Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making my own 'whey'

In an effort to have access of the optimal food choices for The Maker's Diet, I wanted to try to make my own yogurt and cheese.  Both of these things can be made using raw milk - and should be, according to The Maker's Diet.  Neither process seems to be terribly difficult, they just take a little time.

I started working on both processes today.  The steps and ingredients are laid out in the book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

For yogurt, the recipe calls for raw milk to be heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit to which you add some yogurt.  The added yogurt can be either from a previous batch or store-bought as long as it has active cultures.  Transfer the mix to a jar and keep it at about 95 degrees F for around 8 hours.  Well, I wanted to try to make some single-serving jars, so I used five 8 oz. mason jars (I planned on 4, but I ended up with enough to fill 5) instead of the one quart-size jar.  I am using my Crock Pot - set on 'warm' - to keep the jars warm.  After the 8 hours, the jars are to be transferred to the refrigerator.
Hopefully, I will soon have my own plain, unpasteurized yogurt!

As for the cheese, there are of course various types of cheese that require different recipes and aging times to produce.  Again using a recipe from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, I have begun the process of making cream cheese.  Using raw milk - milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized - makes this process relatively easy.  Because the milk has not been homogenized, it will eventually (about 1-4 days) separate into curds - or milk solids - and whey.  Once it has separated, it is then further strained through - you guessed it - cheese cloth to remove more of the whey.  That is pretty much all there is to it!
Honestly, I am actually more interested in collecting the whey for use in other recipes.  Whey is used for the fermentation process for grains and vegetables, though sea salt can be used as a substitute.  I figure that if the cheese-making works and I have the whey available to use, I may as well do so.

We'll see how things go...

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