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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Low Calorie Babybel Cheese & Cooking with Dairy Tips

low calorie babybel cheeseDieting and eating low calorie doesn't mean you have to give up cheese! Cheese and other dairy products are great sources of calcium as well as protein so it is great if you can find a way to incorporate low fat dairy into your diet. As you probably know there are many low fat and non-fat milk substitutes that you can purchase at your local supermarket. What you might know know is that: (1) some low fat dairy products taste better than others, (2) some low fat dairy products contain undesirable ingredients so it is important to read nutrition labels carefully, and (3) cooking with low fat dairy can be tricky!

I eat a lot of different low fat and non fat cheese and dairy products whether it is for a snack or for use in my cooking. One of my favorite low fat cheeses is a light version of the Babybel minis made by a company called the Laughing Cow. I grew up eating the full fat version of these yummy cheeses, so I was delighted when Laughing Cow came out with a light version (which is still delicious despite being light) that is only 50 calories, and 1 weight watchers point. Like the original version, the light version comes wrapped in red wax, so even unwrapping the cheese itself is a fun experience! I sometimes eat one of these cheeses after dinner in lieu of a sweet dessert, or I eat one in the afternoon for a quick dairy fix and high protein snack. I find that they are not only tasty, but they are also pretty filling considering their petite size (note, the light babybels are the same size as the regular babybels).

In lieu of posting more about low fat cheese (I'll pick up this topic in a later posting, with more suggestions), I decided to use the rest of this post to share with you a list of tips my friend Laura and I put together to help guide you in integrating low fat and non fat dairy into your cooking/dishes. We hope you find it helpful!

Non-Fat Substitutions:

- Use slices of non-fat cheese on cold sandwiches, or shred it and use it as a topping for salads.
- Top baked potatoes, strawberries, or soup with non-fat sour cream. Or make it into a yummy cold onion dip for veggies.
- Pour skim milk or 40 calorie almond milk into your low calorie cereal or coffee.
- Enjoy a yummy snack of non-fat Greek yogurt topped with frozen berries, freeze dried fruit, some low calorie cookie buttons, or other fruit in season.

Low or Reduced-Fat:

- Stir low-fat sour cream or yogurt into sauces or soups right at the end of cooking to give them a thicker, creamier texture.
- Use low-fat cheese when you need to melt a lot of it, like in a lasagna, on boca spicy chicken patties, or in mac and cheese.
- Substitute 1% milk or sour cream for full-fat in any baked goods.
- Use low-fat mayo (I haven't blogged about my favorite low calorie mayo yet but will soon!) in cold salads like tuna and chicken.

Full-Fat:

- Generally stick with regular butter in baked goods, since margarine or light butter can dramatically throw off the texture of cookies or cakes, unless the person who wrote the recipe swears they know what they were doing!

Enjoy!
Juliet

4 comments:

Diane said...

light babybel cheese is one of my favorite WW snacks and you can get them in bulk in Sam's club relatively inexpensively.
I also love Laughing Cow Light Swiss (1 point for a pre-wrapped wedge) and this cheese is spreadable and is great on sandwiches. Because it's spreadable, you don't even need mayonnaise. I make a 3-point sandwich with this, Hillshire Farms Ultra Thin deli Select Turkey or Ham, light bread and lots of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Filling, guilt-free and so yummy!

Juliet said...

Yes, I'm a huge fan of Laughing Cow Light Cheeses as well. I like to spread it on bagels and also cut them into little pieces and put them on home made pizzas (reminds me of goat cheese -- a bit random but it is actually really good!). Thank you for your comment and suggestions. :)

Amy said...

Great blog Juliet! I was wondering what that low cal mayo you mentioned was :) I'm desperately searching for something to use in tuna salad that's low cal without a bunch of weird ingredients!

Juliet said...

Thanks Amy! :) That's a great question. I actually make my own. I will post the recipe really soon.

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