Lebanese Cream Cheese (60% Fewer Calories!)
This is how I make cream cheese. It's called Labneh and it is GLORIOUS. This is one of my favorite pre-healthy recipes. Just, turns out, it's actually better for you! :D Tastes like heaven. I am a cream cheese FREAK but I will take Labneh any day over cream cheese. It really is that good.
You may see other spellings like Lebni, Labni, Labna, etc.
Regular cream cheese has 100 calories per ounce. Labneh is only 40 cals/oz.! It's so easy to make overnight in the fridge. Check it out!
- 32 oz. Greek Yogurt
- 1 tsp. salt (I'm going to omit)
Stir 1 tsp. of salt into 32 oz. greek yogurt. Pour yogurt into (brand new) doubled-over pantyhose. You can use tripled-over cheesecloth if you want but pantyhose are perfect! Tie tight. Hang from a wooden spoon over a tall pitcher at least 2-3" off the bottom. Refrigerate overnight so all the whey drips off. Pull out the pantyhose, cut open, roll labeh out onto a dish. Smooth with the back of a spoon.
Garnish with any combination of the following:
- Your favorite dried herbs. Some good ones I've found are dill, mint, chives and parsley.
- Za'atar. Make your own or buy it. Usually includes oregano, basil, thyme, savory and other dried herbs.
- Olive oil
- Kalamata olives
- Smoked paprika. My favorite!
- Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
- Roasted Red Pepper
- Garlic, chopped and sauteed
- Whatever sounds yummy!
Serve with pita bread or your favorite veggies.
I like to mix plain labneh in with my pastas for creamy sauce, with my eggs for creamy omelets and spread it on sandwiches and wraps in place of condiments.
Again, only 40 cals/oz.
Bonus: You can use the left over whey to make fresh ricotta. :)