The blog master and first lady of Buffaloeats.org paid a visit to the test kitchen yesterday and they brought locally made labneh. Labneh is a strained yogurt that is very similar to greek yogurt but is not as easy to find. I always have greek yogurt in my fridge and I have some almost every day so I was very excited to finally get my hands on some labneh.
Simple definition: Regular yogurt strained to remove the liquid and slime. Both labneh and greek are super smooth and creamy and blow away regular yogurt in every department. The Greek I use has the consistency of sour cream and the labneh I received was even less hydrated and is more like whipped cream cheese. They both have much more protein per gram than regular yogurt. I did a quick comparison to the some popular yogurt brands and found that there is 3 to 4 times more protein in strained yogurts!
Yogurt, in general, is a healthy part of a daily routine but the popular brands can have so much sugar and other stuff that they shouldn’t be anywhere near any routine. When you start with a superfood like plain strained yogurt you can control the flavor by adding healthy extras. Today I bring to you two great ways to enjoy strained yogurts.
Labneh with raw organic honey (pictured above):
In the photo above I took a ¼ cup of labneh, rolled it with my hands into a ball. On top I placed a teaspoon of raw organic honey. Raw honey is darker then processed honey and very thick. I have to mention that the honey was purchased from the Lexington Co-operative Market on Elmwood. I don’t like crappy honey. If you don’t like honey it is probably because you have never had really good honey. I mashed my beautiful food porn with the back of my spoon to mix the honey and labneh together before eating. This simple meal made with two perfect ingredients is on my list of the ten best things I have ever eaten.
Labneh is a yogurt cheese of sorts. It is more like cream cheese and nothing like what most people would consider a yogurt which is why I was able to roll it into a ball. The labneh I used today was locally made and came from the Washington Market. Generally Don and Alli enjoy labneh (from the Washington Market) spread on pita bread (their preference is Cedar’s Bakery). This is a very traditional and very delicious way to eat labneh. Additionally, the flavor and texture of labneh makes it a perfect substitute for cream cheese in a bagel.
Greek Yogurt with Blueberries, Pomegranate Arils, Almonds and Honey:
The big name Greek Yogurt is Fage (fah-yeah) and it has done much to popularize strained yogurt on this side of the Atlantic. There are a couple other brands also readily available. Lately, I have been using Chobani. Chobani is a little cheaper and comes from a small New York State producer. They also have a fabulous web site with tons of recipe ideas. I used fat free Chobani for this simple and healthy super food parfait.
I start with the Chobani Greek Yogurt. I top it with blueberries. In the winter you can buy bags of flash frozen blueberries. I always have these in my freezer. They are easy to thaw and can be used frozen in pancakes or bakes goods. The pomegranate arils are a little more work. I take the pomegranate fruit break it apart in a bowl of water and separate the arils from the rest of the fruit then freeze them. They are kind of like tiny tart grapes with little nuts in the middle. Almonds and tupelo honey drizzled on top makes for an amazing super treat.