When it comes to snacks there are lots of sweet, salty and not-so-healthy options out there. Truth be told, it’s all too easy to reach for those sugary drinks and sweets when we hit that afternoon slump. But what if you could replace those junk-food snacks with something equally delicious and much more nutritious?
Cheese makes a great choice for snacking. Depending on your favourite variety, it can satiate a sweet tooth or calm a craving for the “salty-crunchies.” Best of all, cheese is packed with calcium, protein, and vitamins A, B12, and D. So not only does it keep your hunger in check, it helps you stay energised throughout the day.
Cheese snacks are easy to make and they can be enjoyed any time – mid-morning, after school, or at an evening gathering with family and friends. So next time hunger strikes ditch the chocolate bars or crisps and nibble on these delicious, wholesome cheese snacks instead.
Grown-Up and Gourmet
These delectable goodies combine your favourite cheeses with upscale ingredients and seasonings to bring snacking to a whole new level. Simple, yet sophisticated, they make elegant appetisers for a crowd or scrumptious indulgences for one.
- 2 ounces Gorgonzola or Cambozola or blue cheese of your choice
- Milk (as needed)
- 12 dried figs, halved lengthwise
- 24 blanched almonds
In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to blend the blue cheese until creamy. If the cheese is particularly crumbly, you may wish to add a few drops of milk to bring it to a smoother consistency. Place the figs cut-side up on a platter. Spread each with about 1 teaspoon of the creamy cheese and top with an almond.
Squares of Gruyère
This recipe can also be made with pitted dried dates or prunes.
Makes 6 servings:
- 500g Ricotta
- 225g shredded Gruyère
- 50g onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp each of dried chives and dried parsley
- 10 slices white bread, toasted
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Use a knife to remove crusts from the toasted bread
Cut each slice into 4 squares
Mix the Ricotta, Gruyère, onion, chives, and parsley in a medium bowl
Spread the mixture evenly over the 40 bread squares
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes
Leftovers can be easily frozen and reheated.
Fun and Wholesome
Help little ones get their recommended daily nutrients with these extra special treats. Packed with bone-building calcium and protein, they’re perfect pick-me-ups for after school.
- ½ tub light cream cheese
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2oz raisins
- 6 apples, halved and cored
Blend the cream cheese, sunflower seeds and raisins together in a small bowl. Fill the hollow core of each apple half with about one tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Serve immediately.
To make ahead, fill the apple halves with the cheese mixture and then press them back together to reassemble to the whole apples. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Cheese Pizzas on Pita
Makes 16 servings.
- 1 pita bread (preferably whole wheat)
- 1 small tin of chopped tomatoes
- 25g shredded mozzarella (or grated cheese of your choice)
Spoon tomatoes onto the pita bread and top with shredded cheese. Heat under a moderate grill until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Variations: Before grilling, top the shredded cheese with sliced mushrooms, chopped green peppers, or cubes of turkey and ham.
Quick and Easy
These creative combinations use simple ingredients you already have on-hand. And since they require no cooking, cheese lovers of all ages can make a delicious, nutritious snack in no time! Makes 1 serving.
1. Savoury Cheddar Snack Mix – combine shredded Cheddar cheese with twiglets or croutons and popcorn.
2. Turkey-Swiss Lettuce Wraps – spread Dijon mustard on a large lettuce leaf and top with slices of turkey and Swiss cheese. Roll up into a wrap.
3. Ricotta Seafood Spread – stir canned salmon or crab into a tub of Ricotta cheese. Enjoy with crackers or pita chips.
4. Tortilla Roll take a whole wheat, flour, or corn tortilla and top it with a slice of cheese of your choice. Roll up and dip into your favourite salsa.
Check out some more great foods and flavours to accompany cheese.