Say Cheese, Grilled Please

Southeast Dairy Association - strawberry brie grilled cheese

A grilled cheese sandwich holds many memories for kids and adults alike. With National Grilled Cheese Day around the corner, it’s time to look at why grilled cheese is a fun and nutritious addition to many eating plans.

Like all dairy, cheese is a beneficial source of calcium, in fact it is the number two source of dietary calcium in the American diet! It’s also a high-quality source of protein and phosphorus which plays an important role in oral health and bone support. For those who are lactose intolerant, cheese can be an important source of calcium. Cheeses like Swiss and parmesan contain only small amounts of lactose and are just some of the many cheese varieties that pair well between two pieces of toasty bread.

Since grilled cheese is highly customizable with so many varieties of cheeses and filling combinations, you can use up lots of things in your fridge and freezer. To reduce food waste, remember some cheeses can be frozen and defrosted! Softer cheeses like mozzarella and younger cheddar cheeses freeze just as well. Just leave them in the fridge for 1-2 days to bring them back to their full potential.

For a unique grilled cheese, try brie and pear sandwiches or herbed ricotta and garden veggies. Looking to add some spring strawberries? Strawberry brie grilled cheese is sure to be a hit at baby or wedding showers! To make grilled cheese extra party-worthy, cut into small tea sandwich shapes. But these are truly only a small slice of the infinite grilled cheese possibilities. For more grilled cheese inspiration dive into these grilled cheese recipe ideas and see how easy it is to fit cheese into nearly every eating plan.

Carlene Thomas is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, food and beverage content creator, and spokesperson based in Virginia. She and her husband run a content creation company that focuses on videography, photography, and stop motion on digital platforms for national brands. On her blog, Healthfully Ever After, she shares a balance of recipes that are simple when best, yet complex when worth it, allowing readers to explore more unusual flavor marriages and techniques like using sous vide. In the nutrition world, Carlene is the immediate past president of the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the 2017 winner of the Emerging Dietetic Leader award in Virginia.

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