DIY Cheese Kits, Books & Cheese Smoothies – Hit or Miss?

Apparently McDonald’s in Japan decided cheese smoothies are definitely a hit, not a miss. They’ve added cheese smoothies to the menu for autumn. When you take the name at face value it does sound rather odd. I’m imagining chunks of tasty cheese in a blender….

A vote for savoury smoothies

blender-girl-smoothies-book-tess-masters-recipesI’m really getting into savoury smoothies though. More and more I’m craving savoury snacks in favour of sweet ones. 99% of smoothies are sweet so it’s not easy to find yummy savoury smoothies, but Tess Masters has a few gems in her book ‘The Blender Girl Smoothies’.

Tess creates legendary smoothies with some unusual ingredients; they really open up your smoothie-eyes and create new possibilities and flavour combinations. No more boring old berries & yoghurt…. Bring on Spicy Mango Magic with limes and chillies, Salty Alkalaid with kale, lime and garlic, and Spicy Gazpacho Grab (my favourite!) with peppers, onion and coriander.

Yoghurt and Cheese are the same thing right?

everyday-fermentation-handbook-guide-fermenting-foodTonnes of smoothie recipes are based on yoghurt. Berries and yoghurt. Banana and yoghurt. Anyone can make a good smoothie with yoghurt and fruit. So, considering cheese (such as Ricotta) is made from whey, and other cheeses are made from milk, it’s not that weird after all. The creamy taste of ricotta and cottage cheese can be really good in a variety of smoothies.

You won’t find smoothies with cheese in The Blender Girl book; these recipes are gluten-free, vegan and Paleo friendly. However, Branden Byers book ‘the Everyday Fermentation Handbook‘ has some awesome recipes for diy fermenting. Ricotta cheese for example is as simple as:

Heat whey on medium heat until remaining milk solids separate. This will usually happen around 82-88C. Skim off the milk solids and place in a sieve lined with fine cheesecloth. Allow whey to drip for a few minutes up to 2 hours. The longer it strains, the thicker the resulting ricotta. Use within 2-4 days.

Make your own cheese for smoothies

Ricotta is easy, as described above. Mozarella… a different story. Branden Byers describes this as ‘not the easiest cheese to make, but it sure is fun to stretch when it all comes together’. It involves thermophilic starter culture, calcium chloride and animal rennet. I’m a veggie so I have a problem with animal rennet.

Check out the description of how animal rennet is obtained from the Vegetarian Society:

In cheese making, for milk to separate into curds and whey (curdling), the process requires the addition of rennet. Rennet contains the enzyme chymosin. Rennet can be sourced from the abomasum (fourth stomach) of newly-born calves where the chymosin aids digestion and absorption of milk. Adult cows do not have this enzyme. Chymosin is extracted from slaughtered calves by washing and drying the stomach lining, which is cut into small pieces and macerated in a solution of boric acid/brine for 4-5 days.

Uhm, no thank you. Calves are all about cuteness and big soft eyes for me, not washing and drying stomach linings!

DIY vegan cheese making kits

I’m getting myself a Mad Millies Vegan Cheese Kit – how much fun are these!

These Vegan Cheese Kits are:

  • Vegan.
  • Gluten and dairy free.
  • Ready in less than a day, just add your choice of nuts.
  • No artificial flavours or preservatives.
  • Makes up to 3.6kg of cheeses.

3.6kg of cheese for $59.95 plus a whole lot of entertainment, artisan-vegan-cheese-book-biomenot a bad deal! Combine it with the Artisan Vegan Cheese book by Miyoko Schinner. Miyoko is a gourmet restaurateur and vegan food expert. This 149-page book includes:

Secrets for making homemade non-dairy cheeses that retain all the complexity and sharpness of their dairy counterparts, while incorporating nutritious nuts and plant-based milks.

From ‘everyday to gourmet’ indeed!


Back to Cheese Smoothies

Actually though, when you think about it, it’s not that crazy. Cheese cake is sweet and has cheese. Carrot cake has cream cheese icing (the good ones anyway). Cheese and sweet go hand in hand after all!

I tried to validate the claim about McDonald’s cheese smoothies; I went to the website of McDonald’s Japan, but I can’t read a word of it. Auto-translate gave a server error so I was left with statements like:


Which seems to point to burgers. I hope I haven’t just written something really offensive!

McDonald’s smoothie features mascarpone cheese, berries and grapes and a berry syrup on top. Doesn’t sounds that bad after all.

Have you made cheese smoothies? My cottage cheese smoothie was a flop; have yours worked out better?