In the last year I have added more and more things to our menu that I prepare from scratch. Part of it has to do with the budgetary changes that we have made, and where we have seen that leaving out processed food can save us a lot when we buy groceries but also because that we have seen the benefits of knowing exactly what goes into that same food, both for us and for the kids.
The truth is that not everything that I make myself gives a huge pay-off money wise. Sometimes I can save a lot, like on bread and sometimes it turns out even, like mayonnaise and sometimes it is even a bit more expensive than the fabric made version, like in Nutella. Bottom line is that for me the advantages of that certain product is bigger when I make it myself than when I buy it already ready.
Last week I made my own Labane cheese. It is basically strained yoghurt also known as yoghurt cheese or Greek yoghurt. Tasted it for the first time back in 1998 and have loved it ever since.
It is very easy to prepare and need very few ingredients:
1 liter yoghurt (I used cow milk yoghurt with 4.5% fat)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Dried Hyssop (Za’atar)
What I did was take a strainer, place it in a bowl and line it with a cloth diaper I had lying around from when the kids were babies. I poured the yoghurt into the strainer. I collected the corner of the cloth and pressed the yoghurt together into a ball form and let it sit in the strainer in the fridge overnight.
In the morning I opened the cloth with the cheese inside, now in the form of soft cheese, and placed it in a deep dish, spread it about a bit and drizzled with olive oil and dried Hyssop.
Was very good with home baked baguettes!
Total cost – about NIS 10 (US Dollar 2.5) – not significantly different from the store price, but in my opinion better 🙂