How to Make Whey and Cream Cheese the Old Fashioned Way


Whey. The Old Fashioned Whey!

Get it??

I’m a sucker for a play on words ūüėČ

You can use whey in soaking beans and grains. You can also use whey as the starter culture to lacto-ferment foods such as sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi, salsa, carrots, etc.

I’ve also read via Nourishing Traditions that you can put a tablespoon of whey in a little bit of water and drink it to soothe a tummy ache. I’ll have to try that next time.

I learn so much when I blog.

The instructions that I am going to give you are to make whey from yogurt. You can also make whey from your milk (go RAW!) but of course you must let your milk sit on the counter covered for 3-4 days until it separates before you can begin your whey/cream cheese making.

The cream cheese you will get from this process will not be like the cream cheese in the store. It may be a little less creamy. I find that if I add salt to it, it is delicious!

The process using yogurt will give you whey and subsequently cream cheese as you are separating the two substances.

You can also find instructions on this process on page 87 of your handy-dandy copy of Nourishing Traditions.

Here is what you need:

Yogurt– 1 lb. preferably made from raw milk or whole milk yogurt with no additives from the store.

(Nourishing Traditions says to use 2 qts. but I find that is too much at one time for me.)


Mesh Strainer

Large Mixing Bowl and/or jar

Cupboard or wooden spoon to hang your yogurt on to elevate and increase drippage

Glass container– to store whey. I use a mason jar.

Covered container- to store cream cheese.

The process:

1. Line your strainer with cheesecloth and place in a large mixing bowl to separate whey from cream cheese. A large portion of the separation happens with this step. 

If you are using thick yogurt or greek yogurt you can skip step number one since you will need a little more gravity to separate to begin with. 

2. To continue separation, tie the cheesecloth around the milk solids and attach to a wooden spoon or cupboard (somewhere where it can be elevated and allowed to drip with more gravitational pull)


3. Allow all the drippage possible. When drippage is complete your whey and cream cheese is ready. I usually let mine drip overnight. 

4. Transfer whey to a glass container and store in your refrigerator. Whey can be kept for 6 months refrigerated. 

5. Salt cream cheese to taste and transfer to a covered container and store in you refrigerator for up to 1 month. 


Enjoy your oh-so-useful whey and cream cheese! And you probably have some yogurt left over! Three foods from one. Genius.


WBGW: Cod Liver Oil…Fermented!


We have all been hearing a ton about the vast health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. But I’m not just talking about any old¬†cod liver or fish oil. I’m talking about FERMENTED cod liver oil. Uncapsulated, liquid, fermentey-goodness. The stuff Roman warriors downed before battle. Fermenting cod liver oil increases the nutritional content immensely.
Paris: Pont d'Iéna - Roman Warrior
According to Ann Marie at Cheeseslave,

cod liver oil was traditionally processed via fermentation, and not processed with heat. She said that the fishermen would throw the livers into a barrel, add a little sea water, and then leave it to ferment.”

Natural fermentation, lacto-fermentation,¬†and raw are all the recent¬†rage when it comes to food–for good reason.¬†Why not treat your cod liver oil with the same respect? Most fish oil found on the shelf at the store is highly processed at high temperatures. We all know that heating things (pasteurization) kills beneficial nutrients and bacteria, and denatures enzymes.

Fermenting cod liver oil takes about 6 months to a year. So you can see why suppliers decided to ditch that route. Unless you are up to the task of fermenting it yourself, there is only one fermented cod liver oil on the market and it is made by Green Pastures.

In my readings from Nourishing Traditions I learned that one teaspoon of regular cod liver oil contains 5,000 IU Vitamin D but with only a half teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil you also get 5,000 IU. That is 2x the amount of Vitamin D!

According to Nourishing Traditions,

“Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorous absorption…The body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Although some claim that we can obtain all the Vitamin D we need by spending a short amount of time each day in the sun, Price found that healthy primitive diets were rich in Vitamin D–containing foods like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab.”

Interestingly enough, Weston A. Price found that the diet of primitive people contained Vitamin D amounts ten times higher than the standard American diet.

Enough about Vitamin D. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also contains twice the amount of Vitamin A. From Weston A. Price’s studies,¬†it has been discovered that without¬†Vitamin A from an animal source your¬†body cannot utilize protein, mineral, or water-soluble vitamins. That should¬†shock you!¬†This means that carrots will NOT do the trick for you. You need to be getting a very high amount of animal fat in your diet to utilize all of the vitamins from vegetables. Sorry Vegans,¬†you’re SOL!

Besides the Vitamin A and D factor, fermented cod liver oil is a very effective anti-viral and¬†anti-inflammatory agent, reduces the risk of heart disease and learning disorders, effectively treats eczema and acne, and is¬†a “superfood” for brain function.

Green Pastures sells fermented cod liver oil in a myriad of different flavors to mask the unpleasant taste and smell. Actually, the word unpleasant is an understatement. NASTY is more like it. Don’t let this deter you from downing this superfood. I can proudly say that I’ve progressed from putting it into capsules myself to successfully shooting it down by the spoonful usually with a raw milk chaser.

For more interesting articles regarding Fermented Cod Liver Oil check out:

Holistic Kid: Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Cheeseslave: Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Also, check out Twenty-Two Reasons Not To Go Vegetarian

Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus)