A Middle Eastern-Inspired Snack
Looking to change up your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks? Take a cue from the Middle East and try this tasty recipe that uses yogurt in a surprising new way. Using just a few ingredients, this healthy snack is full of flavor and easy to grab when you know you’ll be on the go.
Labne Balls (Phase 1)
Also known as kefir cheese or yogurt cheese, labne is a thick, drained yogurt popular in the Middle East. When rolled into balls, as it is in this recipe, labne has a texture similar to fresh mozzarella and it’s a great alternative to part-skim mozzarella sticks when you’re snacking on Phase 1. Look for nonfat plain Greek yogurt, which is thicker than regular yogurt; it’s sold in the dairy section of most supermarkets.
Draining time: 48 hours
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 24 labne balls
3 (200 g) containers non-fat Greek yogurt, drained
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Extra-virgin olive oil
Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and salt. Spoon yogurt into the strainer. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thick, about 48 hours. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of drained yogurt. Discard liquid.
Place Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. On a large piece of waxed paper, roll yogurt by tablespoonfuls into 3/4" balls. Roll balls in Italian seasoning to coat.
Serve balls immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, cover with extra-virgin olive oil, and enjoy as desired.
Herb Variations: Roll the balls in chopped mint, chives, or parsley (or a combo of all three). Or sprinkle with red pepper flakes just before serving.
Yogurt Cheese Dip: Don’t roll the labne into balls. Instead, flavor it with cumin or a seasoning mix of your choice and serve as a dip with crudités.
Per (4-piece) serving:
0 g fat (0 g sat)
1 g carbohydrate
2 g protein
0 g fiber
106 mg sodium
Ami in OH