Feta Cheese: A Traditional Mediterranean Treat

Feta cheese is traditionally produced in Greece and is made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk. Because of its delightfully tangy flavor and its many beneficial qualities, feta cheese has also become popular in the United States and in many other parts of the world. Today, feta cheese and feta-like cheeses are available in most supermarkets outside of Greece. Some are made with cow’s milk or with a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk. True feta is made with at least 70% goat’s milk.

The health benefits of feta cheese

  • Feta cheese has fewer calories than most cheeses

Feta cheese has about 33% fewer calories than most cheeses, but has a much bolder flavor than other low-calorie cheeses like mozzarella. It even has fewer calories than half-fat cheddar. At 25 milligrams per ounce, feta cheese cholesterol levels are lower than those of many other soft cheeses.

  • Feta cheese contains high amounts of calcium.

At 140 milligrams per ounce, feta cheese is one of the best dietary sources of calcium.  Calcium is essential to the proper development and strengthening of bones and tooth enamel. A diet high in calcium has also been found to aid in weight loss.

  • Feta cheese is a better source of Vitamin D than cheeses made with cow’s milk.
  • Feta cheese hastens weight loss.

Conjugated linoleic acid, which is abundant in feta cheese, is an antioxidant and fatty acid that promotes the breakdown of abdominal adipose cells and improves metabolism.

Serving feta cheese

  • Crumble feta cheese over a green or Greek salad.
  • Slice feta cheese and serve it with marinated olives, roasted red peppers, and salami for a tasty antipasti platter.
  • Add feta cheese to pasta, sliced olives, fresh tomatoes, and herbs of your choice for a healthy pasta salad.
  • Stir some feta cheese into scrambled eggs.
  • Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese and herbs over spaghetti or lasagna.
  • Use it to make a spinach and feta frittata.
  • Add feta and sundried tomatoes to a turkey meatloaf.
  • Add it to lamb or turkey burgers.
  • Whip feta cheese and use it as a sandwich spread or a dip.
  • Stuff phyllo pastry with feta cheese for cheese pie triangles.
  • Bake potatoes, zucchini, and peppers with feta cheese for a delicious casserole.
  • Stuff peppers with a mixture of feta cheese before grilling or roasting them.

Considerations

Though pregnant women have always been advised to avoid eating soft cheeses, according to health experts, it is safe to eat feta cheese during pregnancy. After years of warning pregnant women to stick with hard cheeses, the FDA reversed its statement, saying that as long as soft cheeses were made with pasteurized milk, they shouldn’t pose a food poisoning risk. When purchasing cheese, choose those whose labels state that they were made with pasteurized milk.

Compared with other cheeses, feta cheese is quite salty. In fact, 30 grams of feta cheese contains a fifth of the daily recommended sodium intake for women. Use feta cheese in small amounts. Because it has such a distinct and strong flavor, a little bit of feta goes a long way.

Have you tried Urbangrains’ feta? If not, you are missing out, as it is not available at major supermarkets due to small production and artisan craftmasnship. Order online here 

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