Cheese is a nutrient-dense food that provides protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially calcium. A serving size of cheese is 1 1/2 ounces, which is about the size of 3 dominoes.
- Aged or sharp cheese often costs more than soft or mild cheese.
- Sliced or grated cheese usually costs more than blocks of cheese.
- Processed cheese (including American cheese) may cost less than natural cheese, but has added salt and oil.
- Compare the cost per ounce. If buying cheese in bulk is more cost efficient for your budget and family needs, follow our tips for storing extra cheese below.
- Keep unopened cheese in the refrigerator and in the packaging until ready to use.
- After opening, wrap cheese tightly, as air causes it to dry out and grow mold. If mold occurs on hard cheese, cut away the mold plus one inch and throw away. Keep the knife out of the mold so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese. After trimming off the mold, cover the cheese in fresh wrap. If mold occurs on soft cheese (cream cheese, etc.) discard it.
- Cheese can be frozen. However, it can dry out. Frozen, grated cheese works best for baked dishes like a casserole or lasagna. There is no need to defrost, just add it to the dish.
Cooking with cheese
Cook cheese on low heat as high heat causes it to become rubbery and/or stringy.
Ways to enjoy cheese
- Sprinkle grated cheese on baked potatoes or other vegetables.
- Top meat and veggies with a slice of cheese on a whole grain sandwich.
- Top chili or soup with grated cheese.
- Make tacos or burritos and top with cheese.
- Make a cheese and vegetable omelet.
- Add grated cheese to biscuit dough before baking.
- Add grated cheese to scrambled eggs.
- Add a slice of cheese to an English muffin and eat with fruit for a quick breakfast.
- Make a quick lunch of cheese, refried beans, and veggies on a tortilla.