Cream cheese – a soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream.
I often hear that following a LCHF lifestyle is so expensive and you need to buy all these special “products” – you have to use. One of the things that recently came up was cream cheese.
Cream cheese is so versatile – you can use it for sweet (think cheese cake or frosting) or savoury dishes. With the recent discovery of fathead dough (….”Cinnamon rolls”) we also used cream cheese regularly. In South Africa – cream cheese is fairly expensive, with a price range of about R35 – R45 depending on the brand. And if you are on a tight budget, cream cheese might not be on your shopping list.
Here is the good news – you can make your own great tasting “cream cheese” for a fraction of the price and you can flavor it just the way you want too. Imagine all the new recipes you can try out or just adding some “creaminess” to your stew. We love this and it is so easy to make even Little M can do it.
The hardest part of this recipe is to wait (12 – 24 hours) to start enjoying your cheese, and maybe to decide what flavor you like. Hubby loves black pepper and chilies, I prefer a herbed or just plain.
STEP 1: Buy your preferred Maas (Amasi) and cheese cloth.
I used the SPAR brand only because it was on special for R19 for a 2 litre, so great value for money here. I do not have a cheese cloth, so I bought this dish towel for making my cream cheese and use it every time. Any tight woven cloth will work.
Line a strainer with your cloth and place over a bowl to collect the whey, that will drain off. I am also doing it the easy way. You can also tie the ends together and suspend it over night to drain. Pour the maas into the cloth and leave over night to drain. You can keep it in the fridge. I prefer to drain it for longer (about 24 hours) for a drier cheese.
Step 2: Season your “cream cheese”
This is by far my favorite part of making the cheese – deciding on the flavors. We generally divide the batch into 2 or 3 parts to keep everybody happy. We tend to keep a 1/3 plain – I do not even add salt. With the other 2/3 ‘s we season it with what we have. Like I mentioned earlier, hubby loves black pepper so I normally make a 1/3 black pepper – keep in mind the flavor develops the longer it stands so be careful not to add to much seasoning.
I love adding fresh dill to my 1/3 of the cream cheese and it is great for a salad dressing or even a dip with sweet potato fries. The possibilities are endless so play around with the flavors you like.
STEP 3: ENJOY
We have made so many dishes with this cream cheese, from fathead cinnamon rolls to bagels to just spreading it on our seed crackers. It worked perfectly every time, so I just love this. Saves me money and I can now enjoy the “luxury” recipes that need cream cheese.
Try it out and let us know what you think. Feel free to also share your favorite seasoning you add to your cheese. LCHF can be budget friendly, so go ahead and try it.
You can also make cream cheese from scratch with milk, cream and some culture if you want – but I am to lazy to try it out – so you are welcome to try it: how to…