Yogurt Cheese

Yogurt Cheese

(makes about 1 cup)

Not really a true cheese, yogurt cheese is merely thickened yogurt with the whey drained away. It’s a staple in our refrigerators since it makes a wonderful substitute for fresh cheeses, such as cream cheese. Yogurt cheese is used throughout the Mediterranean as a spread for breakfast breads.

When you add minced fresh herbs, you get a great low-fat substitute for French Boursin cheese. You can buy a yogurt cheese drainer at a specialty cookware shop, or we find that a coffee filter or a double thickness of cheesecloth inside a fine sieve works just as well.

You’ll want to experiment with different brands of yogurt until you find one that pleases you. Be sure that the yogurt you use does not contain any added gelatin or other thickener. The following recipe is reprinted from our cookbooks: The Joslin Diabetes Gourmet Cookbook (Bantam Books) and The Joslin Diabetes Quick and Easy Cookbook (Fireside: Simon & Schuster).

2 cups plain low fat or nonfat yogurt

  1. Line a sieve with a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Suspend the sieve over a deep bowl. Place the yogurt in the filter and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the whey to drain out. When the yogurt has the consistency of a soft cream cheese, scrape the yogurt away from the filter and transfer it to a plastic container.
  2. Discard the liquid in the bowl and refrigerate the yogurt cheese. Use within 1 week, discarding any accumulated liquid before using.

Per 1 tablespoon (15 ml) serving made with low fat yogurt: 12 calories (19% calories from fat), 1 g protein, <1 g total fat (0.1 g saturated fat), 1 g carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: FREE

Per 1 tablespoon (15 ml) serving made with nonfat yogurt: 11 calories (2% calories from fat), 2g protein, 0 total fat (0 saturated fat), 1 g carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 10 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: FREE