A dessert to enjoy while whittling your waistline

If you’re like me, a meal just isn’t finished without a sweet ending. Many people looking to whittle their waistlines or just want to make more nutritious choices don’t have to skip dessert and leave the dinner table feeling deprived. A few summers ago, I developed a dessert using Labneh, a strained yogurt that has a cheeselike consistency. It makes a great alternative to sour or cream cheese. You can buy whole milk labneh or lowfat labneh. I’ve used the lowfat version with great results in dips, spreads, and particularly in this dessert. If you can’t find labneh, you can substitute Greek yogurt in this recipe. Serve this with a generous helping of fresh fruit and a garnish of toasted almonds or pistachios for a light, elegant and satisfying dessert.

Labneh Panna Cotta

makes six servings


5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2.5 cups of 2% milk
1 each vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 Tb. vanilla)
½ cup lebneh (lowfat)
1 ¼ teaspoon granulated gelatin
¾ tablespoon cold water


Using cooking spray, spray ramekins well.

Sprinkle granulated gelatin over the cold water in a bowl (this is called “blooming gelatin”) . Set aside.

Bring sugar and milk to a boil with scraped vanilla bean. Wisk in the bloomed gelatin (gelatin and water).

Cool down in an ice bath until it is cool enough to add the lebneh.  Fold in the labneh.

Pour into greased/sprayed ramekins. Chill 3 hours. Unmold onto serving plate by setting in hot water and then loosening the sides. Serve with fresh fruit and toasted nuts (optional).

Photo credit: Food Stories

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