It's so easy to make your own cream cheese (yogurt cheese, actually) and you need hardly any equipment, even less ingredients, and even lesser effort.
Homemade Yogurt cheese/ Greek yogurt
Ingredients (easily reduced or doubled)
1 cup plain whole (full-fat please) organic yogurt
A large bowl or container
Cheesecloth or a thin cloth or a kitchen towel
1. Set-up as below:
2. Do nothing.
3. Leave it for a few hours and you get thick creamy Greek yogurt.
Leave it overnight and you get 1 cup of firm yet creamy plain cheese (and 1 cup of whey).
To be on the safe side, the cream cheese should last until the expiry date on the yogurt.
You can add also anything you want to flavour it!
Garlic and Herbs Cream Cheese
1 cup of cream (yogurt) cheese
2 tbsp garlic powder (you can use mashed/pureed garlic, but careful, it won't last as long. roasted garlic would be divine.)
1 tsp each of dried parsley and mixed herbs
sea salt, black pepper
Compare this to the garlic-and-herbs cream cheese you find on the shelves:
Dried garlic, icing sugar, parsley, garlic oil, tapioca dextrin, stabiliser, vegetable oil, whey powder, basil.
Here are some other combinations you can try:
Sundried tomato and Basil (see how to make your own slow-dried tomatoes!)
Onion and Chive
Raspberry/ Strawberry/ Blueberry (for a sweet treat)
Any ideas? I've heard of the weirdest flavours.
You can even leave it plain, for a very versatile cream cheese. (cream cheese and smoked salmon! if I ever afford the latter..)