Labneh and Homemade Yogurt Revisited

labneh recipe healthy homemadeI’ve been making yogurt at home again, and although it’s not the same as making yogurt at the farm from fresh, raw Jersey milk, it is still a satisfying and delicious little miracle. I always feel a combination of disbelief and gratification in that moment the jar is opened and the milk has turned to a thick, gorgeous yogurt. It’s a wonderful thing. And it is so easy to do.

Without access to milk from those pretty-eyed Jerseys (oh how I miss them!) I am making yogurt from the next best thing: organic Ayrshire milk, as fresh as possible. I actually used low-fat milk this time to compare the texture and taste and I am pleased to say that it also produced a lovely, thick and rich tasting yogurt – nice and tangy but not quite as creamy as yogurt made with full-fat milk. And of course the best tasting yogurt comes from Jersey milk, which is not only full fat but also exceptionally creamy. The milk I used was already pasteurized yet that did not seem to affect the result.

I decided to strain some of the yogurt into labneh this time. Labneh, a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese, is almost like Greek yogurt but it’s strained for a longer period of time (usually overnight), removing much of the whey until it becomes super thick, like a soft cheese. Traditionally, labneh is mixed with a bit of sea salt and served drizzled with olive oil and herbs. It can also be rolled into balls and marinated. I kept it very simple, adding just a bit of pink Himalayan sea salt.

labneh yogurt homemade recipe healthy

Enjoy labneh spread on toast/crackers or as a dip with pita. I like to eat it with toasted nuts or on the side of roasted vegetables or a hearty salad. Labneh is also really lovely as a dessert – just omit the salt and add honey, blueberries, or any other fruit or jam.

Homemade Yogurt

See my recipe for homemade yogurt from the farm here.

Tips for making yogurt from store-bought milk:
Use the best quality milk you can get your hands on (organic).
You can use full fat or low-fat milk, both work great.
The fresher the milk the better.
Don’t worry too much about pasteurization affecting your yogurt – it will still taste great but using raw, unpasteurized milk is ideal.
If you want to make Greek yogurt, just strain out some of the whey until you’re satisfied with the consistency (between 2-4 hours should be enough).

labneh recipe homemade healthy yogurt

Labneh

You’ll need:
1 litre of yogurt (I used homemade yogurt from organic, low-fat Ayrshire milk)
¼ tsp sea salt
cheesecloth or muslin
strainer

To make labneh, simply line a strainer with a sheet of cheesecloth or muslin and place it over a bowl with enough space at the bottom for the whey to drain. Spoon the yogurt into the cheesecloth and twist together the edges at the top. Place it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. Remove the labneh from the cloth and stir in the sea salt.

homemade yogurt recipe strainer labneh

Makes about 2 cups or slightly less

Note: This recipe doesn’t produce quite enough whey to bother making ricotta (recipe here), but if you don’t want to throw out the whey, feed it to your houseplants

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