Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Snack Series: Cheese and Crackers

Have you ever seen Wallace and Gromit? "I'm just crackers for cheeeese!" I would have to agree with that statement. I love cheese in almost every form I've tried. (I'm not a fan of bleu cheese, and I once picked up a lovely looking specimen of expensive cheese at Whole Foods that made my hand stink for the rest of the afternoon). Sharp cheddar would have to fall within my top five cheese winners. The saltiness and pungency of it makes my taste buds happy. Paired with a whole grain crispy cracker, it makes a satisfying snack.

I learned all about some great health benefits of cheese in this article. It's like concentrated milk with no lactose, which makes it perfect for those who are lactose intolerant (like myself). Cheddar gained popularity when King Henry II loved it, and proceeded to order 10,000 pounds of it. Talk about being crackers for cheese.

The protein in cheddar cheese aids growth and repair of body cells, the iron helps produce more red blood cells, zinc boosts immunity, and potassium helps the body stay defensive against strokes and high blood pressure. Not only that, but cheese in general is one of the most popular sources of calcium in America. Calcium is good for our bones, teeth, colon health, and it also "stimulates many physiological activities such as blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, cell membrane function, and blood pressure regulation." And this is fascinating; I never knew this: "Pregnant women, especially those with a loss of appetite, would do well to eat calcium dense foods such as Cheddar cheese, for calcium helps stimulate contractions during delivery, and ensure proper milk production in the body to feed the newborn." Wow!

Cheese does have high salt and fat content, so it's best to just have a few slices. Don't overdue it, but slow down and enjoy a small portion of it!

The whole grains found in the crackers I used have many health benefits. They help reduce the risk of stroke, type II diabetes, heart disease, and contribute toward better weight management. My favorite things about whole grains are that they taste great and they have lots of fiber to fill me up quickly and keep me full longer.

Other posts you may like:

The Perfect Comfort Food


An Easy Dinner

Pear and Provolone Panini

Fresh Farmer's Market Pizza



1 comment:

tpeterr said...

Cheese and crackers is definitely a favorite snack of mine, too!

Some favorites:
- Extra sharp cheddar (sharper flavor means you can use less)
- Fontina (the real stuff, not "Fontal" or "fontinella")
- Doux de Montagne
- Smoked Gouda
- Dill Havarti (South Mountain Creamery sells a really good one at the Waverly Market)

I like this series of snack foods! Makes me hungry every time.