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.