Homemade Cream Cheese Recipe- Easy and Simple

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I have to say that I just love cream cheese. I hadn't had it in a long time, since I have an issue with dairy.

As of 2 years ago, even having goats' milk yogurt made me feel nauseous, and even little bits of butter made me feel sick. But, I've been working a lot on gut healing, with lots of probiotics and fermented foods and healing bone broths and avoiding gluten, etc... and it seems my sensitivity to dairy has lessened. I now am able to have goat's cheeses and sheep cheeses (haven't tried massive quantities), without having trouble at all. So I decided to try out cream cheese, since I've missed it. It is rather expensive to buy cream cheese locally, but I am able to make my own cream cheese pretty easily with sour cream, something that costs much less than cream cheese does.

I made my cream cheese yesterday, and had some last night. Heavenly.
Then I had some again this morning.
My only reaction? Some mild nausea. Nothing debilitating, and definitely no stomach aches.

While I'd rather not be nauseous (I had enough of that when pregnant), I'm definitely game for a little nausea occasionally if it means I can have dairy.
Not planning on having any large amounts of dairy, but it's really nice to know that I can have dairy here and there without paying a price.
And I guess it shows that by working on eating gut healing foods, you really are able to heal your gut and become desensitized to things you used to be sensitive to before.

So here's how I make my own cream cheese.
Not a lot of work at all.
All that's required is patience.

To start off, you'll need to buy sour cream.
Ok, you're already saying that this isn't fully from scratch. True. So if you want to make your own sour cream entirely from scratch, apparently you can do it like this or this, but for me, buying sour cream is cheaper since it is relatively cheap here and cream is not.

I used 4 200 mililiter containers of sour cream, which works out to 3 1/3 cups sour cream.

Pour your sour cream into a thin cloth. You can use a thin scarf, a cheesecloth, a cloth napkin, etc. I used a thin woven towel.

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Tie up the cloth so you have a little bundle of sour cream in a little pack, looking like this. I find it easiest to just rubberband it.

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Tie it on to something so that it is hanging and not sitting in something. Many people tie it on their faucet. My sink is generally in use, so I tied it onto my door of my cabinet.

Place a container under it, because it will drip whey out, and you don't want that dripping everywhere. And you can use the whey for various things.

Let it drip out for hours. 8-12 hours ideally, but if you're impatient, you can do it a little shorter.

You might be tempted to squeeze out the liquid, but don't. You'll squeeze out the sour cream, most likely, as well.

Once it is finished dripping, remove the cream cheese from the cloth. The outside will be drier than the inside, most likely, and molded to the shape of your cloth.

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Mash up your cream cheese, and mix it with salt to taste. If you prefer flavored cream cheese, like cream cheese and chives, chop it up and mix it in now.

This resulted in 2 cups of cream cheese for me, if you're wondering how the ratios played out. So my final amount was 60% of my original, if you want to figure out costs. If I did the math in my head right, to figure out how much this cream cheese would cost per cup, multiply your cost of sour cream per cup by 1.67 to get the cost of the cream cheese per cup.

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Use as you would any cream cheese. It is easy to spread. It has the texture of whipped cream cheese.

Enjoy! I know I certainly did. I just licked this from the bowl, I enjoyed it that much. And then I spread it on rice cakes. But man, it's good plain too!

Are you a fan of cream cheese? How much does it cost to buy locally? Do you buy it often? What is your favorite way to use it? Have you ever heard of or made your own cream cheese? How does the cost of sour cream compare to the cost of cream cheese for you locally? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Linking up to Natural Living MondayMostly Homemade Monday

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I didn't know that you could make cream cheese at home! I'll have to do a price comparison (sour cream is comparatively expensive) to make sure the numbers work out, but if it does work out I sense a lot of cheesecakes....

    1. How much does sour cream cost locally for you? And cream cheese?

  2. everywhere online says that you use yogurt, i havent found one place that says you use sour cream for cream cheese, can you confirm it from somewhere? what does it's taste closely resemble?
    how long does it last in the fridge? and how long is the longest you can hang it out to dry.

    1. Straining yogurt to make cheese doesn't get cream cheese- you get yogurt cheese, which has a different taste. This is cream cheese, not yogurt cheese. It's just similar preparation methods. I am not confirming this via other sites on the internet- this is a known trick locally- many american expats who are looking for cream cheese but dont want to pay for the overpriced stuff available locally make this, and all have good experience with this. So I'm confirming it from my own experience and the experience of my friends.
      It tastes exactly like cream cheese...
      It should last at least a week or two in the fridge- I don't know how long exactly because ours always gets finished faster than that. And I wouldn't hang it longer than 12 hours out of the fridge.

    2. thanks. i tried it, added chives, and my husband and kids love it. i didnt taste it though, im not too keen on cream cheese, but it smells like it and looks like it.

  3. I love making homemade cheese! Thanks for sharing last week on Mostly Homemade Mondays! If you get a minute, hop over today and link up a few more of your favorite posts: http://www.thesustainablecouple.com/2014/06/mostly-homemade-mondays-week-83.html

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