I laid out the health benefits for kefir in this previous post. I’m so fascinated by this healthful drink that I love to see what all I can do with it. Generally, I’ll make kefir into a delicious smoothie.
But when I have an overflow, and want a real treat, I’ll make kefir cheese.
My husband was so blown away by the transformation from kefir to cheese, that he barely believed it. (“This stuff is so good. What’s in it? Just kefir? Huh?”)
The process is also so simple, anyone could do it.
All you need is your kefir that you’ve made (instructions here), and some cheesecloth. Here’s what I do to make the kefir cheese.
Line a fine colander with the cheesecloth, and pour the kefir into the cloth. Let it drip for several minutes. You see that yellow-ish liquid coming out of the cheesecloth? That’s whey. I think whey may deserve a whole post to itself, so stay tuned! It’s the by product of cheese or yogurt making. Don’t throw it out! Save it in a jar, and it has many other uses.
After a few minutes, take the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie it up to form a baggy for the kefir. Secure it with a rubber band, is what I’ve found works best. I then will find a string, or yarn, and tie it up from something higher, and let it hang and drip the whey into the bowl.
People hang cheese from their cabinet knobs, microwave handle…just whatever is higher than your bowl! There’s no wrong answer. I actually will hang it in my fridge overnight, tied to a handle on whatever container I can find in my fridge. Anything will work.
After it has dripped all the whey out, I will refrigerate the cheese, still in the cheesecloth, so the cheese can harden up a little.
Kefir cheese will be a spreadable smooth cheese.
Once the cheese is more hardened, I will dump it into a bowl from the cheesecloth.
Now, this is the fun part!
You can flavor your cheese however you want. Here’s a basic delicious variation that my husband loves:
Sprinkle the cheese with some freshly ground pink mineral salt. (It makes it lovely.) Sprinkle some Italian seasoning in, too. I combined it with my fingers, then formed the cheese into a log.
Spread some plastic wrap on the counter, then put the cheese onto the plastic wrap. Cover the cheese with the wrap, and store in the fridge.
It’s a great fun treat with some crackers. I used my raw goat’s milk kefir to make mine, and it tastes just like goat cheese from the store. I LOVE goat cheese, so this was a real win!