Sunday, March 20, 2016

How to Make a Healthy Gluten Free Low Carbohydrate Ham and Cheese Paleo Sandwich

How about some wood pulp in your cheese? A lot of recipes call for shredded cheese. But have you ever stopped to think what exactly shredded cheese is? In order to keep it from clumping, processed shredded cheese often contains cellulose, a processed fiber created in a food laboratory made from wood pulp. Yum!

Rather than use cellulose, some processed shredded cheeses use starches or calcium sulfate to prevent caking. If you're trying to avoid carbohydrates that are high in glycemic index, those little hidden starches from potato starch and cornstarch can really add up.  For instance, here's a list of the ingredients I found in one such processed cheddar shredded cheese:

Pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto (color), potato starch, cornstarch and calcium sulfate added to prevent caking, natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor)

In contrast, here's the ingredients listed on a block of parmesan cheese:

Pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes

And here's the ingredients listed on a block of Pecorino Romano cheese:

100% pure pasteurized sheeps milk, cultures, rennet, salt

Packaged shredded cheese is a processed cheese like product, just as packaged loaves of bread are bread like products. Folks, this is not real cheese. This is not real food.

If you have Netflix, I highly recommend you watch Michael Pollan's four part series, Cooked. Based on his book by the same name, the last in the series features the element land. He interviews a nun who shows how microorganisms turn milk and rennet into real aged cheese.

One way to enjoy real cheese is to buy blocks of real aged cheese and shred what you need with a grater. Aged cheese is so flavorful, you only need a little to add a ton of umami to your dishes. Try making your kids gluten free low carbohydrate ham and cheese sandwiches by putting a slice of cured sausage in between two parmesan crisps.

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