How to make your own Labneh! (Yogurt Cheese)

Hello Friends!

First of all an announcement! My mother and I will be on a new show on NBC called California Live! It is a mother’s day special, where they followed us around, watched us cook, and interviewed us about our family and food philosophy! This will air on all NBC stations throughout California on May 9th at 11:30 am. For those not from California I will post the link here as soon as I get it. Thank you for hanging out with us on this journey from the beginning! Now, onto my new recipe…..

No Arabic breakfast is complete without the addition of labneh, which has a consistency similar to an airy cream cheese. Smooth, tart, light, and creamy,  labneh gets a dose of good fats and robust flavor when drizzled with a fruity olive oil. You can sprinkle this spreadable cheese with za’atar, or sweeten it with honey. You can store labneh by rolling the drained cheese into balls and putting them into a jar of olive oil, or just put the labneh into a glass container and top with olive oil for faster storage. This will last a couple of months in the refrigerator, that is if you have any left!

labneh fresh lebanese cream cheese dip

 

What makes labneh even better than cream cheese is its hefty dose of probiotics from the yogurt. To serve this as part of a traditional Arab breakfast, serve a plate of labneh balls sprinkled with a little za’atar  alongside pita bread, scrambled eggs, and a cucumber tomato salad drizzled with more olive oil. There are two ways you can make labneh. I have provided the traditional method, using whole milk with a yogurt starter or for a modern shortcut, you can use a tub of yogurt with a similar outcome. Either method beats store bought, as some brands contain additional fillers and thickeners that are unnecessary. This cheese makes a lovely sandwich filling in pita bread along with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint, a great base for an herb dip, or a dessert with honey and fruit. 

Check out the method I have outlined in the video below, you really have to see it to understand the multi part technique!

  • Labneh Traditional Method Ingredients

  • (Directions in video above) 

  • ½ gallon whole milk
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (full fat preferred, do not use Greek yogurt)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large very thin cotton cloth or towel

 

Labneh Shortcut Method  Ingredients

(Directions in video above) 

  • 1 container (32 oz) Full fat or lowfat yogurt (do not use Greek)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large very thin cotton cloth or towel

 

 

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