Healthy cheese might sound like an oxymoron, but, just like most foods, this beloved diary product can be good for you! That is, if you are eating the right kind; there are over 300 types of cheese! Healthy cheeses are a good source of protein and calcium, plus a host of other vitamins.
There are a couple things to look for when choosing a cheese, including fat, saturated fat, and sodium content. Below is a list of five healthy and delicious foreign-born cheeses that you can add to your diet!
- Quark – German for “fresh curd”, this soft cheese exists somewhere between low fat yogurt, cream cheese and sour cream. With less fat than other creamy cheeses, quark is versatile to cook with. Use for mashed potatoes in place of cream or have some for breakfast with nuts and fruit. If you are feeling adventurous you can even make it at home! (link: http://www.splendidtable.org/story/quark-its-easy-to-make-this-two-ingredient-cheese-at-home)
- Manchego – This sheep cheese comes from a specific region in Spain, where only certified farms can produce it. Medium dry and slightly flaky with a tangy taste, this yummy cheese is low in fat and sodium. Perfect with hard fruits like pears and apples or cold cuts.
- Halloumi– A good addition to any savory dish, this cheese originally came from Cyprus. With a high melting point, halloumi is perfect to sautee or grill with veggies. Just make sure to buy some made with goat’s or sheep milk, cow milk makes it high in fat.
- Cotija-A scrumptious cheese known as the “Parmesan of Mexico”. When its young it tastes like feta and when it ages it tastes like Parmesan. This lovely addition to any pasta or salad is low in fat and high in protein, but watch the sodium!
- Gruyere-This fancy cheese originated in Switzerland. It’s hard with a mild nutty flavor and goes great on sandwiches or on it’s own. Production regulations say that salt can only be added to its surface, making it lower in sodium than a lot of other cheese varieties.
Like this blog post? Let us know your favorite cheese in the comments!