, or variety, and read the nutrient label. Scan directly to sugar content. You are now going to find the plain flavored brand with the least amount of sugar, put it in your cart, and bring it home!
Yogurt has the tendency to be laden with all kinds of stabilizers, preservatives, artificial flavorings, and sugar. SO MUCH SUGAR. It will probably surprise you when you start reading the labels and comparing sugar contents between brands. When I buy yogurt, I go with plain or plain Greek and flavor it to my liking in my own kitchen. You can add vanilla or fruit flavors by very simply adding the actual thing... fruit or vanilla bean/extract! The other benefit to buying the bulk variety in plain is being able to use it in sweet or savory preparations. I am by no means telling you that you shouldn't eat flavored yogurt, if you like flavors, or you like to have it pre-portioned ready for on the go, just follow my simple guideline:
Read the label first, buy the one with minimal ingredients and the least amount of sugar.
As for the recipe for Fermented Yogurt Cheese, it only takes 1 ingredient, and two days of sitting in the fridge to produce this creamy, crumbly, flavorful cheese. You can compare yogurt cheese to cream cheese or goats cheese in consistency. The flavor taste like pure tangy yogurt. It is so simple, takes two minutes to put together, and tastes great in so many recipes! Swap Fermented Yogurt Cheese for goat cheese in a salad with Spiced Plum Vinaigrette!
You will need:
Cheesecloth (unbleached cotton is always best)
Fine Mesh Sieve
Mason Jar filled with water or a heavy can of food.
Here is your simple set up:
Set a fine mesh sieve in a small bowl, line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Pour your yogurt into the cheese cloth, it is not necessary to measure for this recipe. the more you strain, the more cheese you'll have! Twist the cheesecloth closed to seal the yogurt inside and squeeze out some of the liquid whey. Set the jar or can on top and set it in the fridge. This fridge time will let the yogurt further ferment and strain out excess liquid.
Set it and forget it!
2 days later...
You've got mouth watering, crave-able, creamy yogurt cheese
Fermented Yogurt Cheese
2 minutes + 2 days
12 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
Place a small fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. Line with 10x10 piece of cheese cloth doubled over or a nut milk bag.
Pour the yogurt into the center of the cheese cloth set up, bring the sides of the cheesecloth up and twist it to wrap to yogurt up tightly. This will squeeze out a bit of whey into the bowl.
Set a sealed mason jar filled with water (or a heavy sealed can) on top of the cheesecloth wrapped yogurt.
Set the entire set up in your fridge to drain and further ferment for 2 days.
During these next two days, you will want to check the yogurt periodically to be sure it is releasing its liquid whey into the bowl. Every time you check it, twist the cheese cloth further to facilitate straining.
They left over liquid whey can be used in any lacto fermentation recipe you like! After straining your yogurt, place the whey into a sealed container for up to 7 days in your refrigerator.
This yogurt cheese is similar to cream cheese or goat cheese in consistency and flavor. Try swapping yogurt cheese in your next recipe!
you will not be disappointed...