Good flavorful cheese can add a lovely accent to a meal, but it’s also very high in saturated fat.  We learned in our previous discussion on fat that a diet heavy in saturated fat could lead to heart disease.  Today we’ll discuss some ways to enjoy your cheese in moderation, as well as some creamy alternatives to cheese.

Sprinkle, don’t smother.  You know how in Velveeta® commercials they smother everything in that bright orange goo until you can’t tell what food is underneath anymore?  Please don’t do that.  That stuff has 4 grams of saturated fat per ounce, which is more than half of the daily recommended intake for an average diet!  Try using cheese to harmonize the other foods on your plate instead of overwhelming them.  A good way to try this is by using parmesan, pecorino, or any other hard cheese you can grate.  A nice example of cheese/food synergy is this Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash recipe from Real Simple.

Buy real cheese.  The FDA stipulates that the Velveeta® that I referenced above cannot be labeled as cheese, instead it’s a “pasteurized processed cheese spread.”  Real cheese that is actually labeled as “cheese” and was made at a dairy farm instead of a factory is a world apart from processed cheese spread.  Real cheese is carefully crafted and fermented so that its flavor is more pronounced, meaning that you get a more flavorful punch with less cheese (and less calories).

Try a plant-based alternative.  Plant foods like tofu and tahini can give you the creamy texture you’re looking for without the big dose of saturated fat.  Here are some recipes that incorporate plant foods with a creamy consistency:

I got my first acorn squash of the season from our CSA this week, so I plan on trying that Real Simple recipe real soon!

9/21/2012 10:42:53 am

I just found another creamy vegan recipe from The Ordinary Vegetarian: A faux queso dip made from cashews!


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