"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Ricotta cheese, yoghurt and cream cheese

Do you like yoghurt, ricotta and cream cheese?  Would you like to make it like your mother and grandmother used to?  Do you know how easy it is to make and how much money you can save?

Well, it starts with 5 ltrs of full cream milk, a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and a small 125ml tub of yoghurt with live cultures.

For the Ricotta cheese:

Pour 2 ltrs of full cream milk into a pot, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and bring to the boil. 

The milk curdling / curds and whey forming with the addition of the vinegar
Boil for 30 seconds, remove from the heat, and allow to stand for 15 minutes.  This allows more curds to form and also allows the mixture to cool in order to squeeze it.

Take a strainer and lay a muslin cloth inside.  When the mixture is cooler, carefully pour it onto the muslin and allowing the whey to strain into another container below the strainer. 

When it has finished dripping, gather the cloth together and slowly squeeze out any residual moisture.  What is left in the cloth is your ricotta.  (The whey, which was strained off, can be used in baking - very good in home made bread - use it to dissolve your yeast in.)

For the yoghurt and cream cheese:

Place your 3lts of milk in a pot on the stove.  Bring to the boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Allow to cool enough so that you can leave a finger in for 10 secs - then add your small tub of shop bought yoghurt.  Mix well.

Then put the mixture in sterilised jars, seal and place them in a cooler box overnight - wrapping them in warm towels or a blanket.  When you wake up the next morning you will have your home made yoghurt.

I kept 1/2 of the batch as yoghurt and used the other half to make cream cheese:

I placed 1/2 the yoghurt into a muslin lined strainer and suspended it in order to allow the whey to drain out.

This takes a while (about 1 - 1/2 hours).  When it stops dripping, give it a gentle squeeze to remove the last of the whey.

Then pack it into your tub, place in the fridge and voila! ricotta, yoghurt and cream cheese is back in stock!

Seriously, it couldn't be easier!

2 ltrs of full cream organic bst hormone free milk made:

246gms ricotta cheese
and 1140ml of whey (which I'll add yeast to next time I make bread)

Total cost: R16.39

If I purchased 250 gms ready made ricotta cheese it would've cost me R22.95

I thus saved: R6.56

3 ltrs of full cream organic bst hormone free milk and a 150gm tub of plain yoghurt (with probiotic cultures) made:

1.5kgs of yoghurt
and 500-odd gms of cream cheese

Total cost: R25.95 (milk) and R7.45 / 150gm (yoghurt) = R33.40

If I purchased 1.5gms of yoghurt it would've cost me R41.10 and 500gms of cream cheese would cost me R31.90 = R73.00

I thus saved R39.60

But, the cherry on top, is that I will retain 125gms of my home made yoghurt to use in my next batch, so, in future, I'll save that cost too.

Therefore my total savings making my own yoghurt and cream cheese will be R47.05

My power consumption was approximately 500 watts at a total cost of 46c


Leigh said...

Gosh, I didn't realize ricotta cheese was so easy to make. I've been making my own yogurt for years (similar method to yours) and started making yogurt cheese and whey awhile back, but that's as far as I've ventured. Thanks for this post! I'm going to have to try the ricotta soon.

Dani said...

Leigh - how does your method work? Would love to see / read the comparison.

Mr. H. said...

This was a very informative tutorial on how to make cheese and yoghurt. We have finally found a good source for fresh raw milk and are excited to try making some of these...especially the ricotta.:)

Dani said...

Mr H - so glad you found it useful - I promise, the yoghurt and cheeses are a breeze to make!