March 22, 2019
Strawberry Yogurt Spread

Yogurt Cheese Spread

by Berkeley Wellness  

Although cream cheese comes in a range of fat levels, from fat-free to full-fat, it does not come with much calcium. Yogurt, on the other hand, is a leading source of this important mineral.

So, to make a spread to use for breakfast or for appetizers, a good choice for bone-health is to make your own yogurt cheese. Though it’s called cheese, it’s really just yogurt that’s been thickened to a fresh cheese consistency by draining off some of the whey. The nutrition analysis below is for the yogurt cheese alone; the actual calorie counts will vary depending on what mix-in you use.

Timing alert: You should start the yogurt in the morning (or the night before), because it needs to drain for at least eight hours.


1 quart plain fat-free yogurt

Mix-ins (recipes follow)


1. Set a paper coffee filter or a fine-mesh sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth over a bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the filter or sieve and place in the refrigerator overnight to drain.

2. Transfer the yogurt cheese to a bowl and discard the whey. Stir in one of the mix-ins listed below. Makes 1 1/2 cups

Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: 23 calories, 0.1g total fat (0.1g saturated), 1mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber, 3g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 31mg sodium.

Strawberry Yogurt Cheese: With a potato masher, mash 1 cup of strawberries with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir into the yogurt cheese.

Dried Plum (Prune) Yogurt Cheese: Stir in 1/2 cup of prune butter and 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest.

Herbed Yogurt Cheese: Stir in 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest and ⅓ cup of mixed chopped fresh herbs such as dill, basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, tarragon or chives.

Roasted Garlic Yogurt Cheese: Wrap 1 large bulb of garlic in a sheet of foil and roast at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until soft. Squeeze out the garlic, mash until smooth and stir into the yogurt cheese.

Pesto Yogurt Cheese: Stir in 3 tablespoons of pesto, homemade or storebought.

Spiced Yogurt Cheese: Stir in 2 teaspoons each of ground cumin and ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the staff of The Wellness Kitchen and the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter.