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Favorite cream cheese stand-in

Buttercup Feb 23, 2004 09:36 AM

We consume a lot of whipped cream cheese in our house. I would like to find a lower-fat substitute, but not a reduced-fat cream cheese. We have tried a bunch of these, including the Tofutti version, and they're pretty awful. What I'm looking for is another cheese entirely--that behaves like whipped cream cheese, is lower in fat and has a nice taste and consistency of its own. Any thoughts?

  1. b
    Buttercup Feb 24, 2004 10:22 AM

    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions: neufchatel, fromage blanc, jazzed-up cottage cheese, strained yogurt... I will try them all.

    We use the cream cheese as a spread, mostly on our daily bagels (poppy or multi-seed from Iggy's, our local wonderful baker), though my two-year-old daughter is quite fond of it on graham crackers.

    1. s
      Sarah W-R Feb 23, 2004 11:39 PM

      I love fromage blanc--it's mild-tangy and creamy, with a thinner consistency than cream cheese, but still highly spreadable. It is amazingly low-calorie yet still tasty and good. Here in Boston I buy Vermont Butter & Cheese Company brand at Whole Foods or the bigger Star Markets.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sarah W-R
        LisaPizza Feb 24, 2004 09:38 AM

        I second fromage blanc. In So Cal, I get Bellwether Farms at Trader Joe's or natural foods stores.

      2. d
        Dorothy Feb 23, 2004 08:55 PM

        Very different texture and flavor, but try both cottage cheese (I like the large curd) and ricotta. Either with a grind of fresh pepper and a sprinkle of fresh or freeze-dried chives . . . mmmm.

        1. r
          RebeccaG Feb 23, 2004 07:19 PM

          Quark. Which I think is basically yogurt cheese, for those too lazy to do their own straining.

          1. d
            danna Feb 23, 2004 02:35 PM

            Can you tell us more about what you're using it for?

            1. d
              DS Feb 23, 2004 10:51 AM

              How about a very mild, spreadable goat cheese like Chavrie?

              1. e
                EMDB Feb 23, 2004 10:36 AM

                Yoghurt cheese, made from plain or flavored yoghurt (if you like flavored cream cheese).

                Line a fine mesh strainer or colander with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or unprinted paper towels, place strainer over a bowl, pour in favorite brand of yoghurt, and let drain. I usally let it drain overnight. The longer it drains, the thicker the consistency. If you really like it, they make a container with strainer just for making the cheese.
                It's good in other recipes calling for cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta as well.

                1. g
                  GG Mora Feb 23, 2004 10:00 AM

                  Neufchatel. Fat content 6.5g/oz. vs. 10g/oz. for full-fat cream cheese.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: GG Mora
                    dude Feb 23, 2004 10:20 AM

                    I believe that cream cheese was invented by Breakstone trying to reproduce Nuefchatel

                    1. re: GG Mora
                      Science Chick Feb 23, 2004 11:09 AM

                      I thought that Neufchatel WAS the same things as "Light Cream Cheese"....??!!

                      1. re: Science Chick
                        Caitlin Wheeler Feb 23, 2004 12:40 PM

                        It depends on the brand. Light or Low Fat, or (shudder) nonfat cream cheese is NOT Neufchatel. And it's disgusting. Neufchatel is sold under the Philadelphia brand 1/3 less fat cream cheese, which I think is different from their light cream cheese, and I haven't seen it in other brands.

                        1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
                          kc girl Feb 24, 2004 09:22 AM

                          An Neufchatel does not taste like a "light" cream chese, though it is 1/3 less fat. Good alternative with full creamy flavor.

                      2. re: GG Mora
                        AndieCat Feb 23, 2004 02:32 PM

                        Neufchatel is great, not just a less-fattening cream cheese substitute, but a great cheese in its own right. I like it better than cream cheese.

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