Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Miss Muffet

Did you know that Little Miss Muffet was sitting on her tuffet eating clabbered raw milk?? And that dadgum spider just had to come along and spoil her probiotic intake!

Just why did Miss Muffet's mother give her a snack of soured raw milk? 

Several reasons. Mrs. Muffet was clearly a very smart momma who knew what was best for her little girl. Curds and whey have many benefits, including:
  • the improvement of intestinal flora to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria;
  • the production of gluthathione, an immune-boosting antioxidant;
  • helping wounds heal more quickly;
  • and it contains a component that has been shown to reduce dental plaque and carries.
I had no clue what 'curds and whey' were until this past year. Now, making curds and whey is part of my regular routine in the kitchen. Without whey, I couldn't lacto-ferment our salsa, bean dip, or pickles. I never have to worry about our raw milk going bad, because I can use it no matter how old it gets. The older it gets, the more beneficial bacteria are growing in it. 

Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk doesn't turn putrid when it sours. Do NOT try this with store-bought, pasteurized milk! It WILL make you sick! Clabbering raw milk until it separates into curds and whey should only be done with RAW milk. Unadulterated, unprocessed, straight-from-the-cow milk. 

You can find these instructions on several websites and blogs, but my hubby bought me a Nikon D3100 for Christmas {woo hoo!}, and I'm finding as many excuses as I can to play with it!! Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist, has a great video blog on clabbering raw milk too. It's very simple, and as long as you've got some raw milk in your fridge, you probably have everything else!

You'll need a two clean glass bowls, an unbleached white tea towel or cheesecloth, and a rubber band. Pour any amount of raw milk into one of the glass bowls and leave in a warm place (such as in your oven with the light on or on your kitchen countertop). Allow it to sit for 24-48 hours, checking periodically to see if it forms a thick later of curds on top. Beware: your kitchen WILL smell like sour milk. It's unpleasant, but goes away as soon as this process is finished. I promise.

As soon as the milk is clabbered, lay the towel or cheesecloth in the other glass bowl and pour the clabbered milk into the towel.

Bring the ends of the towel together, tie with the rubber band, and hang over the glass bowl. I like to hang it by my cabinet knobs.

Then let her drip. I usually do this in the evening so that the whey can drip all night long. By morning, I've got a bunch of whey in the bowl and curds in the towel

The curds can be eaten, as they are essentially cottage cheese. You can also use the curds as homemade cream cheese. I like to put the curds in my food processor with a few strawberries and some maple syrup to make raw strawberry cream cheese.

It is amazing how much liquid separates from the milk solids.

Store the whey in the fridge in glass jars. It will keep for six months or more. {I've never had it go bad or even get the slightest growth of mold.} Store the curds in the same whey, errrr...way. 

Now you've got plenty of whey to lacto-ferment sauerkraut, pickles, salsa, beet kvass, apple chutney, and many, many more recipes out of Nourishing Traditions.

COMING SOON: my super yummy salsa recipe!!!


Becky Dietz said...

But why was Miss Muffet chubby?

(I actually can't believe you do this!!)

[darci @ the good life] said...

Hey there!

I just want to make sure you got my email! I replied to your comment on my post, but I'm not sure if you have "auto reply" set-up in blogger. Anyway - just email me or leave me a comment with your email address if you didn't receive it. :) :)