Making your own cream cheese may not be at the top of your list of things to do. But, it's so easy and if your kids like cream cheese, like mine, this is a great way to offer them something you feel really good about. To make this, you just need full fat yogurt and salt. Yup, that's it. I've tried goat milk yogurt and cow milk yogurt, and truthfully, they've both worked well. This idea may be familiar to many of you. If you've spent time in the Middle East or eat Middle Eastern food, you may know this as "labaneh." It is very similiar; David Lebowitz has a great post on labaneh and ways you can incoroprate vegetables into your dish. He also recommends adding a high quality olive oil at the end, which I love, but when I'm using it for my kids as a cream cheese replacement, I skip the olive oil.
1 cup yogurt (full fat)
1/2 t salt
Line a fine mest strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth (or you can use a coffee filter). Rest the strainer and cheesecloth over a deep bowl (see the picture above). The bowl will collect the strained liquid, or whey, from the yogurt. Stir the salt into the yogurt. Place the mixture into a cheesecloth. Let it sit for at least one day and up to two or three days in the fridge. That's it! Eat and enjoy. This should last in the fridge for at least a week, but it normally goes quickly in our house. I use it in sandwiches or wraps and add sliced cucumber, tomatoes or peppers.