Perfectly Light Panna Cotta

Greek yogurt or Lowfat Labneh is the secret ingredient in this simple summer recipe. You can find reduced fat Labneh at Joe's Produce Gourmet Market in Livonia.

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 6

5 Tb.                   Granulated sugar

2.5 C                   2% milk

1 each                 Vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 Tb. vanilla)

½. C                    Lebne (lowfat)

1 ¼ tsp.              granulated gelatin

¾ TB.               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)



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