Do you love Cream Cheese? Well, many people do. It’s a fresh, soft mild tasting cheese that is produced from a combination of milk and heavy cream. Cream cheese is the most well-known spread for breakfast meals such as sandwiches, wraps, and bagels. Chefs would also use cream cheese for different recipes like baked goods, soups, and pancakes. The best part is its nutritional benefits for the body as it contains minerals and key vitamins.
Cream cheese is a delicious and versatile fresh product. Take note though, it needs to be consumed fresh because it is formed with the use of lactic acid, which means that it has a relatively short life span even though you’ve kept it in the freezer. It used acid such as citric acid to clot the milk, so it is also suitable for vegetarians.
Cream cheese is smooth and spreadable with a sweet taste and a pleasant slight tang. This type of cheese is widely consumed by the people in the United States and is present in cheesecakes, toppings, cake, frostings, desserts, savory dishes and sweets.
Today, cream cheese has many more uses than ever. It is also very popular with everyone because of its mild-flavored soft cheese used in both savory dishes and sweets. You can also pair it with various fruits, spices and even vegetables. Other than that, it is also ideal to use in dips and spreads.
It is worldwide famous that it makes us wonder, where did cream cheese really originated from?
Cream cheese was actually considered to be essentially an American product, however, there was proof of records that a cheese similar to cream cheese was sold in Europe back in the 16th century. But truth to be told, it was invented by an American dairyman named William A. Lawrence. He purchased a product called the Neufchâtel and added cream and by accident, developed a richer cheese he called cream cheese.
Two tablespoons of regular cream cheese contain the following nutrients:
- 96 calories
- 1 gram carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams of protein
- 9.5 grams of fat
- 354 international units vitamin A (7 percent DV)
- 29.7 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
- 27.4 milligrams calcium (3 percent DV)
Each serving that contains Cream Cheese has riboflavin, vitamin E, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, and folate.
How to make Homemade Cream Cheese
- 2 cups of cream
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 package cream cheese starter culture or 1/8 teaspoon Mesophilic starter culture
- Fine cheesecloth or a tea towel
- Sea salt (optional)
1. Find a glass container that you can use to hold your cream/ milk. Gently stir in the starter culture.
2. Loosely cover.
3. Leave on a countertop for eight to twelve hours to culture. The time varies depending on temperature.
4. When it resembles yogurt, it is fine and now ready.
5. Put the thickened cream into cheesecloth and allow the whey to drip out at least 12 hours.
6. Scrape out the cheesecloth and lightly put salt on it. Salt is optional, but it lasts longer.
7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
We give you an example of a recipe that you can try at home.
Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cups of white sugar
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F
2. Grease and flour one glass 9 x 13-inch pan
3. In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin
4. Start sifting the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
5. Spread into prepared pan
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes
7. Remove from oven and allow it to cool
8. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar
9. Evenly spread over bars after they have cooled.
After that, you can now finally taste your finished product. You can enjoy eating the Pumpkin Cake bars with cream cheese frosting.
Health Benefits of Cream Cheese: The Pros
The benefits you can have with cream cheese are the following:
1. Low in Lactose
Lactose intolerance is a common condition that unables a person to digest lactose. It can cause digestive issues like bloating, cramps, or diarrhea. Cream cheese on the other hand has a very low lactose which is considered good for a healthy diet.
2. High in Vitamin A
By having cream cheese as a spread on your usual breakfast meal, you’ve already consumed a good chunk of Vitamin which is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that helps the immune to function. This is important as this protects our body against infections and illness. Other than that, Vitamin A is also responsible for our vision and a deficiency in this causes serious effects like blindness.
3. Provides Antioxidants
Cream cheese is rich in Antioxidants and carotenoids which helps neutralize harmful free radicals to prevent oxidative stress and cell damage. Research found that antioxidants play a central role in health and disease. It provides protection from inflammation as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart complications, and others.
4. Versatile and Delicious
Cream Cheese is delicious, rich, and full of flavor. It is also versatile in which you can add some cream cheese into different dishes and sweets.
Cons of Cream Cheese
One of the downsides that cream cheese has is that the popular product is relatively low in protein. Cream cheese, compared to other types of cheese, have a relatively short shelf life and should be consumed within two weeks.
In the end, Cheese Cream is a good product for a healthy lifestyle. It is a good source of Vitamin A and doesn’t provide much lactose. Many people would recommend this product. Rating 5 out of 5 stars.