Delightfully creamy with a slight tang, this probiotic sour cream is a great addition to taco night! Learn how to make a jar of sour cream at home using our top two super simple recipes.
In our household we love dairy.
While I have yet to master the art of cheese making, cheese from our grocer is also a popular dairy item on our homestead. Actually, as much as my husband likes it, I’d consider cheese to be it’s own food group and perhaps a necessity to life for him.
I don’t personally drink a glass of milk but I do love a good gut-healthy, probiotic cup of kefir every day. I also enjoy finding new ways to use dairy. Maybe to make butter. Or test out a new frozen yogurt flavor. Or make a block of rich cream cheese. I know my family will delight in trying my concoctions and I am always seeking methods to make more food at home rather than purchase it in store.
My latest dairy adventure was learning how to make sour cream. Initially, I was intrigued by the thought of culturing sour cream and receiving all of its fermented, probiotic goodness. But as I delved in deeper, I realized that it was incredibly easy to make sour cream at home. Not only did it save me a trip to the store on taco night but it was also made without the added thickening agents and other unusual ingredients that store bought sour cream often had in it.
Easy? Healthy? And full of nutrients?
2 Ways to Make Easy Homemade Sour Cream
Sour cream pairs well with so many dishes. Tacos and fajitas or really any Mexican food definitely calls for a scoop of sour cream. But it also makes a great addition to Italian noodle bakes, pancakes, cheesecake and more. And if you culture the cream, it’s a great way to get probiotics into those that resist eating fermented foods like sauerkraut.
There are a variety of ways to make sour cream but my two favorite are below. The first way is the easiest. Simply strain the whey out of a quart of yogurt. In 12 hours, you’ll have slightly tangy, creamy and thick sour cream. I find this is a great way to use up leftover yogurt in our fridge.
The next best way to make sour cream is by using a starter culture called mesophilic. Mesophilic culture is often used to make hard cheeses like cheddar, colby, monterey jack and more. By using a small amount of the culture, you can turn a carton of milk into sour cream or homemade cream cheese. Heavy whipping cream is the best option to yield the thickest sour cream. You can use a combination or cream and whole milk but the consistency will be thinner.
How to Make Sour Cream Step By Step
Making sour cream at home couldn’t be easier. All you need are a couple ingredients and a little time. Here are are favorite top two ways to make sour cream at home.
How to Make Sour Cream With Yogurt
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1 quart unflavored whole milk greek yogurt (preferably your own homemade yogurt)
Quality cheesecloth such as this organic cotton cheesecloth
Set a fine mesh strainer over a deep, medium size bowl. Line the strainer with a double or triple layer of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the strainer.
Tie up any excess cloth. Place the bowl with the strainer into the fridge and allow to drain for 12 hours.
Scoop the fresh sour cream into a sealed container such as a mason jar with a leak proof lid. Store in the fridge. Use within a few weeks.
The remaining liquid in the bottom of the bowl is called whey. You can discard it. Or save it and use it for countless uses such as making whey soda, baking a lemon whey pie, to quick start fermented foods, feed it to your dogs or chickens or pour it on your compost.
How to Make Sour Cream Using a Starter Culture
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp mesophilic starter culture
In a large saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 86° to 90°. Transfer the warm cream to a bowl. Off heat, very gently whisk in the starter culture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 12-24 hours until thick and sour. While the sour cream is culturing, I prefer to sit my sour cream either next to my oven or in the oven with the light on next to a cup of steamy hot water. It creates a perfect warm environment.
Once the cream has finished culturing, place the sour cream in the fridge to chill. As it cools, it will turn thicker and become the perfect addition to tacos, nachos or any of your favorite meals.