2/11/12

Make Your Own Cream Cheese From Yogurt

Save Money, Fat, & Calories by Making Your Own.

Making a super creamy "Cream" cheese is easier than you think!  Although this version is not a true cream cheese, since it is yogurt based and not cream based, you will find it to be a great alternative both in cost and calories!



Yogurt cream cheese can be a little more tart than your used to with traditional cream cheese, so keep that in mind. Also the thicker the yogurt the better.  My family prefers the flavored yogurt cream cheese over the plain for smearing on a bagel, but I do use the plain yogurt cream cheese for cooking and baking. It's less expensive and the family doesn't even realize it.   One 32 oz. plain yogurt should make about 2 cups of cream cheese. The small 8 oz. yogurts will make about 1/2 cup. (Perfect to make the night before and have for breakfast in the a.m.) You could try the vanilla yogurt instead of plain, if you'd like a bit smoother in flavor. 

There are two slightly different ways to make it. I made the strawberry cheese one way and the plain the other.

Cheese Cloth method:
Place a strainer inside a bowl.









You'll need a double layer of cheese cloth.  I found that Dollar Tree had cheese cloth bags for holding turkey stuffing in the same aisle as the aluminum foil pans. I bought two so I could double the bags inside each other for a double layer, they worked PERFECT for this! Plus I love that you can wash them and reuse them!

Double your cheese cloth. (in my case I inserted one bag into the other)









Spoon your yogurt (mine was plain yogurt) into the bag.
Jan's tip: When you remove the lid from the yogurt, if you see any liquid whey at the top , don't stir it back in, drain it off. Sometimes that yellowish liquid is there and sometimes it's not.









Tie the bag closed with a piece of yarn.  Some people choose to hang their ball of yogurt either from a wire rack in the fridge with a bowl underneath to catch the whey that drains. I have a new fridge (yea!) and no wire racks So I placed mine in the strainer that is sitting in a bowl to catch the whey that drains off the yogurt.
So... place your ball of yogurt in the strainer/bowl and place it in the fridge overnight.  









Want to see something cool? The second you put the yogurt into the cheese cloth the whey starts to separate.
if you look carefully at the picture below, you will see at the bottom of the cheese cloth ball small drops of the whey coming out. this was taken within a minute of me putting the yogurt in the bag.
In the morning, turn the cheese cloth bag inside out and scrape the ball of cream cheese into an airtight container with a lid.  Use a spoon to scrape off the cheese from the cloth.  Throw out the whey that collected into the bottom of the bowl. Wash the cheese cloth to reuse another day.





Coffee Filter Method:
I like to use this method for the smaller containers of yogurt. It works great! It is basically the same above.

Place a strainer over a bowl. Line the inside of the strainer with a coffee filter.
Pour your yogurt into the filter.
Tie filter closed to form a ball OR do what I did, just place another coffee filter over the top of the yogurt to cover it. and Place the strainer/bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, spoon yogurt into an airtight container. Store in refrigerator. 





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27 comments:

  1. That's how that expensive Greek yogurt is made! Your 'cream cheese' looks yummy! Blessings from Bama!

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    1. I had thought that was how they did Greek Yogurt, but wasn't sure. Glad you mentioned it so others can make their own greek style yogurt from less expensive yogurt! Thanks! You are always such a sweetheart!

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  2. I love this blog! I'm definitely going to try this.

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    1. Thanks Kelly! I hope you like it!

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  3. Thank you for this recipe I always buy cream cheese and yogurt and both go bad before I can use them up so for now on I will buy yogurt and make my owm cream cheese.

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    1. Hope you like it! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. I never thought to just use the drained yoghurt as a spread! I have been draining it to make ice cream. Mix 1/4 cup of caster sugar and 1teaspoon of vanilla into the drained yoghurt, pop in into your ice cream maker and prepare to have your mind blown! It is the most amazing ice cream! Tart but yummy and how good for you is it! And if you make your own yoghurt.....

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    1. I love the idea of making my own ice cream with the yogurt, can you use a sugar substitute instead of the caster sugar? My husband is diabetic and I try to trim the sugar where I can?

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  5. I am inviting you come and be part of my blog hop:
    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2012/02/lobster-stuffed-mushrooms-show-your.html

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    1. Thanks Julie, I'd love to!

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  6. I'm going to try the coffee filter method tonight with some peach yogurt -- can't wait to see the results in the morning! I would love it if you would come link up with Busy Monday (through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better.

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    1. Charlene, I do hope you like it! I would love to link up with you! Heading there now! Thanks for the invite!

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  7. Just stopped by! I love making cream cheese with the yogurt and you can add lemon juice to it and make sour cream...but you probably already know that!

    Have you tried keeping the whey? It is a wonderfully healthy bonus when you add it to recipes that call for water, as well as lacto-fermenting home made foods like ketchup, mayo and miracle whip. I love it because you are getting a two for one!!

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    1. Thanks for your ideas. I knew people used the whey, but I have not taken the time to learn much about how,what, etc. It's a concept I have on my list of things to figure out! Thank you for inspiring me!

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  8. We love making yogurt cream cheese only we usually use homemade yogurt as well. My mom somehow makes the yogurt more mild for the cream cheese and you can hardly tell the difference!

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    1. I remember my step-mom making homemade yogurt when I was growing up, but as a typical teenager, didn't pay close enough attention to learn how. I'd love a milder yogurt! Yum,must learn this one day! Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Don't throw away the whey! There are multiple healthy uses for it!

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    1. That is one area I need to learn about! I am completely unfamiliar with what to do with it! Let us know if you have any tips to get us started! Thanks for sharing!
      Jan

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    2. Ditto - I love whey and make things like this just to have whey :-) Besides getting a head start on lacto-fermenting (whey isn't necessary but definitely speeds things up nicely), you can use whey in baked goods as a milk substitute. My favorite homemade bread has lots of whey in it.

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    3. Yes - I love whey and make things like this just to have it :-)
      Get "Nourishing Traditions" - lots of whey ideas there. You can lacto-ferment with it, bake with it (my favorite bread is a white whey bread), and lots more. Good luck!

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  10. Can the 'cream cheese' then be used for like cheese cake, cream cheese frosting & other recipes calling for cream cheese?

    Side tip: You can use plain Greek Yogurt for a substitute of sour cream. I do this when eating Mexican food in my house. I don't notice the taste difference & neither did my fiance.

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    Replies
    1. It should but will change taste a bit

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    2. It should but will change taste a bit

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  11. hello! Does this taste like the cream cheese we buy from the markets or does it taste yogurt-y?

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    1. A bit on the yogurt-y side. It has a little more "tang" then normal cream cheese.

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  12. Use the whey to make a lacto fermented fizzy pop from elderflowers and lemons. Lovely.

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    1. Lynn, that sounds amazing! I love the elderflowers/lemon combo! Thanks for sharing it!

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