Cheese is popular; the average Dutch person eats 20 kilos of cheese a year. Despite this, cheese is often seen as a bad choice because it contains a relatively high amount of sodium and saturated fat. Fortunately, cheese also contains many good properties.
How healthy is cheese?
Cheese contains many nutrients that make you feel full. In addition, many kinds of cheese contain important minerals that help you stay healthy. The Nutrition Center recommends that you eat no more than 30 grams (1.5 slices) of cheese per day.
An excess of saturated fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you like to eat hard Dutch cheeses, you would do well to choose a 20+ or 30+ cheese. These types contain the least calories and saturated fat.
In addition to Dutch cheeses, there are many other types of cheese. Here are the healthiest cheese choices to make your meal even more delicious and nutritious.
This is a soft cheese that is rich in calcium and protein. In addition, mozzarella contains less salt than harder cheeses, so there is less sodium in this type of cheese. can be eaten both cold and hot. For example, through a salad or in an omelet.
Goat cheese is naturally low in lactose and therefore easier for some people to digest than cheese made with cow's milk. Also, this white cheese contains A2 casein, which is less likely to cause intestinal problems compared to proteins found in cow's milk. It is often eaten in combination with honey.
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This Italian cheese can be made from different types of milk. Common are cow, sheep, or buffalo milk. It contains mainly whey protein, which contains essential amino acids. Whey protein has a beneficial effect on muscle growth. It can also help you keep your heart healthy and maintain weight. is widely used in pasta dishes in Italy.
Blue cheese gets its name from the blue mold in the cheese. The mold cheese is rich in calcium, which is very good for your bones. Good to know is that there is often a lot of sodium in blue cheese. Blue cheese has a strong, present flavor, so you don't need much to add flavor to a salad, for example.
This cheese is best known for being low in calories. Cottage cheese also contains a lot of healthy protein and selenium. This is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of chronic inflammation. This cheese is extremely suitable as a breakfast or snack.
You are probably familiar with this cheese. Parmesan is full of nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, which are good for the bones. Because this is a harder cheese, it contains less fat and more protein.
It also has a significantly lower lactose content than other cheeses. Parmesan is an older cheese and therefore does contain a lot of sodium. However, as with blue cheese, you do not need much of this cheese because the flavor is very strong.
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Making your own cheese
Making cheese is not difficult at all. In fact, you can easily make your own cheese at home!
- salt (per 100 grams about ½ teaspoon )
- spices to taste
What you need:
- cheesecloth (or tea towel)
- mixing bowl
Heat the stirring to 75 degrees. Pour in a dash and stir well. It will now separate, if not, pour in more.
Drain into a cheesecloth-lined. What remains in the cheesecloth becomes the cheese. Put this in a . Mix in about ½ teaspoon of salt per 100 grams and possibly.
Put the cheese back into the cheesecloth lining. Take the points of the cloth together and turn a few times so that the cheese is formed into a ball. Let rest for half an hour to allow the cheese to become firm.
Enjoy your meal, you can eat this fresh cheese right away!
How you should package and store cheese to keep it fresh and delicious
The way cheese is stored determines how long it stays fresh and tasty. We have collected tips for enjoying a piece or slice of cheese for an extra long.
Do not use plastic as packaging material
It seems smart to keep cheese airtight in plastic, but that doesn't make it better. Cheese has to breathe and it can't if it's wrapped in plastic. Then it starts to sweat or it can go moldy. Also, plastic sometimes adds a plastic taste to the food, which negatively affects the eating experience.
The reason cheese farmers often wrap their cheeses in plastic is that they can then display them nicely. In addition, the throughput in a cheese store is often so high that they are only packed for a short time. Special cheese paper, with a thin layer of foil on the inside, is suitable as packaging material.
Special, washable cheese paper is also available. Greaseproof baking paper or breathable cling film are also good options for storing cheese. Then, by placing the wrapped cheese in a container with air holes, it will stay fresh even longer.
Do not store cheese too cold
Some refrigerators have a special area for cheeses, this is then the best place to store them. If your refrigerator does not have one, then the lower or upper section is the best option for storage. These are the warmer places. The middle section is the coldest and when the temperature is too low, the cheese dries out more quickly.
If you don't use all your cheese right away, you can still freeze some varieties very well. This concerns the ‘hard' cheeses and not for example brie. Young, young mature and Parmesan cheese can be put in the freezer, although the freezing and thawing do cause some loss of quality. You can also cut the cheese into cubes or grate it.
Preferably wrap it in breathable foil and then in a freezer bag or container. The foil is extra protection for the moment you thaw it, then it will not crumble due to the temperature difference. The cheese will keep for up to 8 months in the freezer.
Has the cheese become moldy despite your attention to storage? In the case of soft cheeses, it is important to throw it away. This is because the mold quickly permeates the entire product.
In the case of hard cheeses, this is usually not the case. The mold then grows only on the outside, but it is important to cut well around the moldy spot. Then you can eat it again.
This is how cheese tastes best
When cheese just comes out of the refrigerator, it doesn't taste its best. This is due to the low temperature in the refrigerator. It is, therefore, preferable to let the cheese warm up a little before eating it. In the case of soft cheeses, remove the packaging material, otherwise, it will stick completely to the cheese at a higher temperature.
Mebely Connors is a retired health care professional. For the past 4 years, she has been working from home, writing for different publications. She specializes in health and nutrition-related articles.