Tuesday

Herbed Yogurt Cheese


Today I'm joining Wardeh at Gnowfglins.com for Tuesday Twister.
Wardeh is a wonderfully gifted and knowledgeable teacher (and more!) Visit her lovely blog to find out more about this delightful woman, her beautiful family, and to find out the meaning of Gnowfglins.
Currently I'm taking one of Gnowfglins e-courses--"Fundamentals" to help us on our path to getting back to healthy, whole traditional foods. If you're interested in improving the way you and your family eat but don't know where to begin (or like me, need a serious brush-up course) I suggest you check Gnowfglins' e-courses out. The content is comprehensive, very well organized, easy to follow and you can work at your own pace. Wardeh provides downloadable & printable sections for each lesson, as well as excellent video tutorials which accompany each lesson. You can find out all about the courses at Gnowgflins (link is above.)
I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
~ Now on to Tuesday Twister ~


Please click the logo to see all of this weeks "Tuesday Twister" participants.


In keeping with loading our diet with the good-for-your-gut probiotics I made some yogurt this weekend and used a portion of it to make this delicious Herbed Yogurt Cheese. It's wonderful on bread, bagels, crackers, and you can also thin it out to make a fabulous salad dressing.
Very similar to cream cheese in texture, you can make the fresh cheese with non-fat, low-fat, or whole-milk yogurt (store-bought, or home made.) Non or low-fat yogurt will produce a more tart end-product, whole milk makes a creamier, more full bodied spread.
If you buy the yogurt rather than making it, you want to find a high quality plain, natural yogurt with live cultures and no gelatin or thickeners. If I don't make my own I usually buy "Nancy's" brand (once produced only regionally fairly near to where I live) I understand it is available nationally now ~ but use any good unadulterated yogurt for the best results.
The process is so simple, it is merely a matter of allowing the yogurt to drain away some of the whey (liquid). When I'm only making a small amount this is the set-up I use ~ a piece of doubled cheese-cloth (or butter muslin), a disposable paper coffee filter, or even a sturdy plain sheet of paper towel will work:




I just set mine on the countertop for a couple of hours or overnight, until the 'cheese' is the consistency I want. And when the draining is finished, don't throw that whey away! It is teaming with active good-for-you cultures. It can be used in a number of ways, as a healthful beverage, or added to hasten the fermentation process for vegetables such as sauerkraut, pickles, kim chi/kim chee, etc. You can substitute it for the liquid in recipes, and so forth. If I'm not using it right away, I just store it in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for future use.


When the yogurt is finished draining, place it in a bowl and season as desired. You can use fruit (chopped fresh and/or dried, and some honey or jam to sweeten) for a lovely "smear" for toast, pancakes, waffles or bagels--nearly any way you would use cream cheese.
This time I wanted something savory as a spread for crackers so I stirred in a little sea salt, a half a clove of minced garlic (more if you like), and some fresh, finely minced herbs (chives and thyme) from the garden.
The combination of herbs and other additions you can add are seemingly endless:
  • Finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • A dab of pesto
  • Smoked salmon
  • Chopped olives
  • Chopped roasted red peppers
  • A spoonful or two of chutney (along with favorite curry powder if desired)
  • Salsa or hot sauce
  • Marinated artichoke hearts and lemon zest
  • Whip in some crumbled gorgonzola . . .
You can serve it right away or allow the herbs to mellow a bit in the refrigerator and enjoy within about a week.



Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you would like to share!
A huge thanks to Wardeh for hosting Tuesday Twister, and for your incredible contributions.









8 comments:

  1. Mari,
    You never fail to impress me and to kick my imagination into full gear! I love this idea. I have seen it done before, but not so wonderfully explained and pictured.

    I love the idea of making a savory cheese to put on crackers, bagels or use as a spead on sandwiches. I bet a small dollop on eggs would be wonderful

    I am off to do some grocery shopping later today, and I am making this good for all of us cheese!

    I am such a fan of yours! I love to learn, and your blog is a fantastic classroom!
    Yvonne

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  2. I like the idea of using herbs with the "cheese". I've made my own as well, with a coffee filter. I let mine sit in the frig for a few hours. I've always thrown away the whey...good suggestion to use it in other ways. Thanks!

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  3. Wow, its great! Beautiful pics.

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  4. I have some yogurt in the fridge - I'm going to make this right now!

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  5. Mari:

    Such a great post. I've entertained so much this summer that sometimes I don't think I have another inspirational bone in my body! Thanks for sparking me on!

    - The Tablescaper

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  6. Oh Yum!!!. I've been threatening to make my own yogurt for a long time. Moe would be very happy if I made yogurt and then made your herb Yogurt cheese.

    Thanks Mary.

    Ann

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  7. You mentioned leaving it on the counter for a few days,,,doesn't it spoil??

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  8. Thanks SO much for your kind comments, friends!!

    Hi Doreen, I only leave the yogurt "cheese" on the counter for a few hours, not a few days. The yogurt (& whey) contain live, beneficial cultures--that's what probiotics are all about. :D

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Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .

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