Sometimes I go to the farmers’ market in search of items that have nothing to do with produce. Local farmers often have other goodies like meats, cheeses, eggs, honey and baked goods to offer. On a recent trip to my favorite market I picked up a package of a profoundly delicious cheese: feta made from local goat’s milk.
Originating in Greece, feta cheese has been made for centuries. Classically made with sheep’s milk, some versions may also be a combination of both sheep and goat’s milk. Newer versions of this cheese from countries other than Greece may also be made with cow’s milk. Curds of the cheese are pressed together into blocks and stored in brine, which contributes to feta’s unique tangy flavor.
Cheese lovers will also be happy to know that feta is naturally lower in calories. One ounce of feta contains 40 fewer calories and 3 fewer grams of fat than the same portion of cheddar.
A feta made from pure goat milk has an extra piquant flavor. (Also: Thanks to a different protein structure in the milk, people who have trouble digesting cow’s milk may have an easier time with products made from goat’s milk.) You can certainly add it diced or crumbled to salad, but I suggest getting a little more creative by adding the cheese to pasta sauce, herbed spreads and creamy salad dressings. Or use it in any recipe that calls for traditional feta, like the ones below.
Recipes to Try
Marinated Feta and Olive Skewers
Avocado Feta Dip
Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes
Grilled Eggplant Tomato and Feta Stacks
Spinach and Feta Frittata
Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread
Greek Feta and Cucumber Salad
Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Feta Sauce
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »