Natural Rennet

10 years ago

I make home cheese and have recently planted some Lady,s Bedstraw to use it as a natural rennet. Does anyone know the method used to do this?


Comments (7)

  • tazebell
    10 years ago

    I am interested to hear more about this "natural rennet". I have been trying to make home made cottage cheese for quite some time now, but haven't hit upon the magic formula for making it from store bought, pasturized milk. In Virginia, it's illegal to sell raw milk. I would love some hints.

  • Daisyduckworth
    10 years ago

    Whole plant, or leaves and stems, are used as rennet to curdle milk and make cheeses and junkets.

    The plant parts are chopped, bruised, then soaked (infused) in the milk to 'curdle' it. It also imparts a yellow colour to the milk.

    The enzyme which causes the curdling is also found in other plants, including fig leaves, ground ivy, thistles, nettles, mallow, pineapple etc.

    I've been able to find a recipe for making rennet using nettles. I daresay the same method is used with other plants, including Lady's Bedstraw.

    Simmer 1kg (2lb) nettles, 1 litre water, 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Strain. Add to warm milk. 1 cup curdles 4 litres (quarts) of milk. Recipe can be halved or quartered.

  • maifleur01
    10 years ago

    Some cheeses are made with dried articokes. I was surprised to look at a box of Junket and find it no longer contained animal products.

  • cyrus_gardner
    10 years ago

    Very interesting. Thanks for the info, Daisy-d.
    What kind of "nettle"? and if I want to use fig leaves, How
    should use that ?. And milk temperature, 100 -110F, like yogurt?

  • msfuzz
    10 years ago

    Hey Tazebell...As to raw milk, look and see if you can skirt the "no raw milk sales" by buying a share in a dairy cow. That's how we do it here in Colorado, and a lot of other places. I will break down mine so you can get an idea of how it works & the costs involved.

    I have one share in a dairy cow from an organic, free-range, grass-fed herd about 30 miles from me. I receive my "profits" as one gallon of fresh milk per week. The share itself cost $50. This will be refunded to me should I wish to sell my share and stop receiving milk. I pay $32/mo to feed my cow & give it good medical care. I pay $8/mo for the farmer to deliver my milk to a nearby business where I pick up my milk. I also paid an initial $4 glass jar deposit for the 2 1/2 gal jars that my milk comes in.

    So, for the initial cost of $94, and a monthly cost of $40, I get 1 gallon of fresh, tasty, whole milk (and so, also 2C of delicious cream) every week. :)

    Here's a link to some places in Virginia that sell milk shares.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Milk Shares in Virginia

  • amyzi
    10 years ago

    DaisyD, what kind of milk do you use? whole, pasturized, homogenized, or fresh from cow?

  • Daisyduckworth
    10 years ago

    Heck, I don't USE the stuff! I just supplied the information you asked for (I hope)!!

    At a wild guess, I suppose the recipe is as old as the hills, long before pasteurisation etc was invented. However, I expect it will work with pasteurised etc milk - junket tablets, do, at any rate!

    One way to find out.....