The year is coming to a close and many of us are setting resolutions and making goals to get 2020 off to a healthier start. If this sounds like you, then we have some great news to share: cheese is a health food. Even though it has a reputation for being an indulgence, cheese is actually rich with essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. A recent study even suggests that enjoying three servings of dairy a day is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.
Before you start packing in the pizza and fondue, take note: a healthy, cheese-filled diet is all about balance. A serving of cheese is 1 oz, which is about the size of 2 dice. Try to incorporate 3-4 oz of cheese into your daily diet and pair it with plenty of fruits and veggies.
Here are 7 of our favorite healthy and delicious pairings ideas to work into your resolutions.
1. Goat Cheese + Arugula
Fresh, tangy goat cheese is delicious sprinkled atop a bed of peppery arugula. Just add a little balsamic vinaigrette and some crunchy nuts for a perfect salad you can even bring to work.
2. Brie + Sautéed Mushrooms
The soft, pillowy rind on brie has notes of earthy mushrooms, so this pairing is a no-brainer. We especially like it melted down into an omelet or grilled cheese.
3. Cheddar + Apples
The perfect addition to any lunchbox! Cheddar is so toothsome and satisfying, some juicy apple slices are the perfect complement to that rich tangy flavor.
4. Gruyère + Caramelized Onions
Alpines like Gruyère naturally boast deep caramelized flavors and savory, brothy notes that go spectacularly well with onion jam. Try this combo in a sweet potato gratin or frittata.
5. Manchego + Marcona almonds
Sheep’s milk cheeses like Manchego are rich with notes of roasted nuts that shine when paired with Marcona almonds, which have a more delicate, slightly sweeter flavor than their California cousins.
6. Washed Rinds + Pickled Veggies
Zippy pickles have the right amount of acidity to cut through the rich, buttery texture and beefy flavors for which stinky washed rinds are famous. Try Taleggio with pickled peppers, preferably melted over pasta.
7. Blue Cheese + Dried figs
Salty, funky blue cheese crave something sweet to balance them out. We love pairing them with dried mission figs, which had a deep, complex sweetness that pairs well with creamy blues.