Homemade Cheese Cloth Bags

I make a lot of yogurt. With a lot of yogurt comes a lot of whey, yogurt cheese, sourcream, and cream cheese. In the past I had a small local fabric store, that sold the sturdy cheesecloth by the bolt. I would buy a few yards for a few dollars and I was set for the year. That store went out of business and now I’m lost! All I can find is the flimsy cheesecloth with holes that are way too big, and is so cheap that you can’t reuse it. That can end up being expensive. And we all know how cheap I am….

But alas I found the answer! And a permanent answer, that you won’t have to buy again and again and again.

I don’t normally shop at Walmart. Not for any ethical reason really, it’s just a total zoo. In our area there are only 3 Walmarts for 5.7 million people. Crowds are not my favorite thing. However I am the ultimate cheapskate, and so I ventured in to Walmart, bought 4 packages for these flour sack towels (for $2.79 per package) and ran for my life. (to be honest it took me two trips. The first time I was so depressed with the lack of healthy choices, and disgusted with the families in there with shopping carts full of garbage that I had to leave. But that’s a whole other topic…)

At home I washed and dried the towels and got to work straining yogurt. I loved the durability and texture of the towel, it was perfect. But I had a problem with yogurt going around the edges of the towel and into the whey. So I folded one towel in half, and sewed up the edges (by hand, because I don’t have a sewing machine) and ran a ribbon through the top for a drawstring.

Now I can pour a whole gallon of yogurt into this bag and hang it over a bowl and leave it to strain. I don’t have to babysit it, I can just come back the next day and it’s cheese…

Your other option, and I am going to do this next time, is to skip the drawstring part. These towels are the perfect shape, if you just sew up the long sides. They fit right down into a 1 gallon pitcher. Just fold the towel edges around the rim of the pitcher, and secure in place with a rubberband. Pour in your yogurt and leave it to drain.

They rinse out really easily under warm water, and can be thrown right into the wash. God, I love being cheap. 1 towel makes 2 large, gallon-sized bags. So you can make at least 10 bags for $0.27 cents per bag! That was worth the trip!

Add some herbs and homemade crackers and this is the perfect snack!

Homemade Yogurt at room temperature

my favorite breakfast

I have always loved yogurt. I already posted how to make yogurt in the crock pot. For those of you who found that method time consuming or who don’t have a crock pot you will be excited to learn that Cultures for Health has several yogurt cultures that grow just fine at room temperature.

I have purchased many products from Cultures for Health, and I am always so excited when they come in the mail. My most recent purchase was a Viili Yogurt culture from Finland.

Viili cultures at 68-78 degrees, right on your counter-top. It has a mild taste, and is moderately thick. The beautiful part is you only have to purchase the culture one time. After you make yogurt, reserve a small amount and use it to start the next batch. You can make yogurt indefinitely with just one purchase.

I love anything that helps me save money! Because of its taste and consistency it is also a good substitute for sour cream in any recipe. It makes a delicious frozen yogurt (I like it with dark chocolate or carob chips). I also strain some of the yogurt through cheesecloth until it is very thick. Then you can flavor it with any herb or spice that you like. It makes the best cream cheese cracker spread I’ve ever eaten. Now you never have to buy yogurt, ice cream, sour cream or cream cheese again. Isn’t that cool!

Viili Yogurt Instructions

Place culture in milk at a ratio of 1 Tbsp per cup of milk

Leave in warm room for 12-18 hours

Remove 1/4 cup of yogurt to use for the next batch and eat the rest!

The flavor is really good, mildly sweet. Perfect over blueberries. No additional sweetener is required.

Full of many probiotics including Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris.

Questions? Just leave a comment and I’ll try to help. This post featured Make it Yourself Monday and Mix it Up Mondays

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