Before you look at these pictures and freak out, they’re dog treats. Definitely not for you to eat…although you could if you were really desperate. Or just plain weird.
I’m not judging.
So, have you ever seen or heard of Himalayan chews?
They’re made from yaks milk somewhere in Nepal. The chews are super hard and they last longer than traditional chews. The only downside is the price. I buy them here and there, but buying 4 in the appropriate sizes for my dogs costs about $60. Himalayan chews are basically a firm cheese that is sliced and then smoked until dry. So I figured it couldn’t be that hard to replicate, well, if you forget the whole yak in the mountains of Nepal part.
My dogs loved these chews and I intend to make them again very soon. Because I have 3 large dogs, I think I’ll make a double batch in the future and try to get bigger/thicker slices for them. The chews worked really well for my small dog, but they didn’t last very long with the big guys. So, if you have small dogs that are 25 pounds or less, these will work well. If you have big dogs I suggest doubling the recipe and cutting thick chunks that are long enough for them to chew on.
Remember, these are meant to be chewed and not swallowed whole. If you have a dog that tends to inhale things without chewing, I don’t suggest these or any hard chew.
Here is my cheese after being hung and then weighed down in the fridge overnight.
DIY Himalayan Chews
- 1 Gallon skim milk
- 3 tsp. Liquid smoke
- 9 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- Cheese cloth
- Line a colander with cheesecloth and set aside.
- Bring milk to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring often. Be careful not to scald the milk.
- Once boiling, add lemon juice and liquid smoke. As you stir you should start to see the milk curdling.
- Pour milk mixture into colander lined with cheesecloth. The liquid will drain away and you will be left with a pile of cheese curds. Drain well. Pull up the sides of the cheesecloth and squeeze the ball of cheese. Tie the cheesecloth tightly and hang the cheese. I was able to hang my cheese from my kitchen faucet, but in the past I have set a long wooden spoon over a deep pot and tied the ball of cheese to the spoon and set it over the middle of the pot. Allow the cheese to hang for 1-2 hours.
- Pull your cheese down, but leave it in it’s cheesecloth cocoon. Place your cheese on a plate and weigh it down with something heavy. I filled a gallon jug with water and set it on top of the cheese. Leave overnight in the refrigerator.
- Pull cheesecloth off of cheese. Slice the cheese into thick slices and place in a dehydrator. Dehydrate until completely dry. Mine took about 24 hours to dry out.