Labneh: Have You Ever Taste This Strained Yogurt In Dubai?

Dubai is a city that’s always on the move with a dynamic food culture. Amidst all the culinary delights, Labneh stands out as a must-try for anyone looking to explore Middle Eastern cuisine. This versatile strained yogurt is a staple in the region, and it’s easy to see why. With its creamy texture and tangy flavor, vendors use Labneh in everything from dips and spread to sweet desserts.

Labneh has a long history in the Middle East, and it’s a staple in many households across the region. This is made by straining plain yogurt through a cheesecloth or muslin, which removes the whey and leaves a thick, creamy substance. You can enjoy it in a variety of ways, whether spread on bread with olive oil and herbs or used as a base for dips and sauces.

In this article, I’ll describe everything related to Labneh. If you’re visiting Dubai and want to experience the local food culture, add Labneh to your must-try list.

Origins Of Labneh

People think Labneh originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. Locals make it from yogurt that has been strained to remove excess liquid, resulting in a thicker consistency than regular yogurt.

They mix the strained curd with salt and sometimes herbs or spices, depending on the desired taste. Labneh has also become popular in other parts of the world. In Western countries, they often use it as a healthier alternative to cream cheese or sour cream.

Nutritional Facts Of Labneh

Labneh is a nutrient-rich dairy product that offers several health benefits. Here are the nutritional facts for 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of Labneh:

  • Calories: 116
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Protein: 14 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 3.5 grams
  • Calcium: 15% of the recommended daily intake
  • Vitamin A: 5% of the recommended daily intake
  • Sodium: 3% of the recommended daily intake

Labneh is a wonderful source of protein, providing 14 grams per serving. It is also rich in calcium, with 15% of the recommended daily intake in a single serving. This strained yogurt is relatively low in carbohydrates and sugar compared to other dairy products.

Health Benefits Of Labneh

Labneh is not just a delicious ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine but also has several health benefits. As a strained yogurt, Labneh is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to regular yogurt. It is also rich in calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Additionally, Labneh is a superb source of probiotics, which can help to improve gut health and boost the immune system.

I would like to write about its health benefits in detail below.

  • Excellent Source Of Protein

Labneh is an excellent source of protein. You may get about 14 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied. Adding this strained yogurt to your diet can help you meet your daily protein needs.

  • Low In Calories

Compared to other dairy products like cream cheese or sour cream, Labneh is relatively low in calories. One tablespoon of this item contains only about 30 calories. This makes it a great option for those who are watching their calorie intake.

  • Contains Probiotics

Labneh is a fermented food, which means it contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics are important in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. These can boost your immune system and improve digestion. Consuming it regularly can help promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut.

  • Rich In Calcium

Labneh is a wonderful source of calcium, a mineral that is essential for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in muscle and nerve function. One serving of Labneh can provide up to 15% of the recommended daily intake of calcium.

  • Low In Lactose

Some people are lactose intolerant, which means they have difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Labneh is a lower-lactose option compared with other dairy products since the straining process removes some of the lactose. People with lactose intolerance may find that they can tolerate Labneh better than other dairy products.

  • May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that consuming dairy products like Labneh may help lower blood pressure. This may be because of the high calcium and potassium content in this dairy product. Both have been linked to lower blood pressure.

How Can You Prepare Labneh At Home?

Preparing Labneh is a straightforward process that requires minimal ingredients and equipment. Here are the steps to make your own Labneh at home:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp of salt

Instructions:

  • Place cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel in a strainer over a bowl.
  • Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth or towel and fold it over the yogurt to cover it.
  • Let the yogurt sit in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours to allow the excess liquid to strain out.
  • Remove the strained yogurt from the cheesecloth or towel and mix in the salt.
  • Store the Labneh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Alternative methods of making Labneh include using a yogurt maker or a slow cooker. Some recipes also call for the addition of herbs or spices, such as garlic, mint, or za’atar for added flavor.

Labneh Strained Yogurt

 

Serving Lebnah

Serving this traditional Middle Eastern cheese typically involves a variety of ways. These include spreading it on bread or crackers, using Labneh as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, or incorporating it into savory dishes like salads or pasta. We can also drizzle it with olive oil and topped with herbs or spices for added flavor. You can enjoy Labneh as part of a snack, appetizer, or main course. Below are more details.

  • In Salads: Labneh can add a creamy and tangy flavor to salads. Simply mix Labneh with some lemon juice and olive oil to make a delicious salad dressing. Alternatively, you can use Labneh as a base for a salad, topping it with your favorite veggies and herbs.
  • As a Dip: Labneh makes a great dip for vegetables, pita chips, or crackers. You can mix it with some herbs and spices to create a flavorful dip. Try mixing Labneh with some chopped fresh dill, garlic, and lemon juice for a delicious dip that’s perfect for parties and gatherings.
  • On Sandwiches: You can use Labneh as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise or cream cheese on sandwiches. Spread a thin layer of Labneh on your favorite bread and top it with some fresh veggies, such as cucumber or tomato. You can also add some sliced deli meat or a boiled egg for a protein-packed sandwich.

You can pair Labneh with a variety of flavors, including sweet or savory. It goes well with fruits like figs, dates, or pomegranates, or with savory items like olives or cucumbers.

A Variety of Delicious Labneh Dishes In Dubai

  • Zaatar Manakish
  • Spinach & Feta Manakish
  • Sausage & Cheese Manakish
  • Cheese & Herb Manakish
  • Garlic & Onion Manakish
  • Labneh & Olive Manakish
  • Labneh & Zaatar Ball 8. Labneh & Cheese Ball
  • Labneh & Spinach Ball
  • Labneh & Herb Ball

Is Labneh Available As Street Food In Dubai?

Labneh is a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes and you can get it in many local restaurants and food markets throughout Dubai. Although it is not typically sold as street food, Labneh is often served in traditional Emirati and Lebanese restaurants.

If you are interested in trying Labneh in Dubai, there are many options available beyond street food vendors. Whether you are looking for a traditional Emirati meal or a quick bite at a fast-casual chain, you will find a delicious Labneh dish to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Health Risks Of Taking Excess Labneh

Labneh is a nutritious food that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and probiotics, which can offer several health benefits. However, consuming excessive amounts of Labneh can also pose some health risks.

One of the primary risks of taking excess Labneh is weight gain, as it is high in calories and fat. Additionally, consuming too much Labneh may cause digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea, especially in people with lactose intolerance.

Labneh is high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues if consumed in excess. It is also acidic because of the fermentation process. This can potentially erode tooth enamel and exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

Therefore, it is recommended to consume Labneh in moderation as part of a balanced diet. This will help to gain its health benefits, incurring no adverse effects.

Last Words

Labneh is a delicious and nutritious strained yogurt that is widely consumed in the Middle East, including Dubai. It is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as spread on bread or crackers, used as a dip for vegetables, or incorporated into savory dishes. Labneh is also a rich source of protein, healthy fats, and probiotics, which can offer several health benefits.

Besides, taking it in excess can cause some health problems. However, for a healthy person, moderate intake may be more beneficial. So, if you are in Dubai, be sure to try this delectable Middle Eastern delight and experience its unique flavor and texture.

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