Friday, May 1, 2009

Making cheese with powdered milk

Here in the Philippines, we can't really get fresh milk. It comes in powder or in little individual serving boxes. So as a result, we don't have cheese. Well, we have what is termed "cheese", but it's just the processed log-type that has more sodium in it than a salt lick! So I emailed a wonderful lady, Rachel Paxton who runs Creative and asked if she knew of any recipes. She sent me these, Thanks Rachel!!

 3-Minute (Fat-Free!) Powdered Milk Cheeses

Making cheese at home used to be an all-day process. Now you can have fat-free cheeses for salads, sandwiches or casseroles - ready in almost an instant! Nonfat dry milk, usually non-instant, is a good basic food to keep on your pantry shelf as a source of protein. If you are storing milk, 50 pounds of dry milk powder per person should be stored; over the period of one year, this amount would provide 22.2 grams of protein per day and could be consumed as three eight-ounce glasses of milk or ½ cup of cheese. The brand of non-instant milk I use requires three cups of dry powder to make one gallon of liquid milk. Adjust the recipes to the quantities given for your particular brand of powdered milk. Good-tasting whey from the cheese-making process can be used to replace water in nearly any recipe. The sweet whey changes the flavor of the finished cheese. Whey can be reused (in place of water) up to three times in making cottage cheese, resulting in a sweeter cheese with each use. The sweet cheese can be made into sweet dips and sauces for crackers and fruit salads. (Note: If you will get a stronger, less desirable flavor with each batch.)

Uses for Homemade Cheese and Cottage Cheese

Because most homemade cheese made from powdered skim milk have the unique quality of not melting, they are more versatile than commercial dairy products. The important thing to remember is that when heated at high temperatures, they become more firm and tough, so avoid boiling. Unflavored cheeses: Soups, salads, sandwiches taco filling, stir-fry, omelets, patties, loaves, casseroles, lasagna, on freshly sliced tomatoes, or mixed with one-half commercial cottage or grated cheese. Flavored cheeses: Chip dips, sandwich fillings, casserole toppings, jerky, mixed with parmesan to use on top of pizza and spaghetti, seasoned with curry powder to use in cracked wheat and rice pilaf. Flavor-causing enzymes come from bacteria which produce acid and then release enzymes. That bacteria is found in commercial cheese making cultures, but since those cultures are expensive and have a very short shelf life, I eliminate the long culturing process and use an acid to curdle the milk while the milk is heating, often adding buttermilk or other spices and herbs. When I want a different flavor or texture or a cheese that can be aged for one-two months, I use buttermilk, yogurt or acidophilus as cultures. Drain and rinse cheese made with old, strong milk powder to improve color and flavor. I rinse the cheese first in hot water which seems to take out the strong taste, ten in cold water, which lightens the color and firms the curd.

Cheese colorings can be added to any recipe during the blending process. Dairies, some health food or preparedness stores and mail order catalogs for cheese supplies carry liquid or tablet forms of yellow coloring. Paste coloring can be obtained from stores that carry cake decorating supplies. Ordinary food coloring made for home use is not permanent and will not work as it rinses out during the rinsing and draining process. Important Helpful Hint: Always spray the inside of a warmed saucepan with lecithin-based spray and re-heat until oil browns before adding milk to the pan.

 Rennet Cheese
1 qt hot tap water
1 c. Buttermilk
2 junket rennet tablets dissolved in 1 T. Cold water
 2 c. Dry milk powder
2 T. Vegetable oil (opt.)

Blend all ingredients and place in a heavy saucepan coated with a nonstick spray. Let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Cut or stir to break into curds and cook over medium heat for five minutes. Pour curds into a strainer, rinse with hot, then cold water, and drain. Salt to taste, then refrigerate. Or, place in a cheesecloth bag and press. This is a very mild cheese, good with salt and chopped chives. Use within 3-4 days. To make cream cheese from this recipe, reduce rennet to ¼ table and add 1 c. Buttermilk when mixing ingredients. Set in a warm place overnight. After cutting set curds into cubes, place curds over medium heat, and cook five minutes. Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander and let rest 15 minutes. Gather edges of bag, secure with a rubber band and hang, or press until firm like cream cheese. Add salt if desired.

Soft Cottage Cheese
 2 c. hot water
1-1/2 c. dry milk powder
3 T. Fresh lemon juice or white vinegar

 Blend water and dry milk and pour into saucepan (foam and all). Sprinkle lemon juice or vinegar slowly around edges and gently stir over medium heat just until milk begins to curdle, separating into curds and whey. Remove from heat and let rest one minute. Pour into strainer or colander, rinse with hot, then cold water. Press out water with back of spoon. Makes about 1-1/2 c. curds. If desired, moisten rinsed curds with a little buttermilk before serving and add salt to taste. Refrigerate if not used immediately. Whey from fresh milk powder can be used in place of water in breads and soups.

 Quick Soft Pressed Cheese
2 c. boiling water 1-1/2 c. dry milk powder
3 T. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
 3-4 T. fresh lemon juice
cheese coloring tablets (opt.)

Blend water, milk and oil, allowing foam to settle slightly. If colored cheese is desired, add ½ tablet cheese coloring (or cake decorating paste color) while blending. Pour into hot saucepan coated with a nonstick spray and heat to at least 160 degrees. Add lemon juice and continue to stir until mixture curdles. Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander. Rinse curds with warm water, then salt to taste. Place cheese in cloth between two plates or spoon into a cheese press. Apply weight and let sit for ½ hour or longer, depending on how firm you want the cheese to be. Remove from plates or cheese press, rinse, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Use within one month or freeze. This cheese can be sliced, grated, or crumbled.

For Smoky Cheese, add
½ t. Liquid Smoke flavoring and
½-1 t. salt after rinsing curds.

 For additional fast powdered milk cheese recipes, along with recipes for yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, order your copy of Rita's Powdered Milk Cheeses for only $5.50 (includes postage) by calling toll-free (800) 484-9377, ext. 6276.


  1. Wow! Thanks! That is great. How do they taste? So, they don't melt....Would you be able to use any of these cheese for pizza or something like that? I am trying to figure out what to do about cheese for our long term storage.
    Thanks for taking the time to type this out.

  2. Hello, I found your blog through frugalhomeandhealth, Thanks for the recipes for cheese :)
    *New Follower.I Loooooove your blog :)
    I am for sure coming back :)

  3. you should consider your background. i cant read anything.

  4. What is this lousy screen I have to look through? It is annoying! Notify me when it is gone.