It’s true: You can have your cheese and eat it, too, especially on this national food holiday. Many cheeses are naturally lower in fat and calories, like Parmesan and Romano. Use the size of your thumb for measuring the proper portion, which is about an ounce of cheese. One ounce of Parmesan has more protein than the same amount of red meat (10 grams) and clocks in at 111 calories, 7 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat. An ounce of whole-milk mozzarella has 85 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat. Cheese also has calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorus, and counts towards the USDA’s recommendation of three daily servings of dairy.
Treat yourself to cheese. We’re not talking a small cup of cottage cheese. You deserve to partake in pizza night and not feel guilty about it. While comforting eats like a slice of pepperoni or a bowl of mac and cheese get bad reps for being unhealthy, as they often are, cheese is not necessarily to blame. Here are some of our favorite healthy recipes to help satisfy your cheesy cravings.
Transforming pizza into a healthy dinner option starts with the dough. Try using white whole-wheat flour, which will provide great texture and even better nutrition. And for a slightly nutty flavor, add whole grains like bulgur and quinoa. Either way, these healthier crusts taste delicious with traditional toppings — like mozzarella and salami (pictured above) — and unconventional toppings — such as feta and zucchini — alike.
This kiddie snack can be so much more than a lunchbox staple. Check out these clever hacks using lower lower-fat, part-skim mozzarella string cheese sticks. Read more
Cold and flu season is right around the corner and while there’s no magical food to protect you from illness, eating more of these five foods can help keep you going strong through those chilly winter months.
Summer is a perfect time to experiment with one of the best flavor boosters beyond the spice rack: fire.
Grills, of course, are great for burgers, chicken and hot dogs. But hot grates also bring out something special in fruits and vegetables, lending a smoky essence (and some sexy grill marks!) to everything they touch. And much like salt, a little heat releases the mouth-watering scent of ingredients, enhancing the flavor of a dish without the extra sodium.
So while you have the kebab skewers out, have some fun. Here, a Caprese salad gets a low-sodium twist with grill-friendly paneer in place of the usual, saltier mozzarella. Just thread everything on a stick, and then head to the barbie.
Is cheese a staple ingredient of your menus? Here are some nutrition tips, a couple of insights and, of course, some healthy cheesy recipes.
Did You Know?
1. Lower-moisture cheeses, including Parmesan, Romano and Swiss, are lower in lactose and may therefore be tolerated better by people who suffer from lactose intolerance.
Recommended daily amount of calcium: 34%
#2: Macaroni and 4 Cheeses (above)
There are so many sources of calcium in this cheesy recipe. Top contributors are cheddar cheese, milk, and Monterey Jack, with smaller contributions from the ricotta, enriched pasta, squash and Parmesan.
Recommended daily amount of calcium: 30%
Cheese is one of my favorite foods, but when it comes to getting all the cheesy facts (and there’s a ton!), I turn to the professionals. I had the opportunity to chat with the owners of Sartori Cheese who gave me pretty interesting tips for buying, storing and even pairing cheese.
Q. What are 3 basic facts folks don’t usually know about cheese?
- Cheese is a great snack (in moderation)! One ounce of Parmesan has more protein than red meat, 33% of the recommended daily amount for calcium, and vitamins such as B12 and riboflavin, with 11% and 8%, respectively.
- With some cheeses, you may experience a slight crunchy feel. That crunch is actually crystals called calcium lactate that forms as part of the aging process. They can also appear as white spots on the cheese and are a sign of a well-aged cheese.
- Wisconsin is the only state in the United States that has a Master Cheese Maker Program. This is an advanced education program for experienced cheese makers. The three year program requires a minimum of 10 years as a licensed cheese maker prior to applying to the program.
The March issue of Food Network Magazine is the cheese issue. While working on the issue, I found that you don’t need a ton of cheese to add big flavor; stretching out your cheese means fewer calories, and it’s cost effective, too. Use these tips in your everyday cooking:
A little goes a long way. When using strong cheeses like the blue cheese in this month’s Turkey Cobb Salad on page 96, remember that sometimes just a sprinkle is enough. We used only 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per person)—that equals just 30 calories.
Reserve your rind. We added a piece of Parmesan rind to the broth for our light Risotto With Yogurt and Peas on page 150 (pictured above). This old-school cooking trick is something grandmothers have been doing for years—it’s a cost-saving way to add richness and depth.
Put your peeler to use. Try using it to create the shaved cheddar cheese on our Cheddar and Peanut Butter Bites on page 146. Peeling is a great way to ensure thin pieces of cheese; they’re just as satisfying as any hunk.