Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yogurt or "Cream" Cheese

Cream cheese and recipes made with cream cheese are rich and delicious. I love a good cheesecake and an occasional bagel with cream cheese, but these are undeniably not necessities when it comes to our diet and grocery budget. Cream cheese is quite expensive here and only available at import stores. This yogurt cream cheese is cheaper and healthier than the original and this allows us to enjoy it much more often. You can even add your own cinnamon and brown sugar or fruit and honey for a fancy spread for bagels.

This simple cheese is very similar to cream cheese and can be used in many recipes that call for cream cheese. It does have a slightly different texture and a little extra tangy taste compared to cream cheese so some recipes may have to be adapted.

To make yogurt cheese simply line the inside of a clean colander with two layers of cheese cloth or a clean flour sack dish towel and pour in the desired amount of yogurt. Place the colander on top of a small bowl turned upside down inside a large bowl so that the whey can drain freely into the large bowl. Allow to drain for several hours or over night squeezing out extra liquid if desired. Scrape yogurt cheese off cloth with a spatula. Sweeteners, flavoring, fruit, and other additions may be added at this time as well. Store refrigerated in sealed container. Whey may be saved and used in baking.

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