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As the messages about National Nutrition Month – and the effectiveness of following a personalized healthy eating plan – are conveyed to consumers, people are seeing the light or, at least, seeing the “light.”
Food manufacturers have offered light products deemed better for you for years, if not decades. Those products continue to evolve and improve, created for flavor and convenience as much as nutrition and a lower-fat/calorie/sugar/salt profile.
Case in point: Vermont’s Cabot Creamery Cooperative. During National Nutrition Month, Cabot is emphasizing its line of Light Cheddar cheeses and Greek Style Yogurt.
"Generally speaking, many people know which are the best food choices. One of the reasons I most often encounter for why they're not eating better is they think the healthier choices just don't taste as good,” said Regan Jones, R.D., national nutrition communications manager for Cabot.
According to Jones, Cabot’s Light Cheddar cheeses offer more with less: less fat and sodium than other light/reduced-fat cheddar cheeses and more calcium and protein. Variety is also key to success in a lighter diet, and to that end, the Cabot’s Light Cheddar line includes Sharp Light, Sharp Extra Light, Jalapeno Light and Pepper Jack Light varieties.
The Light cheese line has been recognized for its balance of flavor and healthfulness. In 2012, the World Championship Cheese Contest awarded the top score for reduced-fat cheddars to Cabot Sharp Light and the American Cheese Society named Jalapeno Light as Best of Class.
For National Nutrition Month and beyond, Cabot Creamery Cooperative is also is encouraging people to eat more healthfully by substituting high fat-foods with more nutritious alternatives. For those who want to swap out higher fat ingredients like heavy cream, oil and mayonnaise, Cabot has created a Greek-Style Yogurt substitution guide.
Visit Cabot online for recipes and other information, including how to obtain a Greek Style Yogurt substitution guide.
In the meantime, here’s a consumer recipe that can be adapted for a prepared salad in the deli:
Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 Fuji apple
2 ounces Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. In medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and ginger.
2. Cut apple into quarters and cut away cores. Cut quarters into thin slices, then stack several slices and cut into matchsticks.
3. Add apple, cheese and cilantro to bowl and toss gently to combine.