You may be surprised to see us featuring cheese as many cheeses are high in saturated fat and we all want to limit our intake of that. But with a flavoursome cheese, a little really does go a long way. There are also some really good reduced-fat alternatives to many of our favourite cheeses that are worth a try.
Aim for no more than two slices, or a 40g serve, especially of the varieties with over 20 per cent fat. Cheese can vary widely, but a serve of cheese adds protein, B vitamins and a good amount of calcium for strong bones and teeth. Finishing a meal with cheese may even help prevent dental caries, as it’s been shown to quickly increase the pH in the mouth (reducing acidity).
In the kitchen
Forget the great slabs of fried haloumi you see in café salads. Use a little oil spray or a non-stick pan to fry haloumi slices without extra oil, and slice into small cubes to toss over a salad. This adds loads of flavour without the heart attack. It’s better for the wallet, too. Recipe idea: Chargrilled pumpkin and haloumi salad with chickpeas.
Blue cheese and broccoli is a wonderful combination — try it in soup or risotto. The strong taste of blue cheese means you don’t need to use much to get great flavour.
For a cheesier sauce, mix a little grated parmesan with cheddar cheese.
Use ricotta as the base for a creamy pasta; stir through hot pasta and veges at the end of cooking and add a little parmesan for extra flavour. Recipe idea: Courgette and pea pasta with ricotta cheese.