July 17, 2017

Dehydrating Cheese

The other day I cleaned out the fridge in my pantry. This is the smallish second one I use for extra milk, garden pickings, eggs, seeds, and flour. Tucked away at the back of the very bottom were a couple round of goat cheese I'd made in September 2015! They were pretty hard and pretty sharp, so I decided to try my hand at dried powdered cheese.

The first step was to cut it into small pieces and grate it in my blender.

I spread it out on parchment paper and placed in my dehydrator on low.

It took about ten hours to dry. Because of the oils (butterfat) it was a little
clumpy. Some people dry theirs on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 

 To remove the clumps I ran it through the blender again.

Even though I'll store it in the fridge, I
still vacuum sealed it for better keeping.

To serve, I just add a lid from an old Parmesan
cheese container and reseal when we're done.

Dan likes Parmesan cheese, so this is something I've wanted to try. I think it's tastier than the dried Parmesan from the grocery store. But then, mine doesn't contain sawdust cellulose powder or anit-clumping agents. Mine is all real cheese. 😊

Dehydrating Cheese © July 2017 by Leigh

18 comments:

Amanda Weber said...

I had no idea you could dehydrate goat cheese that way! What recipe did you use for the cheese? I'd love to try this!

Leigh said...

Amanda, it was an experiment so I'm happy it worked out! The recipe is on an older blog post, here. I don't buy cheese cultures but have learned there are other ways to make cheese. A really excellent book for raw milk cheeses is The Art of Natural Cheesemaking by David Asher. I did a book review here.

Ed said...

I don't think I've consumed any purchased Parmesan cheese since I heard the sawdust thing. Instead, we buy some local made stuff from a place we drive by on the way down to the farm now and then. Much much better.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Now that sounds just wonderful. Who knew the lid from one of those canisters would fit a quart jar? Good on you for sharing the info.

Leigh said...

Ed, it would be wonderful to find real, locally made Parmesan! Unfortunately "cellulose power" seems to have become rather common in our food, especially the low-carb items.

Sue, you're welcome! Pretty handy about those lids!

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) What a great idea to dehydrate the Parmesan! I love the shredded fresh Parm but Alex likes his grated finely that way. We buy ours by the block, I may try to dehydrate some myself. LOL at the sawdust - I'm quite sure you're not far off there!

Leigh said...

Rain, you and Alex sound like Dan and me. But maybe Canadian dried Parmesan doesn't contain cellulose powder! I think American food manufacturers do things to food that no one else would dream of doing.

Rain said...

You got me curious so I looked "Cellulose Added To Assist Flow" is the last thing on the ingredient list. Yikes...I don't want Alex eating that crap!! We thought that we were doing much better than the "Kraft" style by buying a local brand's grated parm/romano mix, looks like it isn't much better. I think that dehydrated the next big brick of fresh Parm that I buy is a necessity now. Thanks for posting this!!! Hey maybe one day I'll MAKE my own Parm! Ooooh! :)

M.K. said...

What a great idea! it looks delicious. I love that little vacuum sealing device.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Well done! I didn't know you could dehydrate cheese. Reminds me of the saying "waste not, want not"! Nancy

Leigh said...

Rain, I had to go look up cellulose powder to see what it really is. I found answers ranging from plant fiber to wood pulp. Some defend it as a great source of dietary fiber and a good anti-caking agent, but others pointed out that it is nutritionless filler. i.e., not real food, with no government guidelines as to amount. It's almost shocking, what they put it in (ice cream?). Here's an article that gives some examples of where cellulose is found, "15 Companies Whose Products Contain Wood Pulp Cellulose".

M.K., thanks! Yeah, the vacuum sealer is great. Keeps foods fresher and so far, has helped keep things protected from pantry moths!

Nancy, I like that saying!. Kind of goes against the grain of modern thinking, but I love being able to not be wasteful. :)

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Great idea and I read a while back that there are all kinds of agents used to keep cheese from clumping. I stopped buying the pre grated stuff when I read that. I grate my own in the flavor is much much better. Great idea!

Leigh said...

Nancy, what I didn't realize is that anti-clumping agents are used on shredded fresh cheeses as well as the dried. Even organic! And you're right, you can't beat the flavor of fresh, real cheese!

Meanie said...

Leigh!
How did it taste???
:-)

Kev Alviti said...

Something I'd never even thought of before! Maybe if I ever get anything I have to milk I'd think about it. all my yoghurt I buy in powdered form.

Leigh said...

Meanie, it tastes really good! I love it sprinkled on salad or popcorn. :)

Kev, do you mean it's just-add-water yogurt? Or is that the starter? I'm really glad I tried this experiment. It's another good dairy product that was easy to make.

Sandy said...

Leigh,

A wonderful way to save your cheese pieces. I'm sure it's so much better than the shaker cheese you find in the store.

Leigh said...

Sandy, it's a tasty way to preserve those hard cheeses!