Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

What is Whey? Where Can I Get It? (How to Make Yogurt Cheese)

December 2nd, 2009 · 86 Comments · Frugality, Recipes

If you’ve read anything from the Nourishing Traditions world about soaking your grains, you’ve seen the recommendation to use whey as an acidic medium.  I prefer it for soaking my oats because I have found it least likely to impart a sour flavor to the finished oatmeal.

What is Whey?

My brother, a big weightlifter, is huge into the “whey protein powder” drinks for big muscles.  Don’t get this sort of whey confused with the powdered stuff, which I’m sure has some “I-am-not-real-food!” sort of health issues.  (UPDATE:  A faithful commenter tells me that powdered whey is just spray-dried regular whey.)

Regular whey is a byproduct of cheesemaking, just like Little Miss Moffet had:  curds and whey.  It is a nearly transparent, yellowish liquid that pours like water.

You may be thinking, “Great, now I have to make cheese.”  Luckily, this is much easier than that sounds.

What is Yogurt Cheese?

I get my whey from yogurt, which I happen to make homemade, but you could use plain, unsweetened yogurt from a store with the same results.  Yogurt cheese has the same consistency and almost the same flavor as cream cheese, but with power-packed probiotics for good digestion and more.  If you use cream cheese, even if you don’t want the whey, this process is the most frugal substitute for cream cheese you’ll ever find.  It costs less than 50 cents for 8 oz. of yogurt cheese if your milk is on sale for $2 or less.

How to Make Yogurt Cheese and Whey

It’s almost embarrassing to post something this easy.  Love it!

  1. Line a colander with a tea towel or cheesecloth.
  2. Place a large bowl or measuring cup (at least 4 cups) under the colander.  Make sure the opening is wide enough to be underneath all your yogurt (see next step).
  3. Pour a container of yogurt (I do a quart at a time) into the towel.
    IMG_6160
  4. Wait.  See the whey draining out?  *peek*
    IMG_6161
  5. After an hour or so, rig up some way to hang the towel so that gravitational pressure gets all the whey out of the yogurt.  Here’s my method:
    IMG_5968
  6. After ~4 hours or whenever your yogurt stops dripping, that’s it!  You have about 3 cups of whey in the bowl and 1 cup of yogurt cheese in the towel.
  7. Yogurt cheese lasts 1-4 weeks (you’ll know when it goes bad) and the whey lasts up to 6 months.
    IMG_6175Looks, tastes, and behaves just like cream cheese!  The only thing it doesn’t do great is melt, like in  a hot food recipe.
  8. A quickie version:  You can put a few Tbs of yogurt onto a coffee filter on top of a jar, and in an hour or less you’ll have a smidge of yogurt cheese for your toast on top and whey to soak your oatmeal in the jar.
Whey Recipes:  What do I do with Whey?
Yogurt Cheese Recipes

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86 Comments so far ↓

  • April

    Katie, I have a bunch of whey sitting in my fridge, just from straining my too-thin homemade yogurt. I didn’t know what to do with it until this post (thanks!), but I’m also not sure how long it keeps in the fridge. I have a feeling mine is probably past its prime by now (it’s been well over a week), but if it’s still good, I’ll have to try some of your ideas!
    .-= April´s last blog ..Moving in a new direction =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    April,
    I bet it’s still okay. Whey is a preservative, so it’s supposed to last 6 months. Realistically I’ve found it to be good over a month. You’ll know if it’s bad – the smell is awful! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kate

    I love it! I’ve been reading about whey for awhile but I don’t know, it just didn’t make sense to me. The pictures help, I think. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Dani

    Love the idea of the yogurt cheese! Thanks so much!
    .-= Dani´s last blog ..It’s okay to ask for help. =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Julie S

    Thanks for the great information.

    I’m wondering how you think yogurt cheese would sub into a cheesecake?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Julie,
    Since it seemed to work really well in a dip that *sort* of had to hold its shape, I would guess absolutely great. I’d say – make some and get the feel for the consistency. The Pampered Chef guru thought it acted just like cream cheese in that it was firm cold and softened right up on the countertop. Let me know if you try it! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    elaine Reply:

    Julie~ I’m coming to this post a little late but I’ve had a cheesecake made out of yogurt cheese – it is AWESOME! We are so spoiled with yogurt cheese that nothing tastes quite as good anymore. Let me know if you need a recipe.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Julie S Reply:

    Thanks Elaine, I’d love to get the recipe!

    On a related note, I just recently tried to make cream cheese icing for carrot cake, but it definitely did not have the same flavour. I just used it drained.

    Maybe it was because I didn’t flavour the “cream cheese” with salt and sweetener first?

    [Reply to this comment]

    susan Reply:

    i’d love your yogurt cheese-cheese cake recipe. could you e-mail it to me? sthompson236113 (at) gmail (dot) com
    Thanks :-)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • chanelle

    This is totally next on my food to-do list! (Right after finishing the sourdough starter I’m working on) Thanks for showing how easy it is.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Anne

    Thanks for the tips for using whey. Maybe I missed it, but does whey have the same probiotic properties as the yogurt or yogurt cheese, or does it have some additional benefits?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • tonya

    “My brother, a big weightlifter, is huge into the “whey protein powder” drinks for big muscles. Don’t get this sort of whey confused with the powdered stuff, which I’m sure has some “I-am-not-real-food!” sort of health issues.”

    Katie…Katie…Katie. I’m *tisk tisk-ing* you here. Let’s not assume the negative. Whey powder is spray dried whey. In it’s simplest form (not fortified/amplified like the bodybuilder stuff) the biggest concern is probably the oxidation factor that you discussed previously.
    .-= tonya´s last blog ..rcwant2be: RT @animalag: What’s in a name? Good discussion of public perception of "farmers," "producers," and "factory farms" http://bit.ly/8K1OMj =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Ah, Tonya,
    So we’re back to the question of oxidizing…and is anything powdered “real food”? Good to know that whey protein powder isn’t quite as far away from the source as one might assume…as I did! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    tonya Reply:

    I like to think of spray drying as dehydrating. Dehydrating isn’t necessarily bad. This oxidation factor though…I need to learn more about that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Malia

    This is great information about whey! Do you know if I can I freeze it?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Malia,
    I have read about folks freezing it in ice cube trays and adding to smoothies, in fact! I just froze some because I have trouble with mozzarella cheese whey going bad after a week, but the yogurt whey really does last quite a while.
    Great question! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shelley

    Another great post. I especially love the idea of your quick version- I would never have thought to do a little so I could have just a bit to soak in- and now I have some right on my counter. Thanks!
    .-= Shelley´s last blog ..Holiday System Day 14 – recipe: sprouted flour butter cookies =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Soli

    Hi Katie, here from pennywise platter. Do you have more suggestions for yogurt cheese/traditional cream cheese? I use the whey almost daily to soak oatmeal, but the trad. cream cheese has a little too much tang for my liking right now. Hate to not use it though. Some has gone into a frittata and a little into a quiche over the wekend, but I still have more than I know what to do with.
    .-= Soli´s last blog ..Let’s see =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Soli,
    I use yogurt cheese in my fruit pizza (link above) and in many dessert recipes that call for cream cheese. My slow cooker beef stew includes it http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/03/31/making-a-healthy-meal-from-packaged-recipes/ as do other beef stroganoff type recipes. My son loves cream cheese and jelly or cream cheese, fruit and honey sandwiches! This yogurt cheese garlic veggie dip is AWESOME: http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=1055 Hope that helps! Thanks for visiting -love to see you back! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Pennywise Platter Thursday 12/10

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  • Stacy

    I wandered over here from Tammy’s Recipes and I’ve been browsing around.
    We have NO trouble getting whey, our problem is what to DO with it, so I love these ideas. We make and strain our own yogurt (so easy to do), but had no idea what to do with the whey so we were just tipping it down the sink. I’ll have to try some of these soaks.
    I use homemade yogurt in my smoothies, so is there any added benefit to putting the whey in also?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Stacy,
    I have heard of people freezing the whey in ice cubes to add to smoothies. Any place you use whey will add some protein to what you’re eating. Frozen in a smoothie would be great for consistency! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cindy B

    Curious…What’s the difference between yogurt cheese & Greek-style yogurt? I’ve only had Greek yogurt a few times (largely b/c it’s significantly more expensive to buy it), but I wouldn’t say it taste like cream cheese – even though I understand it’s just yogurt with the whey drained off. I do need to brush off my Salton yogurt maker in the pantry and quit buying the quarts of yogurt, and would love to try this!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Cindy,
    Greek yogurt just has *some* of the whey drained off. This yogurt cheese would totally hold it’s form on a plate and is truly exactly like cream cheese consistency. Enjoy! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • April

    Thanks so much! I just bought your healthy snacks eBook (and so did my best friend), and I’m totally jazzed.
    You’ve made me unafraid of whey. I may even be ready to make homemade yogurt soon. My MIL kinda scared me away from it, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be too bad to make. :)
    .-= April´s last blog ..Another Reason to Choose Local Organic Food =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    april,

    Yee hah! You’ll love homemade yogurt and never look back (even if MIL is chasing you with a wooden spoon). ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lenetta @ Nettacow

    Going back to my question about my whey jar molding that I tweeted to you, Sarah (heartland Ren.) told me I could’ve just decanted it into a new jar. I’m thinking she’s right, since it was just the jar and not the whey itself that molded. I also had some crunchy friends tell me that whey made from raw dairy lasts much longer.

    It sounds like freezing whey kills off the probiotic … enzymes? qualities? whatever, so that really isn’t a good way to store it, but I suppose I could soak and dehydrate a large quality of oats and freeze those.

    My real question – I used to make ricotta cheese using this recipe from Cooking Light (though now I would go for the full-fat counterparts!) and I’m wondering if the cultured buttermilk would mean that the whey left over would be good for soaking. I think yes, but wanted to know your opinion. :>)
    .-= Lenetta @ Nettacow´s last blog ..Peeling Onions =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Lenetta,
    I freeze both my yogurt and buttermilk starters, and they always still “work”, so the bacteria isn’t killed. Enzymes, I don’t know. I think it’s the probiotics that you want in both.

    I think yes on the buttermilk whey – anything acidic is supposed to work, and cultured is even better. Homemade ricotta = fun! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Merina

    Awesome for the ricotta substitute idea! I bought mascarpone (so expensive) recently to make lasagna because I couldn’t find growth hormone-free ricotta. Now I can use my homemade organic yogurt cheese…I think you are my new best blog friend!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • WEFA (Jesilee)

    I am not sure if you will get this this comment or not to respond, but I am curious as to if the whey must be drained in the fridge? I make homemade yogurt (from a different site) and I am starting to realize we can not afford how much cream cheese I love. I love to put it on my bagels, and in mashed potatoes and all kinds of things.
    Would this yogurt cheese be a good replacement even in my mashed ‘taters? (which I boost nutritionally by steaming and mashing with organic carrots.) When I started making yogurt I just used my thin yogurt in smoothies and I still throw the liquid from the top in, or just stir it up.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jesilee,
    I always see and respond! Welcome! :)

    As yogurt is a cultured food, it’s perfectly ok to drain on the countertop, then store the finished product in the fridge. I use the cream cheese/yogurt cheese in everything I would put cream cheese in, so I would think it would be great in mashed potatoes, too! It doesn’t melt quite as well as regular cream cheese, but hopefully it still adds the creaminess you’re looking for. Enjoy!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • shelley

    Hi Katie,

    Have you tried making whey with raw milk? I tried but wasn’t very successful… Any thougts? just seemed like all milk….

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shelley,
    Do you mean letting the milk clabber and then draining? That’s one I’ve never tried, but Kelly the Kitchen Kop might be a resource. Sometimes it takes up to 2-3 days to completely separate on the countertop. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kristy

    Katie,
    Just wondering if you get the same health benefits from using store bought yogurt to make whey? I’m not ready to make my own yogurt yet, but want to try the whey. Tried making whey with raw milk and it didn’t go so great.

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kristy,
    Absolutely, exactly the same! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Victoria

    Thanks for this post!! I just strained my yogurt the other day because I didnt like the consistency of my yogurt. Low and behold, I strained it too long and made yogurt cheese!!
    My daughter still loves taking it in her lunch with peaches and honey on top, but it is a little too thick now!! lol
    I was wondering what I could do with yogurt whey…maybe I’ll try my hand at soaking oats and making your granola bars with it!!
    Thanks so much!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Mmmm, put the yogurt cheese with peaches and honey on bread – cream cheese and fruit sandwich! :) katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Beth

    Could you just use plain yogurt or lemon juice instead of whey like in Nourishing Traditions? Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Beth,
    I have no idea how your comment got so lost, but I just saw it here – I’m not sure what you mean, though. Are you asking about soaking grains? If so, yes, those are also options. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stacey Martin

    I am new to the whey and lacto-fermentation. Can whey be added to any condiment to add more nutrients and make it last longer?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Stacey,
    Yes, I believe so, but personally I turn to http://gnowfglins.com/ or http://nourishedkitchen.com/ as my lacto-fermentation experts. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah M

    Oh my gosh, I just made yogurt for the first time and ended up straining it this way to get it thicker. And what did I do? I threw away the whey!! I didn’t even realize thats what it was. Oh well, now I know. (yogurt turned out great by the way!)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Angela @ Purposeful Womanhood

    This is something that has really piqued my interest! After reading about home-made yoghurt, this really does seem like a logical step to follow.

    For my family of seven, we already need to buy shares on a dairy farm, and the only things I have changed in our diet is making bread, cookies etc myself (no packaged snacks – go me!!!). Getting enough milk to make our yoghurt, and cheese also would mean we’d probaby have to buy ourselves our own farm, lol.

    Jokes aside, I hope to come back to this (and your home-made yoghurt tutorial) to give you my review after making it myself… though that may be some time away, I will definitely get there!

    Warmest blessings,
    Angela

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Angela,
    Even if you have to buy store milk to make the yogurt, it is SO worth it! You’ll love it. Can’t wait to hear how it goes. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Debbie

    OK, I ran errands today – yeah, Memorial Day and been thinking about this and it donned on me that when I eat my Stonyfield organic yogurt every morning at work, there’s always a small amount of liquid at the top – since you tell us to strain it, I’m guessing it’s the whey – sure enough it is!!! Yahoo!!! So, what I can do is just go on and eat my yogurt like normal and take the whey out of a few instead of mixing it in like I’ve been doing the last 2 months… LOL Straight from Stonyfield’s site:

    Why is liquid sometimes on the top of my yogurt when I open it?

    It’s normal for a little bit of liquid (whey) to separate from our yogurt. It occurs when there has been any type of pressure applied or when the product has undergone a temperature change. We also don’t use any artificial thickeners that might prevent this. Whey contains many of the important vitamins and nutrients in yogurt, so we recommend that you simply stir it back in.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Debbie,
    Exactly! If you WANT whey for soaking purposes or whatever, just leave a dent/hole in your yogurt each time you scoop, and then you’ll have a puddle of whey next morning that you can pour off for soaking. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Esther

    Hello and thank you for this (and many) posts. Have you worked with Kefir grains? I got some a short time ago, and now they separate so well there is a clear liquid on the bottom of the jar. Is that the whey? Is it the same kind of whey in cheese or yogurt?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Esther, I’ve not yet done milk kefir, sorry! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kirsten Reply:

    Yes, kefir whey is excellent!

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Julie

    Is there anyway to sweeten the cream cheese a little bit? Not sure if I left it out too long or what but it doesn’t taste even remotely like the cream cheese from the store (which may be the point:) ). It set up really great though. Very excited to try it in some recipes.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Julie,
    Sorry I lost your comment for a while! I’m sure I’m too late for that first batch, but for future reference, you can always add a dash of any sweetener – maple syrup, honey, stevia drops, whatever. I’ve only used the “cream cheese” myself in recipes b/c I don’t like cream cheese plain, so I’m not a good person to ask about a comparison… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Julie S Reply:

    Thanks for responding, Katie, especially since you have a lot of stuff on your plate right now! Congratulations, btw!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lindsey

    Does this work for non-dairy yogurt such as coconut yogurt? Thank you!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Lindsey,
    you know, I’ve only made coconut yogurt once as an experiment, and I’ve never tried straining it. Worst that could happen is it doesn’t work and you just retrieve and eat the yogurt. I’d love to know if you try it!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Lindsey Reply:

    I will try. My husband is dairy free so that would be great if this worked. Thanks again.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • loyda

    Believe it or not we give our whey and some of our yogurt to our dog every couple of days. He used to get horrible yeast infections in his ears. Spending 400.00 for one visit to the vet to clean them and be put on antiobiotics was just not an option for us every couple of months. He itched alot too and I also took ALL wheat away from him. Anyway he no longer gets yeast infections and the itching is gone. Going on more than 2 years and btw he LOVES yogurt and whey. The minute he sees the container he is in the kitchen for his “good medicine”.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stephanie

    Question: I made some whey about 3 months ago. I stored it in the fridge in a glass jar and haven’t touched it since… until tonight. I opened the jar and there was some swirling misty-looking whitish sediment on the bottom of the jar, and it smelled like sourdough starter. Does that mean it’s bad? How do I know when it goes bad?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Stephanie,
    The sediment is pretty normal, but I find that whey has very little smell usually. ??? I don’t know that I’ve ever had it around 3 mos. Usually when mine has a problem, I see mold on the jar.
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shar

    This morning I made some yogurt cheese so I could have the whey for making lacto-fermented guacamole and lacto-fermented mayonnaise. I smeared the yogurt cheese on some english muffins with my some of my homemade hot pepper jelly. Very tasty! I’m officially now hooked on yogurt cheese. I can’t wait until later today to try my lacto-fermented guacamole and mayonnaise on something. I even made a gallon of homemade yogurt today too. (insert oohs and aahs here) I’m a bit of a newbie at this health food stuff and greatly appreciate your website. It’s made the transition to healthy, whole food cooking/eating a lot less painful than I assumed it would be. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shar,
    That’s awesome! So glad you’re here! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sharon Anne

    I have made ricotta cheese, and then used the whey to cook my lasagna noodles; made the noodles absolutely heavenly. I’d suspect yogurt whey would do likewise.

    Sharon Anne @ sharealikecooking.blogspot.com

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • lizz

    So, this is this is what I got from this post, please correct me if I’m wrong . . . basically, whey is the annoying liquid I find floating in my store bought yogurt that I normally pour down the drain and Yogurt Cheese is just strained yogurt??? If so, that means I can simply strain my yogurt, keep the once dumped whey liquid to soak with my oats, and now the yogurt I strained can be used as yogurt or as cream cheese in my ham and pickle rolls?? ;) I’ve either just learned the most beneficial “that was easy” information or completely confused myself, lol.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lizz,
    You’re golden! (And I’m late, sorry about that.) Yes, you understand exactly! Hope you got it to work and enjoyed the new “yogurt cheese!” :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • KT

    Totally novice question here regarding straining with the intent of arriving at Greek style yogurt…What do you do with the cheesecloth after straining? Do you have to use new cheesecloth each time? Do you clean it; if so how? How do you get all of the food particles out of it so there is no risk of spoilage of anything left in the fabric? I’ve seen bleached and unbleached cheesecloth, the latter would be most compatible with whole living. I’ve seen some metal or mesh yogurt cheese straining containers, but they tend to have mixed reviews (rust issues, mesh is fragile and breaks). Are there any other ways of making Greek yogurt without cheesecloth or these mesh straining tubs? Different vein of questioning…what would happen if I followed your yogurt method but only had sweetened yogurt on hand to add as my culture starter instead of plain? (I just am several days away from getting to the store for plain and wondered what would happen if I tried making yogurt with what I had on hand-it’s organic, whole milk yogurt, but sweetened or I have organic nonfat greek sweetened.) Thanks for your ideas and research!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    KT,
    I just rinse with hot, hot water and air dry, and I have reused cheesecloth – although I prefer a tea towel and just rinse, then run it through the washer with other towels.

    I also just use my stainless steel colander, so any colander you have will likely do just fine.

    I am nearly positive that sweetened, flavored yogurt still does okay as a starter!

    Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Justine

    I made my own yogurt a few days ago (thanks for the easy instructions!) for the second time in as many years – this time with a spoonful of Greek yogurt as start. But this time I dug around your site more and came across this info re: whey. I haven’t gotten so far as yogurt cheese yet, so I didn’t have tons of whey from my 1/2 gal of yogurt, but when I went to make these yummy muffins today (http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/whole-wheat-banana-millet-muffins/) and realized I had no buttermilk, I had a hair-brained idea – probably stemming from your “willy nilly” comment! – that I think turned out successful. According to this site (http://boards.epicurious.com/message.jspa?messageID=558578), you can use either plain yogurt OR whey in lieu of buttermilk – which I never have on hand and usually sub with milk/vinegar. So I used the 1/4 c whey I had, plus 3/4 c homemade yogurt and the muffins turned out great! I don’t use buttermilk much, and when I do it’s for baking, and since I plan to start making yogurt more regularly, I will save (prob freeze) the whey to use as a buttermilk sub. Have you ever tried that or have any experience that would indicate my reasoning is flawed?
    Thanks for your site!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Justine,
    So glad it worked out! I pretty much use yogurt and buttermilk interchangeably in recipes, and depending on the recipe, part or all whey or even just milk (or the trick of milk with 1 tsp. of lemon juice per cup) for buttermilk. Nice experimenting! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jenny Reply:

    Hi Katie,
    This is really late but do u know if the yogurt cheese can b frozen? I have milk.goats and lose my milk for about 3 months. I am trying to make a bunch of cheese and I do make yogurt and would love to b able to freeze my own “cream cheese” for winter. Thanks and hope u get this question. Have looked online but can’t.find the answer to this.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Jenny,
    You know, I’ve never tried it, and I freeze just about everything! Yogurt freezes okay – it doesn’t kill the healthy bacteria which is good, but it definitely separates. Since the whey is already drained out in yogurt cheese, I have a feeling it won’t separate, but there’s a risk that it would dry out. I would freeze 1/4 cup for 2 days and see how it goes! You’ll know if you like it or not after even that short amount of time. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Krista

    What is the rule to the kind of store bought yogurt needed to make whey. Pectin, no pectin, flavor, no flavor? Does the number of live active cultures make a difference? I have read too many conflicting comments and I am confused. I am new to this journey and trying to understand. I have not made my own yogurt yet, but I want to some day. I thought i would just start with whey first. Thanks.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Krista,
    The fewer ingredients, the better! Ultimately, if it works, great! If not…eat the yogurt. ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Easy Fruit Pizza

    [...] 1 cup cream cheese (or greek yogurt that’s been strained until it is almost cream cheese consistency – see directions here) [...]

  • Alisa

    I make my own soy milk and tofu and the whey leftover from tofu is an AMAZING cleaner! You have to use it right away as the cleaning ability seems to wear off quickly (I use it that day so beyond that can’t predict how long it will last) but it was great.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Weekly Paleo Meal Plan #2 | Landon Gilfillan

    […] rollups (I usually just roll up some sandwich meat, a bit of yogurt cheese or mayo) & kettle […]

  • Weekly Paleo Meal Plan #3 | Landon Gilfillan

    […] Enchiladas (but my version, which will include a organic canned verde sauce & yogurt cheese instead of the cashew sour […]

  • Homemade Thick Crock Pot Yogurt - Your Thriving Family

    […] of other things you can use whey for and it adds some more nutritional value. Yogurt cheese anyone? Yogurt cheese is similar to cream cheese, but still contains all those live […]

  • Justine

    So… I had my first total flunk making yogurt yesterday – and I’ve made it probably 2 dozen times following your method with no trouble! Not sure if the new starter (from the store) I used didn’t have enough active cultures (it wasn’t plain greek like i usually used, but a yoplait flavored greek), or if I added it too soon and the milk was too hot – or if the problem was something else entirely. But after 8-10 hours of “incubating”, I took my jars out of the cooler and just had liquid/milk. I figured I’d re-heat the milk today to 180-185 and start over (with a different starter culture and being more cautious about the temp!), but one of my 2 jars completely separated when I heated it up into about 1/2 white stuff on the bottom and 1/2 yellowish liquid (presumably whey) on top – and cooling it didn’t change anything. Did I actually just make “curds and whey”? Should I pitch this, or is it likely that the result (or part of it) is something edible? I hate to waste a quart of milk, but also don’t want anyone in the house to get sick! I thought maybe someone here would have had experience with this and could share their wisdom – TIA!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Justine,
    Oh, sad – been there! I hate those moments, like “what did I do wronggggggg!?” From what it sounds like, you’re not going to kill anyone if you use that weird separated stuff for baking, pancakes, throw it in smoothies, whatever. It’s probably whey and sort-of-yogurt, ultimately, but unless it makes your nose turn, it should be fine. Did the other jar just act like milk when you reheated? So odd that they were different! Unless your “oops” was stirring double into one jar and none into the next… ;) Might have been a “distracted Mommy” moment.

    Hopefully you’ll have complete success with the next batch! I do try to get plain because I’m never sure how the sweetener and flavorings will impact the incubation process.
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Justine Reply:

    The “other” jar looked normal through the heating process, but then still separated out with more whey then normal once it was done incubating (I did add more starter, since I thought the heating would kill off whatever had been there). Tastes a bit different, but still edible – especially in smoothies. The jar that was 1/2 whey almost seemed to taste more normal, just really thick – as if I had strained it. It was good, so I guess I should start to strain my yogurt more often :)
    I too usually use plain, but my yogurt was getting runny and I thought it was from a weak starter – so I ate my starter and then forgot to buy a new one at the store! But I had gotten a flavored cup (which I still buy on sale on ocassion for my husband as dessert), which is why I ended up using that. No more, though. Only plain from now on!
    Thanks for giving me the nerve to taste the result though :)
    Justine

    [Reply to this comment]

    Helen @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I find the Dannon plain is really great for starting a new batch of yogurt, it actually has clean ingredients :)

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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