Homemade Sour Cream

We use it all the time. It also works as a cream cheese, too. This was published on my Suite 101 site a while ago:

People around the world have discovered a thickened homemade yogurt that acts as the perfect replacement for sour cream. Make this sour cream substitute in less than 24 hours. It’s a healthy substitute for the real thing, and can be made with skim or whole milk.Ingredients for the Sour Cream and Cream Cheese Substitute

  • 16 cups of milk
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered milk to thicken the liquid
  • 1 cup culture (fresh yogurt from a store of part of the previous batch of homemade yogurt)

Cooking Accessories for the Substitute

  • Metal cooking pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Large crock pot with removable crock
  • Strainer
  • White, tight-knit fabric

Make a Homemade Yogurt Base

Pour the milk into the metal cooking pot and begin heating. Stir in the powdered milk and heat the liquid until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps kill off bad bacteria, and brings it to a point where the milk won’t curdle. Remove the liquid from the stove.

Plug in the shell of the crock pot and set the heat on “low.” Pour the hot milk from the metal cooking pot into the crock and set it aside to cool until it reaches 108-112 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches this temperature, add the culture and thoroughly stir. Put the lid on the crock and slip it back into the heated crock shell. Unplug the crock pot and let sit for eight to 12 hours.

Make the Homemade Sour Cream Substitute

Line a strainer with the clean, white fabric. White paper towels or cheesecloth can be used as a substitute for the fabric, but they might disintegrate into the final product. Pour the yogurt into the fabric over a sink or bowl and let the fluid drain through the fabric.

The fluid coming out is called whey. Let the yogurt drain for many hours until the mixture is thickened to a desired state. Some people skim the liquid off the top to use as yogurt and keep the thick under-layer for a sour cream substitute. Store the sour cream substitute in a tightly sealed container.

Uses for Sour Cream Substitute

Use the sour cream substitute for dips and spreads just like store bought products. With the whey drained out, the substitute is better for diabetics than ordinary sour cream. It is a healthy sour cream substitute since the yogurt is is made from contains essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, magnesium and carbohydrates. The culture combined with the milk provides a ‘good’ bacteria that benefits an individual’s digestive tract.