Tuesday, June 22, 2010

raw milk, curds & whey...

okay, so i have been wanting to take it a bit further, diet-wise...more healthy, more natural, less prepackaged, more bulk foods, etc.

i asked around for a good cookbook as a place to get my bearings & so many folks recommended "nourishing traditions", by sally fallon, that i ordered a copy...speed. (it was & is still on sale for like 1/2 off @ amazon.com if you'd like to invest in your own copy! :)

it is amazing!...and so much more than a cookbook. amazing articles said to unnerve the 'diet dictocrats' that we are currently (ill)advised by.

covers loads of ingredients & topics, sidebars chock full of info grace each page, not to mention the lengthy introduction covering "the basics".

at any rate, i am trying to resist my usual desire to jump in 100%, and just do 1/2 new recipes or 'projects' per week. so far, so good...

we have a friend who raised milk goats, so i started getting fresh, raw goat milk from her a couple of weeks back & absolutely love it! it tastes just like real milk (probably b/c it is, right! ;)

it will last 3 or 4 days as it, or you can pasteurize it by heating it in a stainless steel stock pot to 190-195 degrees & that will give you another week before it starts getting a bit goaty.

so, that was step one. (check!)

step 2 was to make a few things with the milk.
project #1: cream cheese & whey (so easy!)

1. set jar ( i used 2 qts) of raw milk on counter & let stand at room temp for 2-4 days until the curds & whey separate (when fully separated the jar will be half curds & half whey).

*we used goat milk, which is on the longer end of the spectrum, apparently, ours took 4 days*

2. line a colander with an old t-shit/doubled cheesecloth/old-school (thin) cloth prefold diaper that has been bleached. set lined colander over some sort of bowl/container so that the precious whey (the liquid) will not be lost down the drain.

*i set our inside a large plastic tupperware, as that is all i had that was large enough*

3. pour jar of separated curds & whey into lined colander. once most of whey has drained through, lift colander out of bowl & set aside in other sink (as it will continue to drip a bit).

pour whey into clean/sterilized mason jars & mark with date & refrigerate. the whey can be used in loads of fermented vegetable & fruit recipes, also used in soaking grains & a variety of other recipes.
4. carefully lift cheesecloth out of colander & tie to wooden spoon. suspend wooden spoon over a over a large jar/bowl & allow the last bit of whey to drip out.

5. remove cream cheese from cheese cloth & put in a wide mouth glass jar, mark with date & refrigerate. allow to sit in refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

as ours was made from raw goat milk, it does taste a bit goaty, more like the goat cheese that you would purchase at your local market. the texture is firmer though, i like it & there are definitely enough recipes on the wed that call for goat cheese, so no harm done.
my friend, amanda, who i get the milk from, suggested that i add a bit of honey to sweeten it up a bit, but i haven't tried that yet.

at any rate, that's it, you' re done! this recipe of 2 qts raw milk will yield 5 cups whey & 2 cups cream cheese.

the cream cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month & the whey will keep for up to 6 months.


  1. so exciting! i need to buy the book for myself. i have just been living vicariously through friends who have it.

    i am making my own yogurt now. i will have to give cream cheese a try, too! ;)

  2. I have been delving into Nourishing Traditions too. It is so interesting! You are so lucky to have a source for raw milk close by!

  3. Yes, love the cookbook! Glad you're enjoying it. The Nourished Kitchen (on Facebook and .com)helps break down some of the info and recipes really simply.

  4. itn't that a lovely cook book, so much wonderful information, another thing I have really learned from it is soaking, I soak all my grains and flours whenever possible.

  5. rae: i am totally excited, too! my husband laughs @ me b/c it really is "little things" that light up my life. honestly, though, isn't that the way it should be??

    yogurt is project #3 on my list. have to wait until next week though, as i am out of milk. ;)

    btw, what is your source for raw milk??

    kelly: horray for you & me & everyone else taking it back to our roots. and many thanks to sally for giving us something to go on!

    jenny: yes, thanks for passing along the fb info for that group.

    christina: it is & i wonder why it took me so long to actually get it, but now that i have...i am loving it! and thank you for posting about "this handmade life" blog on your site, i will have to check that one out a bit more...

  6. You are totally inspiring me! From the dairy section of that book I thought we would probably start with this too, along with buttermilk, and yogurt also. We cannot go through a half gallon of milk fast enough so I need to get started!

  7. we are quite the milk drinking family as well. i have been pondering how to approach this issue, but still keeping with my "real food" values, but also keeping with out budget.

    i will be looking into getting a dairy goat/two, as i don't think we have quite enough land for an a dwarf cow (if there is such a thing).

    while online a couple days ago, i found a recipe calling for oat milk...that is totally doable, as is rice milk & that would def fit the budget & be a great substitute for running to the store mid-week.

    we could at least use it as a supplement.

    looked it up in nourshing tradtions & it's not even mentioned, that i could see...so not "ok'd" but then not 'prohibited' either.

    any thoughts??

  8. Yes her book is great. Ours is well used. We make most of our recipes from raw dairy although I would prefer goats milk, someday! My husband make delicious creme fraishe, our yogurt is so thick and creamy and our butter is just yummie.

    Your garden veg look delicious to and your children very sweet.

    Happy birthday to your son and happy birthing day to you mama.

  9. jeanene...

    our is still just a baby, but i try to make at least one thing a week from it...

    this week? pickled okra (following the guildelines for the picked cucumbers) & also soaked oatmeal porridge.

    tomorrow is hsopping day & i am wanting to give the salsas & relishes a go.

    how long do you let your things ferment in the frige before enjoying?? also, some things say how long they'll last, the rest i am thinking will keep until they are again opened...what do you all do??

  10. I tried to make cheese out of pasteurized milk. I added milk, lemon and buttermilk into a bowl and heated it. At first I thought it didn't work because it wasn't getting hard. Then I refrigerated what I made and the next day it was nice and hard.

  11. hey raw milk does not go bad. it takes a month. it might go sour, but it is still perfectly ok to drink. do not pastuerize you milk, because this kills all the vitamins and nutrients and will also then go bad.