Have you tried the fat free cheese available in the stores and thought they tasted “funny”? Then looked at the ingredient list and discovered why?! I sure have! In order to have the cream style yogurt cheese that I love in a fat free version that doesn’t taste like….(hard to describe)… I had to revert to my “Farm Fresh Tess” ways and make my own. So here you have it; a healthy and Easy Fat Free Cream Cheese!
I took pictures so that I can show you how super simple it is. You can literally do this in your sleep as it strains overnight in your refrigerator. If you have a small plastic colander, cheese cloth (available at grocery stores) and a clean glass container that the colander will fit inside plus a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap you have all the equipment you need. I also recommend starting with a good clean yogurt, either plain regular or semi-strained greek. Let this yogurt strain to the consistency of cream cheese and you’re done.
An extra step when straining regular yogurt is to strain as shown and, after 12 hours, tie the cloth around a wood spoon handle and let it strain for another 12 hours. I did not find this to be necessary since the greek yogurt is already partially strained and needed just a few more hours to reach a nice spreadable cream cheese stage.
Just make sure the ingredients in the yogurt read skim milk and cultures and nothing else and you will end up with a nice clean tasting product for your low fat or Trim Healthy Mama E meals and snacks.
Making fat free cream cheese is an easy process that can be done from either plain fat free yogurt (made from fat free milk) or fat free greek yogurt. You want to use a brand of yogurt with only skim milk and live cultures. This is what is contained in fage 0% according to their website. http://usa.fage.eu/yogurts/fage-total-plain#fage-total-0
Alternatively you may make your own yogurt using these cultures and then using this same process; you may strain the yogurt to greek yogurt strength or continue straining to make a nice start cream cheese style yogurt cheese. Lightly salting this product will take out some of the tartness.
To make the amount of cream cheese (yogurt cheese) shown you will need:
1 small (2 cup) container of good clean 0% fat free greek yogurt
1 length of clean cheese cloth to cover a small colander
1 smallish PLASTIC colander (metal reacts)
1 lid or enough plastic wrap to TIGHTLY cover the bowl in the fridge (so you don’t pick up fridge flavors)
Leave this in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours but even several days won’t hurt it at all as long as it is kept cold and tightly covered.