Looking for a low-fat delicious substitute for cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream or whipping cream? Try yogurt cheese!
Well, at least that’s what “they’re” telling me. This is my first time making this, so it’s quite the adventure! The enclosed directions are simple: Place the strainer in the plastic container and add up to 3 cups (750 ml) of homemade or commercial yogurt to the strainer. Yield of yogurt cheese is 1 cup (250 ml). Cover and chill unit for at least 2 hours. It will continue to thicken for up to 24 hours. When the yogurt has reached the desired thickness, drain off the whey and reserve for other recipes. Remove yogurt from the strainer and transfer to an air-tight container. Will last up to 2 weeks. Now I would like to add here that given the questions from my total vegan friends, I don’t see why soy yogurt or coconut yogurt couldn’t work! The disclaimer is that I have not yet tried this with those types of yogurt. The question remains that since there is no whey, would there be “cheese?” That’s a topic another time. This time, I went by the classic route and chose to use Greek style yogurt. My local grocer doesn’t carry every brand that I would like to buy, so I tend to select the best that I can find.
As you can see from the picture on the left, the contraption is quite simple. Just a big plastic container, air-tight lid and a screen. I’m sure with some imagination there could be a lot of great uses for it!
For my first batch, I decided to go with Cabot’s Greek Style, low fat yogurt. I choose many of their products for the wonderful list of ingredients they have. I try to choose products carefully and usually buy only those with the best list of ingredients.
Maple Cream Topping
1 cup (250 ml) yogurt cheese
1/4 cup (50 ml) maple syrup
Gently blend together and dollop over fresh fruit, fruit crumble or serve with a Belgian waffle.
Lemon Yogurt Cream
1 cup(250 ml) yogurt cheese
1/4 cup (50 ml) sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) grated lemon zest
1tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Great served over fresh fruit or fruit crumble or this can be used in any dessert recipe calling for sweetened whipped cream or sour cream.
1 English cucumber, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) yogurt cheese
2 tbsp (30 ml) parsley, minced
Place the grated cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with salt to allow to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze to remove the excess liquid. Place the cucumber in a bowl and add the yogurt cheese, garlic, parsley, and for added heat, 1/4 tsp (1 ml) of hot pepper sauce. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve as a vegetable dip or with baked pita chips.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all for the tzatziki!