Snacks and appetizers made with cheese are mouthwatering morsels, no wonder in 2013 Center for Science in the Public Interest was able to report that cheese consumption in America has skyrocketed since 1970. Back in the ’70s, Americans averaged 8 pounds, and by 2013 this had jumped to 23 pounds per person, per year, on average. Even though it has calcium and protein, cheese is not always the healthiest option because it can have a high saturated fat content. That said, you can probably still indulge in the cheesy goodness of foods in moderation. Snack-sized offerings and appetizers are a portion-controlled way to have your cheese and eat it too, so try one of these six recipes the next time you want a bit of this dairy product in your day.
1. Easy Cheesy Crackers
Did you know you’re only three ingredients away from homemade cheese crackers? That’s right, a few ingredients, a little bit of time in the kitchen, and this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food are all you need to get your cheese-cracker fix without busting open a bag of Goldfish or other cheese-flavored snack cracker. It makes about 2 dozen crackers.
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tablespoon size chunks
- 4 ounce or 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all three ingredients in a food processor and blend. The mixture will eventually turn into one big ball chasing itself around the bowl. Be patient because it can take a few minutes.
Roll the ball into a log about 1½ inches in diameter. At this point you could refrigerate the dough until later. With a sharp knife slice ¼ inches thick pieces off the log (pictured above) and place each one flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Try to rotate which side you are cutting down on because the top of the log does start to flatten a little. If you want your crackers to look a little fancy take a fork and gently mash down the top of each one before baking.
Bake for 8 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. The thicker the crackers the longer it will take. These crackers can be stored in the freezer so double the recipe and save some for later.