All posts by Edward Edwards

Why Cheese Is Good For You

Cheese is very delicious.It is almost on every single piece of food we eat such as pizza, tacos and when you make simple sandwiches. Cheese, however, has a bit of a bad reputation of not being good for your health although that is not entirely true. I am here to tell you that cheese is good for you and has many health benefits, but  its important to remember that cheese tastes best when its kept fresh.  If you are not planning to use your cheese immediately or have some left over cheese  you can always freeze it for later use. This requires a fridge and a freezer that  will keep it  at a food safe temperature while maintaining its freshness . You can buy the best refrigerators and freezers from True in Saudi Arabia.

Cheese contains fat, so people assume that you gain weight, but that is not always the case. Italy, France, and Greece eat cheese regularly, and they have the lowest rates of obesity. So despite what you hear cheese is actually good for you.

Here are eight reasons why cheese is good for you:

1. Cheese Has Minerals and Calcium
Everyone knows that cheese contains calcium, but cheese is also packed with other vitamins and minerals. Cheese contains, vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and B12. The combinations of these vitamins and minerals in cheese can help keep your heart, brain and bones strong. When you are eating a piece of cheese, you are also digesting linoleic acid which is an anti-cancer agent and it also boosts your metabolism.

2. Excellent Source of Protein
Many people think you can only get protein from meats. The truth is cheese is packed with protein. Cheese contains the right amount of amino acids which allows our body to absorb protein. So if you are trying to eat less meat, try having a piece of cheese to get the protein that your body needs.

3. Less Salt
Believe it or not, cheese has less salt than other foods. If you compare the amount of salt in fast food and salt in your favorite comfort foods cheese is a better option. Many people have to watch their sodium intake so having a piece of cheese can keep your sodium levels normal. Soft cheeses have less sodium than harder cheeses, so soft cheeses are the best options for low sodium.

4. Cheese Has Good Bacteria
Most people don’t know that cheese has good bacteria. Cheese has bacteria that can help prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They can also help with different digestive problems such as Irritable bowel syndrome, Chrones disease, colon cancer and even ulcers. Maintaining good levels of bacteria can also prevent yeast infections. So cheese is good for many bacterial issues.

5. Good For Your Teeth
We all know that dental hygiene is imperative for healthy gums. Cheese can also keep your teeth healthy. The casein in the cheese helps replace minerals that are lost in your teeth. Having a little bit of cheese after you eat your meal can help keep the build up of acid neutral. Cheese can also produce more saliva which can contribute to reducing major dental issues.

6. Natural Fat
Our body needs fat, but it is important to have fat in moderation. Fat is one of the most effective forms of energy in our body. Fat can also help us have healthy hair and skin, and fat can protect our organs. The fats found in a piece of cheese is filled with natural fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. Cheese contains protein and fat, and that combination can slow down the absorption of carbs.

7. Helps Aid In Weight Loss
If you are trying to maintain or lose weight having a piece of cheese can help. Studies have shown that whole fat dairy products can help with weight loss compared to low-fat products. It has been shown that you are less likely to become obese if you add more cheese in your diet. You have probably heard the opposite but eating the right amount of cheese in moderation can really help you lose weight.

8. Cheese Improves Blood Sugar
Having normal blood sugar readings is important especially to those with diabetes. Although it is best to avoid fat when you have diabetes, cheese helps improve blood sugar control and reduces negative risk factors. Cheese is good for your blood sugar, and you can easily carry it as a snack to work or school.

Cheese is a great tasting food that has a lot of health benefits. It has high essential nutrients that can lower the risk for various health conditions. Most people think eating cheese is not good for you but cheese is good for you. Cheese can help maintain your overall health, and you can enjoy cheese in many different ways.

Six simple steps of how cheese is made from milk

The quality of cheese that you get depends on the quality of the one key ingredient, that is, the quality of milk. Before the process of making cheese begins, the milk to be used is tested for purity and quality. So if you are to make one pound of cheese, you will need to have approximately 10 pounds of quality and pure milk.

A little background information

Cheese is a fermented type of food that is derived from milk. The milk is not limited to cows as it can be derived from various animals. Since 10,000 B.C, when humans domesticated the milk-producing animals, they have come to know the propensity of milk and can properly separate it into whey and curds. As milk is breaking down, it separates into curds; this is lumps of phosphoprotein and into the whey. Whey is a watery fluid that is gray in color; it contains minerals, vitamins, lactose and some traces of fat. The curd collected is used in making the cheese you love so much. As a result, every culture that you will find in this beautiful world has developed their own methods, the only major exceptions that exist is ancient Americas and China.

The first cheese that was made was fresh, that is, it did not go through the fermentation process. It consisted only of the salted white curds that were drained of the remaining whey; you could this is similar to the cottage cheese we enjoy today. The next step that was taken was developing ways to accelerate the natural separation process. This was done by adding some rennet to the milk being used. Rennet is a type of enzyme found in the stomach of young ruminants. A ruminant is an animal that chews its food thoroughly, it has a complex digestive system that has three or four stomach chambers, and cows are the best-known creatures that are of this kind. Ever since rennet is a popular way to start your cheese making process, however, other starting agents are still used, such as lactic acid and plant extracts.

The process of making cheese

1. The preparation of milk
Most cheese factories prefer the morning or the evening milk; they purchase it from the small dairies as they do not pasteurize their milk. This type of milk contains the necessary bacteria needed to produce lactic acid, one of the agents that trigger curding. The milk is left to sit until enough lactic acid has formed to make the particular cheese they are to make. The milk is heated depending on the type of cheese being made.

2. Separate the curd from the whey
The next step is adding some vegetable or animal rennet into the milk; this helps in furthering the separation of the curds and the whey. Once it has formed, the curds are cut horizontally and vertically with a knife. However, in the large factories, they would cut the curds with multi-bladed knives to speed up the process. The soft type of cheese is cut into large chunks, while the hard cheese into small pieces. After the curds are cut, they are heated to speed the separation from the whey; at times, they are left alone. Once the separation is complete, the whey is drained.

3. The curds are pressed
The pressing process is done to remove the moisture present in the curds; the amount of moisture that is removed highly depends on the type of cheese being made. For the type of cheese with high moisture, the whey draining process will remove sufficient moisture. On the other hand, other types of cheese will require the curds to be cut and heated, then later filtered to get rid of the excess moisture. For example, when making cheddar cheese the curd is finely chopped, for dry hard cheese such as parmesan the curd is finely chopped then cooked. If the curd is to be aged, it will be put in molds where they are pressed to give the appropriate size and shape. The soft type of cheese does not undergo the aging process.

4. The cheese is aged
The fourth step involved is aging the cheese. At this step, the cheese is inoculated in flavoring mold, it is bathed in brine, and then wrapped in hay, or cloth before it is kept in a room with proper humidity and temperature to age. Some cheese could be aged for a month and some several years. When cheese undergoes the aging process, it sharpens the flavor. An example, if cheddar cheese goes through aging more than two years it is labeled as extra sharp.
 
5. Wrapping the natural cheese
As some types of cheese are being produced they develop a natural ring around as their surface dries. Other rinds tend to develop due to the growth of bacteria that was sprayed on the surface of the cheese. In other cases, the cheese may be washed; this processes encourages the growth of bacteria. In place or in addition to the natural rinds, cheese can be sealed with wax or cloth. If the cheese is to be eaten locally, then this is all the packaging it will need. However, cheese produced in large quantities is packaged for sale, this type of cheese is usually heavily slated for export, an example is Roquefort, or it could be sealed in foil or impermeable plastic.

6. Wrapping the processed cheese
The edible but inferior cheese can be made into processed cheese. Emmental, which is commonly known as Swiss, Gruyere, which is similar to Swiss, cheddar or Colby are cut and finely ground. The powder is then mixed with water to form a paste; other ingredients are then added to the mixture; such as fillers, salt, preservatives, flavorings, and emulsifiers. Once properly mixed, it is heated. While it is still soft and warm, the paste is extruded into ribbons that are sliced. The cheese sheets are then put on the foil or plastic then wrapped with a machine.

Goat Cheese vs Feta Cheese–the Difference

Looking at feta and goat cheese do you ever wonder what the difference is between the two? Some people mistakenly refer to feta as goat cheese but the two are not one in the same. One difference is that feta cheese has a higher content of sheep’s’ milk than goat’s milk. According to the regulations that surround the official name of feta thirty percent or less of the milk used to make feta cheese can come from goat’s milk. The rest of the content has to be from sheep’s’ milk. If it has less than seventy percent sheep’s milk, it cannot be called feta cheese, officially speaking. Goat’s cheese is made from one hundred percent goat’s milk and is a good alternative cheese to eat if you are allergic to cow’s milk. The milk content is one of the reasons that the two cheeses are different but there are also other reasons.

Where it is made

• Goat cheese—this cheese is most common in France and unlike feta cheese, it is aged only for a short period of time. Some goat cheese is ready to be eaten soon after it is formed and salted. The longer the cheese is aged the stronger the flavor. As the cheese ages the darker the outside rind becomes so if you want a lighter flavor choose the one that has the whitest rind.
• Feta cheese—it has a long history of being made in various Mediterranean countries. It is required in these countries that it be aged for at least three months. It is also checked to make sure the milk content is correct along with the time it was allowed to age so it can be accurately labeled feta cheese. The name comes from Greek and means a morsel or slice. It is also associated with various Greek dishes, like on Greek salads.
 
Differences in taste and appearance

Both cheeses are white in color but have different rind colors, especially goat cheese as it ages. On the cheese spectrum, they are on the “soft” side.

• Goat cheese—the taste that most people find is sweet and soft but remember as it ages the cheese will have different flavors. Some even say it is saltier tasting than feta cheese.
• Feta cheese—the dominant flavor of this cheese is having a salty taste because it is preserved in brine. Some even describe the flavor as tangy and sharp or even bitter.

Goat cheese nutritional value

This is for a one-ounce portion

• Calories—76
• Total fat—6 grams
• Saturated fat—4.1 grams
• Trans fat—0 grams
• Protein—22 grams
• Sodium—130milligrams
• Dietary fiber—0 grams
• Total carbohydrates—3 grams
• Sugars—3 grams
• Cholesterol—79 grams
• Calcium—40 milligrams
 
Feta cheese nutritional value
 
This is for a one-ounce portion

• Calories—75
• Total fat—6 grams
• Saturated fat—4.2 grams
• Trans fat—0 grams
• Cholesterol—89 milligrams
• Protein—14 grams
• sodium—260 milligrams
• Dietary fiber—0 grams
• Total carbohydrates—4 grams
• Sugars—4 grams
• Calcium—140 grams

Goat cheese interesting facts

• Price—a pound of regular goat cheese is approximately $7.50 but depends on where you purchase it. For specialty goat cheese it can cost as much as $30 a pound
• It can be eaten by people who are suffering from chronic kidneys because it is low in potassium
• Tastes a little like cream cheese but more firm
• Crumbles easy
• Delicate in texture
• As it ages it becomes chalky and harder

Feta cheese interesting facts

• Price—a pound of feta cheese costs about $5.99
• Contains “good bacteria” that makes antibiotics that helps kill the food poisoning bacteria called Listeria
• It has a chunky texture
• Although it ages for three months it does not get better with age but only goes bad

Facts about cheese in general

It is one of the main dietary sources of saturated fat. This is the fat that raises the levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol in your blood. This can increase your risk of having some form of heart disease. No more than ten percent of your daily calories should come from fat. If you are on a 2,000-calorie diet then your saturated fat should be no more than 20 grams a day. Both goat and feta cheese have approximately the same amount of saturated fat so either one would be good to eat as a snack with other healthy foods or on a healthy salad.

Cheese is also a top contributor of sodium in your diet. The maximum amount of sodium most people should have a day is 2,300 milligrams. An ounce of feta cheese provides you with approximately 14% of your daily calcium needs. Calcium is need for strong healthy bones.

Cheese Health Benefits

Cheese has many benefits. This is because it contains enough nutrients like protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A, as well as vitamin B12 and several others. It offers sufficient quantities of milk nutrients. These nutrients are important because they contribute to the many benefits people derive from consuming cheese. You can get these great benefits, when you take moderate consumption of cheese. Here are some of the benefits that you can derive from cheese.
Osteoporosis and bone health benefits
One of the greatest benefits that you can derive from consumption of cheese is that it makes for bone health and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a health challenge that emanates from degenerative disease. The challenge can lead to bone density reduction, and increases the chances of bone fractures. Health experts have recognized the benefits of cheese in addressing this health challenge. Cheese consumption is recommended as an effective remedy against problems like osteoporosis. This problem is common among the elderly people.
Healthy heart
It is known that one of the major causes of death is heart related diseases. You can effectively address this problem when you consume milk related cheeses. Research has shown that this is beneficial to those with heart diseases. Moreover, there is the belief that cheese consumption could prevent sudden death resulting from hypertension. When you consume the right quantities of cheese, you are going to achieve a healthy heart. This is good because it is going to prolong your life.
Cheese has many health benefits because of multiple factors. This emanates from the fact that cheese contained multiple ingredients such as magnesium, potassium, and most importantly, calcium contained in the milk product in a unique combination. This is why it can help in solving many heart related problems. Moreover, peptides formed in the process of casein digestion of cheese contain protein that is helpful in the health benefits users derive from cheese consumption. The fact is that when cheese is moderately consumed, it is going to protect the heart.
Cheese can stop hypertension through DASH approach. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and this is a dietary formulation designed to stop hypertension. This means that health experts are aware of this important uses of the cheese. When you take to the DASH formulation, it would reduce the risk associated with high blood pressure.
Another important benefit you can derive from cheese is that it helps in gaining weight, as well as dental care. It is in recognition of this that cheese consumption is highly promoted in the Americas and Europe, as well as Australia and several others. Cottage cheese is found to be more useful in terms of dental care and weight gain.
Cheese has some dental benefits because of its high calcium content. Calcium remains the most important ingredients you need to have strong teeth. Cheese contains sufficient quantities of calcium. Furthermore, cheese can contain lower content of lactose. When it contains low content of lactose, it is healthier to the teeth. Because of this, experts would recommend old cheese because the older it becomes, the fewer lactose it contains. It is known that lactose contains glucose and maltose and this is known to be very harmful to the teeth.
A lot was said about cheese benefits in controlling hypertension and high blood pressure. It is important to warn that this depends on the sodium content. This depends on the quantity of salt added to the milk before the cheese forms. You should be mindful of sodium content before it is recommended for hypertensive patients, as sodium is not good for high blood pressure.
Weight gain
If your doctor recommends weight gain for you, consider cheese because it is an excellent food for weight gain. It contains all those ingredients necessary for weight gain such as vitamins, minerals, calcium, fats as well as proteins and several others. Your body requires proteins to build and grow your muscles. This is necessary because it can improve your muscles and bones metabolic functions. For all these to be effective, you have to take the right quantities of cheese, exercise normally and sleep very well.
There are several other benefits you can derive from consuming cheese, for instance, it can prevent cancer. This is because of the conjugated linoleic acid and sphingolipids contents. These are known for their ability to prevent cancer formation in the body. Most importantly, cheese contains sufficient quantities of Vitamin B, which helps the body in different ways. Most importantly, it protects the body against such diseases like beriberi. Furthermore, it could enhance blood formation in the body, as well as strengthens the liver. Very importantly, cheese helps in the absorption of important nutrients in your body.

Cheese types and characteristics

Several types of cheeses are available. Cheese classifications are based on a number of factors such as the texture, the ageing, fat content, method of preparation, country of origin, as well as the animal content and several other factors.
The method of preparation is based on such factor as the moisture content. This is further broken down to curing and fat content. These methods of preparation can be used in combination and it can be a single method. However, it appears that no single method is accepted or used universally. There are several combinations of methods and because of that; there are more than five hundred varieties in the market today. The International Dairy Federation and several other bodies recognize those accepted as varieties. Because of that, it may not be simple to classify different kinds of cheese. However, there are some noticeable cheese, types and they are known by their characteristics.
Different types of cheese

Fresh cheese

This is characterized by their age. These are fresh and this means that they have to be consumed before they spoil. These cheeses can spoil if not consumed immediately; otherwise, you have to add preservatives in other to prevent them from spoiling. Usually fresh, stretch curd, as well as whey cheese is classified together and that has to do with their freshness and their age and the fact that they do not usually contain preservatives unless you do not want to consume them immediately. There are different kinds of cheese classified here; the most common among them is the pasta filata cheese, which includes the Mozzarella and several others.
Soft to hard cheese
The major characteristic of this cheese is the moisture content. There are several variations here as the cheese can be soft, semi soft and hard, but the most important factor here is the moisture content of the cheese. When the moisture content is discussed, the pressure, which the cheese is packed, comes to mind, and it equally has to do with the ageing time and so on. An example of soft cheese is the cream cheeses as well as Neutchatel and Brie and several others. These cheeses are not matured, and which may take more than one month to mature. Semi cheeses on the other hands include Port Salut, Munster, and Havarti. These are known for their high moisture content.
Medium to hard cheese on the other hands has to do with the texture. Examples include the Gruyere and Emmental. Others include Cascaval, cantal, Jarlsberg, Edam as well as Gouda. These cheeses are good for melting, and they can often be served as simple meals, as well as quick snacks.
The semi hard and to hard cheese is another category under the group. When you get harder cheeses, they are going have lower moisture content when compared to softer cheeses. Moreover, they are usually packed under greater pressure mold. Moreover, the age is more than the soft counterpart is.
Sources of milk used
Cheeses can equally be classified based on the type and the source of milk used in producing the cheese. Fat content used in producing the cheese is another consideration in this type of cheese. There are many cheeses consumed in different parts of the world produced from cow milk. Several others are produced from sheep and goats and so on. Source of milk is very important in the classification of cheese.
Smoked cheese
This is another type of cheese and this cheese is exposed to smoke and this is done for a period. The cheese will get a unique flavor known as the smoky flavor. The smoky flavor you get can come from different kinds of woods used in preparing them. Some examples of smoked cheese include Pavarti, smoked Mozzarella as well as Brezain and several others.
Firm cheese
This is another type of cheese. The cheeses are aged, but they still have some moisture within. The moisture content gives the cheese the flavor. Examples of cheeses under this category include Cheddar, Comte, Manchego, and several others. The cheese rinds are not consumed, and people like this cheese because of the great flavor.
Blue cheese
Examples of blue cheese are Fourm d’Ambert, Roquefort, Gorgonzola and so on. This type of cheese is often injected with Penicillium culture and the aim is to create blueish green mold on the cheese. The cheese is typically aged and because of the blue mold, it creates salty and sharp flavor. The texture varies.

How To Make Delicious Cheesecake

Just the mention of the word “cheesecake” makes your mouth water. Cheesecake is one of the most decadent desserts but sadly, not many people know how to make it properly. This does not mean that you cannot learn how to make this blissful dessert in time for the holidays. Wouldn’t be nice to show your family and guests your baking skills? The year is about to end and if you still want to accomplish one important resolution, then learning how to make delicious cheesecake is the best way to seal the deal.

The best news about making a cheesecake is that all ingredients are readily available not only in your home but also at a store close by. Furthermore, all you need is a complete list of ingredients, step by step guide, time, passion and dedication. The one thing you need to know before learning how to bake a cheesecake is that there are so many flavors one can make. They include chocolate, pumpkin, chocolate cappuccino, marbled pumpkin, vanilla bean, easy sour cream, white chocolate raspberry, caramel macchiato and many more.

In this guide, you will learn how to make a simple cheesecake. Remember, this tutorial is just a guide. You can try out some of the cheesecake flavors mentioned above for a greater dessert.
 
Ingredients

Cake Filling
a. One cup of sugar
b.One cup of sour cream
c.One cup of heavy cream
d.Quarter cup of flour
e.Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
f.16 ounce cream-cheese

Cheesecake crust
a. Quarter cup of light brown sugar
b.Half a cup of melted butter
c.Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
d.One and a half cup of crushed graham crackers. You can also opt for honey graham crackers if you are looking for an exceptional taste

Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cook/bake time – 1 hour
Serves 8

Preparation
Crust Making

Step One
Take a clean bowl, combine all crust ingredients and stir together until all crumbs have been coated evenly. Use a fork for better results. Proceed to press the mixture at the bottom of a spring form pan. Make sure that the crumbs are compact.

Step Two
Place the mixture in the refrigerator until you have prepared the cheesecake filling.

Making of the Cheesecake filling
Step One
The second procedure you are going to accomplish is the making of the cheesecake filling. To ensure that your final cheesecake filling is not crumbly, you need to select the right pan. The best pan for a smooth crumble-free cake is the spring form pan. The pan is designed in form of a round cake and has a removable bottom. The whole pan is held together by a sprung collar. Use the spring form pan with the already prepared crust. Start the oven and preheat it to between 320 to 350 degrees. Remember to line up the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Step Two
Start by cutting the cream-cheese into large chunks and place it in the bowl of your mixer. Fit the electric-mixer with the paddle attachment in order to get the creamiest texture. Whip the mixture with an electric-mixer at low or medium speed. Do this for a total of four minutes. Continue with the process until the final mixture has no chunks and its creamy. Scrap the mix from the sides of the bowl. This is important as large chunks of cream-cheese do get stuck on the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the sour cream, add the heavy-cream and blend them together.

Step Three
Proceed by pouring the rest of the ingredients into the bowl one at a time. Set the electric-mixer at low-speed until you achieve a creamy mixture with no lumps. Before adding an ingredient, make sure that the previous one is fully incorporated into the mixture. (Useful tip – ensure a period of 4 minutes elapses before adding another ingredient) Between every addition, you need to scrap the sides of the bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and proceed to tap the pan on a hard surface. This helps to remove any air bubbles. You can save a quarter cup of the mixture for later use.

Step Four
Pour the mixture into the pan with the crust and place it in the oven. Bake it in the oven for a period of one hour. You can also prepare a water bath. Pour two quarts of water to boil and once it has boiled, place it in a roasting pan. Ensure it attains a halfway level up the side of your spring form pan. This will help you give the cake a water bath helping it to cook without cracking the crust.

Step Five
Turn your oven off, crack its door open and let the cheesecake cool for an hour. Remove the pan and run a sharp knife or spatula on the inside rim of the spring form pan. This helps to release the cheesecake and prevent cracking as it cools. Place it on the counter to cool. You can store it in the refrigerator overnight and when ready to serve, remove it from the pan and let it sit out for half an hour before you serve.

Enjoy!

How To Make Cheese Lasagna

As a couple or group of friends living together, there comes a time when you are tired of ordering in. All of a sudden, you have a craving for a home cooked meal just like your mom or grandma made when you visited during the holiday. If you are looking for a simple meal to prepare, then the classic lasagna is the best meal. It is a simple Italian dish that is not only a family classic but its worth the time and effort invested during preparation. Furthermore, it makes a great party food as it is easy to prepare.

Having enjoyed ordering in for a long time, you probably don’t have a clue where to start. With this how to make cheese lasagna guide, you will finally prepare the dish in time for a party or dinner with your partner. The best thing about the meal is that it can be made into a healthy dish if you are looking for a low fat alternative. You can prepare it ahead of time and refrigerate it up to 24 hours.

Ingredients
a. Two cloves of minced garlic
b.Fourteen half ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
c.Eight ounce can of tomato sauce
d.One cup of chopped onion
e.Twelve ounces of bulk Italian sausage or ground beef
f.One tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning. Make sure it’s crushed
g.Six dried lasagna noodles
h.One beaten egg
i.One fifteen ounce container of ricotta cheese. You can also opt for two cups of cream style drained cottage cheese
j.Quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese
k.Six ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
l.Quarter teaspoon of black pepper
m.One teaspoon of fennel seeds

Kitchen equipment
a. One large pan to make the sauce
b. Glass baking dish
c.Large pot for boiling pasta
d.Skillet

Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cooking/baking time – 30 to 45 minutes
Serves 8 to 12 people

Preparation
Step One –Pre-heat the oven
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degree F or 175 degree C. The reason for pre heating your oven is to prepare it early enough in order to attain the right temperature. Set the heat to medium and place the skillet. This will get the skillet nice and hot. Proceed to place the onions, garlic and ground beef. Wait for the beef to cook. This should take a period of 6 to 9 minutes. Make sure the beef has turned brown. Drain the fat and proceed to place the cooked ground beef in a large sauce pan. Take a look at what you have prepared and it should appear great. If not, you have done something wrong. Just repeat the instructions from the beginning and you should get it right.

Step Two – Boil the lasagna noodles
Place a large pot of water on a heat source and let it boil. Once it has boiled, transfer your lasagna noodles in the boiling water. Take care when doing so as the water is very hot and you don’t want to scald yourself accidentally. Let the lasagna noodles cook for a period of 10 to 12 minutes. Once the time is over, your lasagna noodles should be nice and tender but a little bit al dente. You need to rinse and drain the water away. Again, take care when draining the hot water as it could scald you if the pot is mishandled. Rinse them in cold water.

Step Three – Prepare the meat sauce
In step one, you had already started preparing the meat sauce. The meat sauce is in a large saucepan. Place the large sauce pan on medium heat, add the tomato sauces, the chopped dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Let the mixture boil on the sauce pan for some time. During this period, you need to stir it occasionally. This helps to ensure that every ingredient is well cooked. After a few minutes, your meat sauce should be nice and thick. It should smell wonderful too.

Step Four – Prepare the filling
Take the ricotta cheese, the egg, grated parmesan cheese and add them into the large sauce pan. Stir in order to mix up the ingredients well. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes before switching off the heat. Meanwhile, start preparing the large glass dish where you will transfer the mixture for the final procedure. Useful tip – your glass dish should measure 13 by 9 inches. This will have a volume of around 3 liters.

Step Five – Prepare the classic lasagna
Start by spreading half a cup of the meat sauce over the glass baking dish bottom. Proceed to layer half of the cooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Make sure to trim or overlap if necessary to ensure a good fit. Spread the filling and top it with half of the remaining meat sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process until all the layers are complete. If you desire, you can sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.
Place your glass baking dish on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake the lasagna for 30 to 35 minutes. Other chefs recommend a period of up to 45 minutes. You can also bake until the cheese is bubbly or the top is golden. Once the time has elapsed, let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your classic family lasagna.

The Difference Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta

Unripened fresh cheeses are popular all over the world because of their versatility in many kinds of food dishes. Two of the most renowned cheese are the cottage cheese and ricotta. These two are so similar that most people often substitute one for the other. How does one tell them apart?

When used in many-layered food such as lasagna, it’s hard to tell cottage cheese and ricotta from each other. The usual substitution ratio is 1:1. While they may seemingly taste the same, there’s a fundamental difference on how they’re made and how they provide nutritional value.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a kind of unripened, fresh cheese generally made from curds. Curds are formed when cream or milk get separated into their primary components- whey and curd. One of the most prominent differences here is that cottage cheese is made from noticeable curds and that ricotta is made using whey. The curds provide a lumpy appearance to cottage cheese as they remain loose in the process. Cottage cheese has a slightly acidic yet mild flavor.

Basically, cottage cheese is made from milk (usually a cow’s) and allowed to coagulate for curd-forming. The coagulation process begins when rennet or any other starter is mixed in to heated milk. The curds start to appear, and the other component, whey, is separated by draining. Whey appears as a yellowish liquid. The curds remain and they are rinsed. Then, they are mixed in with buttermilk or cream until the taste of classic cottage cheese is made.

Cottage cheese can be made using different milkfat percentages- 1, 2 or 4 percent. It’s overall nutrition is based on how much the percentage milkfat is used in the process.

Ricotta

Ricotta is traditional Italian cheese. As mentioned above, it comes from the whey that’s left after hard cheese production (Romano, Mozarella and the like). Ricotta is a kind of fresh cheese coming primarily from whey, called the Brocciu cheese family. The history of Ricotta is such that it was made from a water buffalo or a sheep’s milk whey, but nowadays it is acceptable to create ricotta using cow’s milk (called the North American Ricotta). There’s a subtle difference is taste- the North American ricotta has a sweeter and milder taste than its Italian counterpart. The ricotta is characterized by its smooth and creamy texture with a bit of tartness.

The whey collected from the cheese undergoes a day’s worth of fermentation. Then, it is heated until the curds form and placed into a cheese cloth for the final process. Alternately, ricotta makers can skip the day’s worth of fermentation by adding lemon or vinegar during the curding process. Ricotta can also be made with whole or skim milk instead of the traditional whey.

The Flavor

Cottage cheese has a creamy and a bit of a salty flavor when you taste it. Sometimes there’s a kind of tartness found in different cottage cheese brands. Ricotta is different that it is primarily creamy and has a slight sweetness in it. Cottage cheese texture is characteristically chunky because of the curds involved. It is also moist due to the addition of milk or cream. Ricotta has that smooth texture which becomes a bit grainy when you touch or taste it.

Cottage cheese is an excellent healthy snack because it’s a great source of calcium. The sweet flavor of ricotta makes it a versatile ingredient in many kinds of savory and sweet dishes. There are many kinds of texture available for ricotta, from slightly gritty to light and extra smooth varieties.

Is Cottage Cheese More Nutritious Than Ricotta?

Here’s where the difference lies between cottage cheese and ricotta. Nutrition plays a big factor in our lives, so it’s important to know which of the two cheeses have more nutritive value. The short answer here is that cottage cheese is the more nutritious of the two. Cottage cheese has the advantage when it comes to fat content and calorie count. Just to give you an idea, whole milk ricotta can contain up to 430 calories as compared to the 220 calories of creamed or full-fat cottage cheese. So if you’re conscious about the calories you consume, consider substituting cottage cheese for ricotta where appropriate.

But if you’re worried about daily sodium intake, then ricotta cheese may be the better choice. Cottage cheese is rich in sodium content when put in a side-by-side comparison with ricotta.

Difference between Cheese and Paneer

What is:

Paneer is type of cheese used as a South Asian cuisine common in in the Hindu, Chennai and Tamil regions. It’s a fresh cheese produced by churning milk with lemon juice, vinegar, and some acids through acidification. It is also cultured using a souring agent which coagulates the protein component in the milk while it is still fresh. On the other hand, cheese refers to dairy food made from compressed and ripened curd milk which has been separated from whey. It’s one of the products made from cow milk through acidification. There are different types of cheese in the market.

Production.

To make paneer the milk is boiled at about 200-degrees Fahrenheit. Certain types of acids are added to the boiled milk to coagulate it. To turn the coagulated milk into paneer, vinegar or lemon juices are added. The starting culture of yogurt production is not used. That’s because it dies at these high temperatures. Meanwhile to make cottage cheese the milk is coagulated at room temperature by adding yogurt with rennet as well as live culture. It’s the added live culture that converts lactose to lactic acid which in turn alters the pH of the milk. Meanwhile, the rennet has an enzyme that coagulates the milk to form a gel which is sliced into small or large curds.

Usage of the Products:

Their usage is also grounded in their origins. Cheese is often made from crude milk fats awhile a paneer is considered the domestic type of cheese. Cheese is mostly eaten raw. It can also be cooked into various types of dishes. The use of cheese is dependent on the kind of cheese. The top types of cheese are cream cheese, white cheese, brie, American cheese, Manchego, smoked gouda, etc. On the other hand, paneer cheese is used in the preparation of side dishes for fried food types like chapatti and naan. It’s also a prime ingredient in masala items. Paneer is sometimes referred to as the cottage cheese.

Nutrition content.

Paneer has about 46 UI of Vitamin D while cheese has about 3 UI. Paneers have a cholesterol content of about 4.6gms. Cheese has about 4x more. Cheese has about twice the amount of Folic acid as a paneer at about 12 ugs. Cheese also has 8x more sodium content than paneer but two-thirds less potassium. Paneer has more Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, and water content than cheese per 100gm serving. It also has more vitamin D, vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) and vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Both Paneer and cheese have equal amounts of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B3 (Niacin), and Zinc.

Health Benefits.

Both cheese and paneer are very delicious and nutritious delicacies. Paneer is a better option when it comes to heart heath as it has significantly lower amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol. Both contain a significant amount of protein content. However, a serving of cheese has more calories than an equal serving of paneer.

Cheese has a higher protein content than paneer which makes it better for weight gain and building
muscles. Cheese has a high amount of calcium which makes it a healthy meal for strengthening bones.
Cheese also provides a higher amount of vitamin A necessary for your eyes. Women who take cheese during
pregnancies lower the possibility of the new-born developing neurological disorders.

Popularity

Cheese has always been the least popular milk products lagging behind yoghurt, ghee, and butter. Even then it’s grown increasingly popular in the urban areas due to availability and ease of use in many recipes. However, paneer is popular in India, especially in the north-western part. That’s because it’s the only vegetarian cheese which you can offer your guests. The rennet used in making cheese is not vegetarian which rules out most cheese flavors and varieties in lots of Indian homes. Cheese is also not easy to integrate into most diets, especially Indian diets.Paneer is the most famous cheese in Indian homes around the world.

Storage.

If you buy a paneer block, it’s best to wrap it up in a muslin bag and refrigerate it. If you plan to store the paneer for long, then you’ll have to moisten the muslin wrap every 4 to five hours as refrigeration drains away the surface moisture. In the absence of a muslin bag, dip it in a bowl of water and keep the sealed container in the refrigerator. Change the water in the bowl every day to keep it fresh.

When it comes to cheese, the storage is dependent on the type. The harder the cheese-variety the longer it can be kept fresh in a fridge. Always refrigerate it with the original wrap. For softer cheese i.e. Swiss and cheddar cheese, keep them in plastic storage. Feta and mozzarella type of cheese have to be kept in water the same way you store an unwrapped paneer.

8 Types of Cheese You Should Consider Buying

Do you want to buy cheese? Choosing the best types of cheese can be sometimes challenging. That’s because many cheese brands are available in food stores. However, that should not bother you anymore. In this guide, we look at 8 types of cheese and their origins, tastes and colors.
They Are:
Asiago Cheese
You should consider buying Asiago cheese that has its origins in Italy, Europe. Its nutty flavored and comes in two types, the fresh Asiago (Presssato) and mature Asiago (Asiago d’allevo).
To differentiate them, you should keep in mind that the fresh Asiago has a mild flavor and is white in color. Mature Asiago is yellowish in color and has a grainy texture. Asiago cheese’s name is derived from the Asiago High Plateau, in the Italian Alps.
Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese originates from Cheddar, England and is from cow milk. It’s ideal if you prefer firm cheese. Its flavor ranges from sharp to mild, while its color ranges from pumpkin orange to natural white.
You should also consider buying orange cheddar with added natural dye, annatto. For creamier and smoother cheddar, consider buying Canadian cheddar. That’s because of its sharpness and flavor balance.
Keep in mind that cheddar flavors vary depending on their age and origins. That’s because as cheddar ages, it becomes drier in texture as a result of losing moisture. Its also becomes crumbly. Cheddar cheese is sold as old cheddar 12 months, at which sharpness is noticeable and extra old cheddar 18 months.
You should consider 3 and 5-year-old cheese for special occasions. That because cheddar cheese has 5-6 years favorable aging period.
Feta Cheese
Another type of cheese you should consider is Feta cheese. Formally accepted in 2002 as a Greek product, it’s white in color with a rich aroma.
Its taste is a bit sour with bit firm texture. It from sheep’s milk although cow milk as been used recently to produce it.
Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is a name given to goat, cow and sheep milk cheese that have added Penicillium cultures, which gives them their characteristic blue-green, blue and blue-gray mold. They have a distinct smell from other cheeses. You should also keep in mind that spores get injected into some blue cheese before the formation of solid masses (curds). In others, spores get mixed with curds after they form.
They initially got produced in caves, but nowadays get aged in environments that are temperature controlled. If you prefer salty and sharp cheese flavors, you should consider buying blue cheese.
Their strong smell and flavor make them ideal for you to melt or crumble them on food. You can also eat it without mixing with other foods.
Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is another type of cheese you should consider. That’s because you can quickly spread them. It can be hard aged or semi-firm cheese similar to feta. It’s common in Africa, Mediterranean and Middle East countries.
That’s because Hardy goats can survive in these areas as compared to cows. Its flavor is strong or tangy and sharp as a result of being a product of goat milk. Depending on your cheese tastes, you may find it ideal. This strong flavor is a result of hormones, which can get reduced by keeping males away from milk-producing goats.
You should also bear in mind that milk taste is influenced by what animals eat. Goats eat bitter plants, which other animals such as cows cannot.
Swiss Cheese
Cheese types that were initially from Switzerland are known as Swiss cheese. They are ideal if you prefer cheese from cow’s milk. Swiss cheeses have sweet, nutty and light flavors.
Its color is light, glossy or pale yellow. You should also know that they release carbon dioxide during their maturation. That makes them have their characteristic large holes.
Vegetarian Cheese
The enzyme rennet is not used to thicken vegetarian cheese, which exists in animal stomachs. These enzymes are used to thicken or coagulate milk by cheese makers to form the curd. Cheese makers instead use fungi, bacteria or plants to thicken vegetarian cheese.
Cheese producers use two types of rennet; that’s vegetarian and microbial. If you are a strict vegetarian, you should consider avoiding cheese made from microbial rennet. That’s because its enzymes are from either fungal or bacterial origins. Keep in mind that no animals are involved.
Several types of plants are used top thicken milk for vegetarian cheese production, for example, mallow, thistle and fig tree bark.
Cream Cheese
If you prefer fresh cheese, you should consider cream cheese. That’s because it’s not aged. Its taste is lightly strong (tangy) with a fresh, sweet and subtle flavor. You can spread it quickly at room temperature.
It also has a creamy and smooth texture that makes it delicious. It’s made by adding cream to cow’s milk, although this method limits its shelf life. It’s white in color and comes in low-fat and non-fat cream cheese types.

Purchasing the bets types of cheese should be easier using the above guide. The key points to remember are choosing cheese types that suit your tastes, color, budget and diet considerations.