According to the well known research engine, Wikipedia, cream cheese is a soft usually mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream. Put differently, cream cheese is a soft cheese with a smooth consistency.
It has a slight taste and is a popular spread for bread, crackers, and bagels. It is most times considered a healthier and better alternative than butter. The amount of calories in cream cheese varies depending on the type of cream cheese you purchase.
It is therefore advisable to take caution if you choose to include cream cheese in your meal plan most especially if you’re trying to lose weight or reduce the amount of calories in your body.
Cream cheese can also come in different forms. For example, the popular Whegular cream cheese which is often sold in a bar form or whipped tubes.
Where to purchase cream cheese
Cream cheese can be easily purchased from your grocery stores. It can be found in the diary section. Cream cheese are very affordable depending on the amount you purchase.
Now, it is therefore important to note that the amount of cream cheese you purchase will affect the fat content as well as the amount of calories that is to say that the more the amount of the product consumed, the increase in the amount of fat content.
Therefore, consumer should know the right amount of product to be consumed.
Nutrition Facts About Cream Cheese
However, research carried out on wipped cream cheese shows that it has lower amount of calories. This is simply because wipping process adds air to the cheese and it fluffs it up.
Therefore, it tends to appear like you get more cream cheese for the same size. Some industries producing the product also add skim milk as a major ingredient which tends to lower the amount of calories.
Cream cheese also comes in different yummy flavors. The amount of calories present in flavored Cream cheese also differs. Sweet rich flavors like fruit combinations, berries or strawberry cream cheese will definitely increase both the sugar and the calories count.
On the other hand, savory flavors like chive most likely would have added salt to the product and so the sodium content will be slightly higher but the amount of calories will most likely stay the same.
Carbs in Cream Cheese
Very little carbohydrate is present in cream cheese. If you purchase any type of flavored cream cheese, the content of carbohydrate will increase. However, a single serving of the product provides less than one gram of carbs which is primarily in form of sugar .
Take for instance the Philadelphia brand Brown Sugar Cream Cheese . The product contains roughly about 7 grams of sugar per serving. This flavor of cream cheese is whipped so the serving size is two tablespoons.
Health benefits of carbs in cream cheese
Aside from being a tasty spread, cream cheese has some health benefits which you’d find very interesting to know. Some of these benefits are listed below:
First and foremost, carbs in cream cheese are good sources of vitamin A
Cream cheese contains a significant amount of vitamin A. Just 1 ounce (28 grams) contains 87 mg of vitamin A, which is 10% of the DV. This vitamin is fat-soluble and particularly important because it aids proper or good vision.
Not only that, It also supports your immune system as well as helps to protect delicate organs and tissues in the body, such as your skin, lungs, and intestines et cetera.
The presence of vitamin A in cream cheese helps your body function well by also renewing worn out tissues in the body.
Secondly, carbs in cream cheese supplies antioxidants to the body
According to various researches that have been proven beyond doubt, ceam cheese is endowed with several antioxidants that defend your body against unstable molecules called free radicals.
When levels of free radicals get too high in your body, it can lead to cellular damage. You may wonder how. This is because cream cheese contains small amounts of carotenoid antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are especially important for eye health.
Another significant health benefit of carbs in cream cheese is that it may have some probiotic effects
Cream cheese is made using a starter culture from lactic acid bacteria. Some of these strains of bacteria are probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that offer health benefits to the individual.
Let’s take for instance Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus species support your immune system by reducing inflammatory response, while other species stimulate your immune system when exposed to infection.
Another important health benefit of carbs in cream cheese is that cream cheese is low in lactose
Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Some people, most especially people with health conditions like diabetes are unable to consume sugar .
This condition is called lactose intolerance and it can cause symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea et cetera. It is therefore advisable that people with this condition should limit or avoid dairy products.
However, research has proven beyond doubt that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts lactose let’s say roughly about 12 grams of lactose per meal. Now, since cream cheese contains less than 2 grams of lactose per ounce (28 grams), people with lactose intolerance may not have trouble with it.
And yet another important health benefit of carbs in cream cheese is that it very versatile and delicious
Cream cheese is endowed with this creamy, rich ,mind blowing and full of flavor taste. There are tons of different ways to include this tasty schmear in your diet beyond simply spreading it on your bagel.
In fact, this delicious ingredient works in sweet and savory dishes alike and can be used to boost the texture of sauces, soups and baked goods. For instance, you can try adding it to mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, fruit tarts or biscuits for an easy way to ramp up the flavor of your favorite foods.
You can also mix it with your choice of spices and seasonings like dill, garlic and chives to get the yummy satisfaction that your taste bud needs. Enough said!
With all the nutritional benefits cream cheese is endowed with, there are also a few potential downsides that you need to know about as they’re very important.
First, for the amount of cream cheese calories in each serving, cream cheese is relatively low in protein and other vital nutrients like minerals.
Other dairy products like milk and cheese are much higher in protein than cream cheese and they generally boast a wider array of nutrients, such as phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D which your body needs. Cream cheese on the other hand contains less than two grams of protein per serving and a very little amount of micro nutrients.
Secondly, cream cheese might not be considered suitable for those with certain dietary restrictions. This is to say that it should not be consumed by people with an allergy to dairy products , people who are on diet and even people who have been advised to steer clear from dairy products for health reasons. Even though the product is endowed with lactose.
How To make cream cheese
The main ingredient necessary for making cream cheese is cream and it can also be spiced up with different flavors such as fruit combinations. Not only that, cream cheese can also be made with a combination of cream and milk.
Third and finally, compared to other types of cheese, even the type regarded as the healthiest cheese options, cream cheese does have a relatively short shelf life and should be consumed within two weeks after opening.
When expired, it may develop mold, a lumpy texture and a sour taste or smell, all of which indicate that it needs to be discarded. This is to say that it is advisble that the product is consumed once it has been opened as it does not last long.
Here are the procedures:
First, the cream is heat-treated by pasteurization to kill any potentially dangerous microorganisms. Then, lactic acid bacteria are introduced, making the cheese mildly acidic. From there, fat droplets from the cream are broken into smaller and more uniform drops, creating a smooth product.
Adding stuffs like carrageenan helps to thicken the cheese. And finally, a clotting enzyme derived from either a plant or animal source is included to improve the firmness.
In some counties, take for instance the United States, cream cheese must contain at least 33% fat and have less than 55% moisture by weight. However, in some countries, higher fat content may be required.
This therefore means that the level of fat content also depends on the country it is being produced.
If you need some ideas for other ways to use your delicious cream cheese, below are a few cream cheese recipes that will help you going
Cream Cheese Frosting
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
Recipe for Cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting is an easy to make recipe.
1. Two 8-ounce packages grass-fed, organic cream cheese
2. ½ cup evaporated coconut milk or coconut milk
3. 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
4. ¼ cup maple sugar
1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl.
2. Using a high-powered mixer, whip up all the ingredients until they’re well combined.
3. Once your cream cheese frosting is ready, you can use it as topping for your cake and pie.
Recipe for Greek yogurt cheesecake
Greek yogurt cheesecake is an easy to make recipe.
1.Cream cheese (low fat or regular)
2. 3 large eggs
3. Graham crackers
4. Granulated sugar
5. Plain Greek yogurt
6. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
9. Salt to taste
10. 2 cups frozen wild blueberries
11. ¾ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
12. Cooking spray
1. Carefully position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to let’s say 325 degrees F. Put your springform pan with cooking spray. Carefully wrap the sides and button of the pan with a large piece of foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.
2. Put the pita chips into a food processor and pulse until it is fine. Add the butter to it and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs into the button and about ½ inch up the sides of the pan.
3. Bake until the crust is slightly dry in appearance. This should only take roughly 5 minutes.
4. Combine the yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon zest and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor and process until well blended and smooth. Pour the prepared crust and bake until the center is set, 40 to 50 minutes. Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
5. Meanwhile, put the blueberries and pineapple juice in a medium saucepan and boil. Make sure you reduce the heat to low and cook for at most 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Mix the dissolved gelatin into the hot blueberry mixture until combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover and relax a little until thickened, about 3 hours.
After chilling the cheesecake, remove the springform ring. Slice and serve, topped with the blueberry sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can warm it again in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time before spooning over the cheesecake.