It’s embarrassing to admit, but growing up I didn’t even know you could make your own cream cheese, I’d only ever seen the store-bought kind. And I never knew how to make raw milk yogurt either, or that raw milk cream cheese could be so simple.
In case you’re wondering, I learned all this and more from Sally Fallon’s cookbook:
Note: This cream cheese/yogurt cheese is one that I like to use in recipes mostly, although some do use it the same way they use store-bought cream cheese. It has a little different consistency, though, so keep that in mind.
(Scroll down for a simple probiotic cream cheese frosting!)
How To Make Raw Milk Yogurt
***BE SURE TO CHECK THE COMMENTS FOR SOME GREAT INFO YOU’LL WANT TO KNOW!
- 1 quart (4 cups) of whole raw milk, in a glass jar (I use my half-gallon Ball jars.)
- 1 packet of yogurt starter from the store OR 1/2 cup of yogurt from a previous batch (or scroll down at this link to get a variety of starters – some that do and some that do not need to be heated.)
Place 1 quart (4 cups) of whole milk, preferably raw in a glass jar (I use my half-gallon Ball jars.) Add 1 packet of yogurt starter from the store OR 1/2 cup of yogurt from a previous batch. Stir gently and keep warm for up to 12 hours until it gets thick (see more info below on the consistency) – leave it on the counter in warm weather, or put it on the back of your stove while you’re making Crispy Nuts or something else in your oven. I’ve also kept mine in some hot water inside a crock pot, too. Note: lately I’ve been warming the milk first just to luke warm, in order to give it a good nudge to start.
That’s it! Now you have yogurt, but it won’t be very thick. I’ve heard it gets thicker using a yogurt maker, but then the enzymes in the raw milk are killed, and even then it’s still not that thick like store-bought. Commercial yogurt must have gelatin or some type of fake ingredients in it to give it the thicker consistency. If you know of a natural way to make raw milk yogurt more thick, please share!
UPDATE: I’ve learned that to make it thicker, just use a different kind of yogurt starter!
You could also add your own good-quality grass-fed gelatin — follow the instructions for how much.
Yogurt Cheese/Cream cheese and whey:
- Tie a cheese cloth with the corners so it can hang on a cabinet knob. (You can buy cheesecloth cheap at Meijer or wherever.) Or hang from a chandelier as pictured below, it’s super classy looking for when company pops in. LOL!
- Place a bowl under the cheese cloth to catch the whey.
- Pour the yogurt into the middle of the cheese cloth and it will start dripping whey.
- When it is done dripping (12-24 hours, depends on how dry you want it), I usually try to squeeze a few more drops out.
- By the way, this is actually a picture of when I made a different kind of cheese, but I wanted you to get the idea of how to tie it up.
What you have left inside the cheesecloth is yogurt cheese, just like cream cheese! Scoop this into a bowl and it will keep for 1 month in the frig. You can add herbs to give it different wonderful flavors in dips or the frosting in the recipe below.
What you have in the bowl is whey – some drink it plain because it is so good for us, but I use it in recipes found in the below cookbook, in my fermented veggies, in homemade bread, or in Real Food protein shakes.
By the way, you can make yogurt and cream cheese from pasteurized milk (only whole milk!), but obviously it won’t have as many nutrients – still much better for you than store-bought, though!
Simple probiotic cream cheese frosting (recipe from a reader and guest-poster, Barb):
- 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature so it’s soft and easy to mix.
- 1-2 Tablespoons raw honey or other natural sweetener
- Mix the desired amount of sweetener into the cream cheese, whip to fluff a bit.
Now, I’m sure there are MANY of you out there who know much more about all this and have done it for years, so feel free to correct me or give us more details if you can provide them!