Fruit and homemade quark cottage cheese.

Home made quark-style cottage cheese

RECIPES FOR MAKING YOUR OWN QUARK COTTAGE CHEESE:

Quark mixed with cold-pressed linseed oil is the core of the Budwig Diet
The creamy blend of quark mixed with cold-pressed linseed oil is the core of the Budwig Diet

Quark

Quark is the name given to some of the simple cottage cheeses made in Germany and other parts of Europe; it provides the ideal protein levels to blend with linseed (flaxseed) oil for making the Budwig cream for the muesli on the Budwig diet. Any similar level (10-12%) protein cottage cheese will do for mixing with the cold-pressed linseed (flax) oil.

Why make you own cottage cheese?

Quark cottage cheese bought in Waitrose
Quark cottage cheese bought in Waitrose

Of course you can buy cottage cheese/quark but if you want to ensure the quality of your the milk that goes into your quark your best option is to make your own  cottage cheese/quark.   Making your own soft cheese is incredibly easy and satisfying.  It gives you the option to choose what what sort of milk your quark/cottage cheese is made from – organic, raw, goat or just milk from a specific herd.  Those with a compromised immune system should consider using pateurised milk or heat milk to destroy unwanted bugs before use.

Quark: before starting

Making quark/cottage cheese, no matter how you make your curd, always follows the same basics.  Try to use glass, ceramic, plastic, wood; avoid any metal. Ensure everything is very clean.

Quark: the basic method

Quark or cottage cheese really is as simple as turning the protein in milk into coagulated curds so you separate it from the liquid whey portion.  First you acidify the milk and it curdles.  Then strain you strain it though folded muslin approximately overnight until you have a relatively dry curd.

Milk “curdles”  easily and there are many ways of turning milk into curd for quark. The resultant quark/cottage cheese is slightly different depending on the method used.  The method you use is really just a question of personal choice and taste.

Straining “curdled” milk

Which ever route you use to curdle milk once strained you will have a simple, quark-like, soft cottage-style cheese.  Simply position a sieve or colander over a clean bowl, line with fine muslin, clean cloth (muslin or cloth can be suspended over a bowl without a sieve) or reusable paper towel, pour in the curds and whey from one of the above processes. Tie ends above curds (so as to prevent whey siphoning out) and leave overnight to strain.  Your quark/soft cheese is now made.

Quark basic ingredients

Fresh or pasteurised milk from cows, sheep, goats, buffalo or whatever and some agent to sour it, either added or naturally occurring bacteria-starter or some other souring agent or enzyme.

Here are a few ways of making quark:

Adding rennet to warm milk to make curd cheese
Adding rennet to warm milk to make curd cheese

With rennet

Warm two pints of milk to blood temperature 37o C (no more). Add 2 teaspoons of rennet, stir and leave covered and undisturbed for 30 minutes, when you come back to it the milk will have thickened.

With lemon juice or vinegar

Warm two pints of milk to 85 oC, add juice of one lemon, stir and leave covered and undisturbed for at least 10 minutes.

From kefir

This makes a fully live, pro-biotic cheese which benefits the digestion and immune system. First make your kefir (never use metal with kefir) from kefir grains or starter culture. (Kefir starter is a combo of bacteria and good bugs which makes cheese with a lovely fresh creamy flavour). Follow the instructions for making the kefir (which is really just adding kefir culture to milk, which can be raw or not as you wish, and leaving at room temperature). After 2 days it will have become really thick and easily strained (if using kefir grains remove before straining). The strained curd is as close as you can get to the original quark.

From Yoghurt

Another way to make an organic cottage cheese/quark is to use organic unflavoured yogurt.   Shop- bought or home-made yoghurt can be be strained to make cheese.

From a cheese starter

These can be bought on the internet, just follow the instructions for the type of milk you are using.  Starter cultures for quark style cottage cheese are available from several companies.  GN Ltd,, Orchard-Dairy.  For others just google, “quark starter culture UK”

 Raw milk soured naturally

Left out of the fridge raw milk will sour, go “off” and the curds can be separated. However you should be aware of the health risks associated with raw milk and the “souring process” should be done at the correct temperature.  Many people consider raw milk a healthy option as the proteins haven’t been damaged by heat and it is thought that the naturally-occurring bacteria can be beneficial for the digestion and immune system.

The steps in making your own quark style cheese

These pictures were using a kefir starter but the general process is the same whichever method you use to acidify and curdle your milk:

Pictures of making quark cottage cheese

Add kefir starter to milk
Add kefir starter to milk to make cheese
Cover, leave at room temperature. Give starter culture time to work,
Cover, leave at room temperature. Give starter culture time to work,
After 2-3 days curds are ready to strain.  The warmer it is the quicker the curds form.
After 2-3 days curds are ready to strain. The warmer it is the quicker the curds form.

 

jug lined with muslin
jug lined with muslin
milk curds straining through muslin over jug
milk curds straining through muslin over jug, leave overnight in fridge
finished quark style cottage cheese
Next morning dry, strained, finished quark style cottage cheese
finished quart soft cottage cheese 121g from one quart of organic raw skimmed milk
finished quart soft cottage cheese 121g from one quart of organic raw skimmed milk, ready to add cold-pressed linseed oil or store in fridge

 Finding raw milk for quark/cottage cheese

Some people prefer to use raw milk to make a quark-style cheese, it is available at some farmers’ markets and some farms supply online. Raw cows’ milk can only be bought direct; the Natural Food Finder site helps you track it down.  Be aware of all the health arguments for and against live milk before you make the decision to use it.

I see there is worldwide support for the Budwig protocol through various forums. This website shares information that makes it easier to follow the Budwig Diet in the UK and keep it as close as possible to Johanna Budwig’s original diet. Linseed oil and ground linseed has certainly helped me, to take more control of my own health and seeing my health improve by doing so. This is why I feel this protocol needs to be more widely known. This Budwig diet is too good not to share. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. I highly recommend Flax Farm for all of the products I use for my recipes.