Ok, we know that yogurt is good for us. We have learned how to make yogurt smoothie, yogurt parfait and a frozen yogurt popsicle. Today, I will show you how to make a flavored yogurt cheese, otherwise known as labneh balls. Labneh is strained yogurt, which can be served plain with little of olive oil or can be mixed with chopped scallion and chopped olives for great spreads. The great thing about labneh balls is that they can keep for long time and the flavor is amazing.
Yogurt cheese, labneh
6 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon sea salt
-Mix the yogurt with the salt and spoon into colander lined with cheesecloth. Fold the cheesecloth over the yogurt and drain overnight or until all the liquid is drained and you have thick creamy spread.
Seasoned yogurt cheese balls
4 cups strained yogurt cheese, check the recipe above
1/2 coarsely chopped toasted walnuts, I add the walnut for texture and nutrients
1/2 cup teaspoon dry mint flakes
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-Place the strained yogurt or labneh in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon dry mint flakes, the black sesame seeds, the cayenne pepper and the sea salt. Mix well and then fold in the toasted walnuts.
-Line a tray with kitchen towel, spoon large tablespoon of the seasoned yogurt cheese on to the kitchen towel. Repeat until you finished all the cheese. Cover with another kitchen towel and refrigerate for couple days.
-Place the rest of the mint in a bowl. Set aside.
-Remove the cheese tray from the refrigerator and remove the top kitchen towel. Moist your palms with water and roll the yogurt cheese into smooth ball. Drop the balls into the mint bowl and roll them to coat well. You can refrigerate these balls for couple weeks and serve with crackers or pita chips or you can place in sterilized jars. Cover with olive oil, seal and store.
I used mint in this recipe but you can choose your own herbs like thyme, rosemary and so on.
Are you going to give this healthy and delicious appetizer a try? I would love to hear from you.