Toddler yogurt/yogurt cheese: in the thick of it

As discussed, The Kiddo loves him some yogurt. The problem is that it’s so creamy and fabulous the he sometimes has issues keeping it on the spoon all by himself; all by yourself is very important when you’re two.

Enter the cheesecloth! By straining out some of the whey from the yogurt you make it thicker, therefore easier for a little one to manage with a spoon.

I lined my gravy pitcher with cheesecloth, then spooned the yogurt onto the cheesecloth, which is over the strainer. I folded the cheesecloth over the yogurt to keep it covered, and put it in the fridge overnight.

If you want to hurry the process along (hungry toddler?), you can add a little weight to the equation:

For this setup I lined a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. I spooned in the yogurt and folded the cheesecloth over it, then put a clean soup mug on top of that. In the soup mug went an unopened can (of Arthur O’s, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have any specific magical yogurt powers). The weight of the can compresses the yogurt and speeds up the whole straining/thickening process.

The longer you let the yogurt sit in either set-up, the more whey will drain out, and the thicker the yogurt will be. Regardless, you’ll end up with this:

Yummy thick yogurt on the left, whey on the right.  If you let this strain a long time (24 hours or so) you end up with yogurt cheese! You can use this for all kinds of things as a replacement for mayo or sour cream in nearly any recipe.

Whey is chock-full of protein and minerals, so it doesn’t need to go to waste. I use it instead of water for making bread, pancakes, etc., and gently stir it back into a bowl of yogurt if I want to thin it out a bit for me. Heck, you can even make whey biscuits! Whey keeps in the fridge for six months, so there’s no rush; it also freezes just fine. I freeze it by the 1/4 cup in a muffin pan, then pop the whey-sicles into a freezer bag after they’re set up for easy measuring in the future.

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