If you haven’t heard of Labneh before, you definitely need to introduce it to your life! Labneh is a type of soft cheese which is a big part of the Middle Eastern cuisine, in particularly Lebanese. As always, we have decided to do our own take on this delicious crowd pleaser using a classic flavour combination, perfect for your next catch-up with friends and fam!
This recipe is gluten free and super easy to make and definitely a chance to let your creative juices flow! We used a combination of goats cheese and cream cheese. Goats cheese can be a great alternative to regular cheese and actually has a lower fat content than other forms of cheese and can help reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet. In combination with the cream cheese, you’re going to have a deliciously creamy, smooth labneh!
Prior to getting started on the labneh, blitz your pistachios and Morlife Dried Cranberries in a food processor so they are in small pieces. This will be going on the outside of your labneh, making it both visually appealing, extra tasty and provide a crunchy texture to balance out the smoothness of the labneh. You can easily substitute these with other nuts or dried berries you have available but we wanted to stay true to those authentic Lebanese flavours we absolutely love.
Labneh is known to have a beautiful flavour in the inside, which is why we’ve used a combination of cinnamon, ginger and rosemary and mixed it in with the cheeses. We’ve also used a dash of brown rice syrup to create a beautifully rounded flavour. Brown rice syrup is a great sugar alternative as it is mainly made up of complex carbohydrates, meaning that it will break down more slowly in the blood stream than simple carbohydrates. Once you’ve combined your cheese and spices, place it into a large piece of plastic wrap and form a round shape. Place it in the freezer for around 30 minutes.
For the outside, we’ve used pistachios and our Morlife Dried Cranberries. Our cranberries have been carefully selected and have been dried using an infusion process that creates the most moist and delicious soft textured cranberry leaving a burst of sweetness and flavour. 99% fat free and gluten free, no artificial sweeteners or flavours have been used. Alternatively, you can also use our Freeze Dried Pomegranate Seeds if you want something a bit more tart!
After 30 minutes, your labneh will nearly be ready to enjoy. Once you’ve unwrapped it, coat with your cranberry and pistachio mix, pressing gently to ensure it sticks to the outside.
This labneh is a perfect centrepiece to a grazing board; you can also serve it with bread, crackers and chopped vegetables. We absolutely couldn’t get enough of it!
For grazing board inspiration, check out our guide to creating the perfect one here.
LABNEH CRANBERRY & PISTACHIO CHEESE BALL
PREP TIME: 10 mins
FREEZE TIME: 30 minutes
MAKES: 1 large cheese ball
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
250g goat cheese
250g cream cheese
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
STEP BY STEP
- Blitz the pistachios and Cranberries in a food processor until they are in small pieces. Take out 1/2 cup and put into a large bowl to a large bowl.
- Add the brown rice syrup, goat cheese, cream cheese and spices into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Scoop the cheese mixture out of the bowl place in the centre of a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the mixture and shape into a ball shape.
- Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up.
- After 30 minutes, spread the rest of the pistachios and cranberries onto a plate. And remove the cheese mix from the freezer.
- Unwrap the cheese ball and place on top of the pistachios and cranberries.
- Using your hands, coat the cheese ball completely with the cranberry/pistachio mix, pressing gently.
- Serve with bread, crackers and vegetables immediately. Or keep refrigerated until ready.