2 Healthier Alternatives to Cheese for Your Kitchen
In recent news, listeria's claimed another food product. Cheese itself isn't as healthy for you when you consider the alternatives. While you're forced to stay away from your favorite cheese brand, why not try these healthier choices that taste and act just like cheese when used as ingredients in larger dishes?
It seems like every other week there's a food recall for something you would've thought was safe and immune to contamination. A week or two ago, a soy-based peanut butter was recalled due to E. coli contamination. Now, Vulto Creamery's eight cheese products are undergoing a nationwide recall. If you're a fan of their products, it's best to stay away from their Miranda, Willowemoc, Heinennellie, Andes, Hamden & Walton Umber, Ouleout, and Blue Bais cheeses because they might be contaminated with listeria.
This recall is actually a good thing – now you can experiment with healthier cheese alternatives. Why? Besides needing to use cheese in your daily life, it's that cheese is actually not too healthy. Researchers are divided, but some have found that eating cheese regularly may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease (but the evidence is very little and other studies contradict it). Cheese is also a dairy product, which can cause inflammation in the gut and is the culprit of many food allergies.
Here are two natural, healthy alternatives to cheese:
Sliced smoked tofu. If you need to use mozzarella or provolone, you can slice and smoke tofu and use it on sandwiches. You can also mash up silken tofu and mix it with a bit of lemon juice to create a cottage cheese and ricotta-like cheese substitute. Tofu is made of soy, which is filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and clean, plant-based proteins.
Zucchini cheese. If you want an actual slice of cheese, you can try making zucchini cheese slices. Simmer zucchini in water in a pan and cover it with a lid for five minutes. Strain out the zucchini and blender it with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend until everything's homogeneously smooth, then add gelatin and blend till smooth. You can then pour the smooth mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate it for two hours and you should end up with firm, cheese-looking slices!
Take this cheese recall as an opportunity to boost your health! Once you try these healthier cheese alternatives, you might never go back to actual cheese again.