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.
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Does this dairy delight have a place in your healthy eating plan? Although cheeses have gotten bad press for being high in artery-clogging fat, the right ones can provide important nutrients to your diet.
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Are you getting enough calcium? Turn to diet first to get your recommended daily dose of (or as much calcium as possible) before popping a calcium supplement. Here are five recipes to help you do so.
#1: Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits
Yogurt is one of the highest sources of calcium around. Plus, the probiotics found in yogurt make it lactose-intolerant friendly.
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%
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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.
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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.
- We love this stuff.
From ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches to fancy shmancy cheese and crackers, there are so many ways to love cheese. Worried about your waistline? We’ll tell you how you can incorporate all types of cheeses in a healthy and enjoyable way.
When I was growing up, my parents owned a cheese store on Chambers Street in New York City. There were so many cheeses, I couldn’t keep them straight but it was sure fun sneaking a taste every time I sliced a piece for a customer. Luckily I learned a thing or two while working for my parents about the various cheeses.
Cheese is categorized by their texture as unripened (or fresh) and ripened. Unripened cheeses are usually slightly tangy with a mild and creamy texture. They include cream cheese, mascarpone, mozzarella and ricotta.
Ripened cheeses can be categorized as soft, semi-soft, firm or hard. Soft cheese is characterized by thin skins and creamy centers. Brie, camembert and boursin are three of the more popular varieties. Semi-soft cheeses include many mild flavored varieties that have a smooth and easily sliceable texture. They include fontina, gorgonzola, Havarti, Roquefort and stilton.
Firm cheeses are usually either similar to the consistency of cheddar or they’re dense and holey like emmenthaler. Some other popular firm varieties are manchego, jarlsberg, monetary jack and provolone. Hard cheeses are carefully aged for a long period of time and are less moist than the other cheeses. Varieties include asiago, parmesan and pecorino romano.
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Grapes, carrots and cucumber slices aren’t so messy.
I have 3 kids with completely different personalities, but one thing is for sure—they’re all messy eaters. Like most moms, cleaning up after their mess becomes never-ending and frustrating. There are several things I do to make snacking less messy, especially when I’m on the go. Hopefully these tips can clean a little mess out of your life.
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- Eggs and cheese: (nutritionally) better together.
Some foods just taste great together, like milk and cookies. But others pairs actually work together to help your body get the most nutrition bang for its buck. Here are 5 of the most powerful food combos.
Eat it together: 5 power food combos »
- Provencal Potato Gratin
Most classic versions of this all-time favorite potato dish aren’t very figure-friendly, especially with boatloads of heavy cream and mounds of cheese. There are a few tricks to lighten things up—here’s how.
Scalloped potatoes, lighter »
- Ellie's Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole
A one-stop meal, casseroles make an easy weeknight dinner (and next day lunch). But many recipes call for cups (yes, cups!) of mayo, cans of creamy soup or lots of heavy cream — if you eat these on a regular basis, you may as well have “911” on redial for the after-dinner coronary. Here are our top 5 lighter casseroles that’ll keep your waist slim and your heart in tip-top shape.
See all 5 lightened-up casseroles »