A cheesy kitchen tip.
Did you know that you can not only save a lot of money, but that it’s much healthier to grate your own cheese rather than buy the pre-grated stuff? I never buy pre-grated. I buy blocks (usually from our raw milk co-op) and we grate them ourselves.
Here’s why you should too:
- You get more for your money! Not only is block cheese usually priced less per ounce, freshly grated cheese also has greater volume than pre-grated that’s been sitting in a bag. So, an eight ounce bag of grated cheese is equal to two cups, while an eight ounce block will yield as much as three to four cups (depending on how tightly you pack it). I pack mine loosely and haven’t found a recipe yet that didn’t work this way.
- It lasts longer! A block of cheese wrapped in foil will last for weeks as opposed to a package of pre-grated cheese, which only lasts three to five days.
- It’s healthier! Pre-grated cheese is coated with an additive to keep it from clumping and to inhibit mold. This is often cellulose, potato starch, or something similar. Some of these additives can particularly be a problem for anyone with any kind of gluten sensitivity, since they’re often derived from gluten-containing sources.
- It tastes better! Cheese grated the old-fashioned way melts much smoother and tastes much better! This was an unexpected benefit we found when we made the switch, but it makes sense! There’s nothing coating the cheese to keep it from melting very smooth and creamy. We can all tell the difference immediately now, just by taste and texture.
- It’s easy! Grating by hand only takes a couple of extra minutes, and it’s a great job for one of the kids to do! 😉
We’ve been grating all of our own cheese for several years now and don’t miss the convenience of buying it pre-grated at all.