Healthy Cheese Recipe
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I used to like fried cheese sticks in high school and college and would even order them as my meals in restaurants. There’s something about the deep-fried crust on the outside of the mozzarella sticks combined with the hot, fatty filling that is the ultimate comfort food. They are really good as an appetizer with these Korean chicken wings also.
Since we don’t eat grains, all-purpose flour, or vegetable oils anymore, I decided to find a healthier way to fry food at home. I start with homemade chicken tender and continue from there. My kids quickly asked for fried cheese sticks so I gave it a try. There were actually several attempts. The end result is delicious, grain-free and much cheaper!
Homemade fried cheese sticks
My mission to make cottage cheese healthier includes the use of a grain-free coating. From other recipes, I knew that almond flour works great, so I decided to do it that way. I added some salt and some Italian seasoning and called it good.
By dipping cheese in at least two layers of beaten egg and thick almond flour to coat two, I get pretty good results.
In my cheese bar test, the two most important things I learned were:
- Make sure there is enough almond paste on the cheese stick or the cheese will come out.
- Make sure the cheese is frozen to begin with or it will be too melted before the coating cooks and seals.
Freeze tips: If you don’t want to fry (and can afford!) this whole batch of mozzarella sticks at once, store them in the freezer after breading and fry only a few pieces at a time if needed.
Fried Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
Another important step to making healthier crispy cheese sticks is using a source of healthy fats for frying. I don’t like using peanut oil or canola oilso I usually use tallow (tallow) or coconut oil. Both contain healthy fats and have a high smoking point, making them great for frying. Olive oil is a healthy oil, but not the best for frying (unless you want a smoky kitchen!).
If you haven’t used tallow before, don’t be afraid to give it a try! I love its mild flavor and healthy fats. Not familiar with tallow? I write more about it in my post for parsnip fries (very tasty!) and get it from Strong growth market. You can reuse tallow or lard over and over again – just keep it in the fridge.
An alternative to frying: Air fryers!
Since I originally published this post, air fryers have become a thing. I experimented with my recipe quite a bit and enjoyed making healthy recipes like zucchini fries. Also, the air fryer French fries waayyy better than oven baked.
When I decided to update this post, I thought I would try cooking them in an air fryer, works great. They’re nice and crispy, just like the deep-fried ones. However, I’ve learned that because they don’t cook quickly in an air fryer, cheeses tend to leak out more easily. So keep an eye on them. When they’re golden brown and the cheese starts to melt, take them out.
If you are interested, here it is dryer I have.
Healthy Cheese Recipe
Grain-free homemade mozzarella sticks use almond flour to make bread.
Line a baking tray with wax paper or parchment and set aside.
Cut cheese cubes into sticks. I like mine about ½” x ½” x 3”.
Beat eggs and water in a small bowl.
In a medium shallow dish, stir together almond flour, Italian seasoning, and salt.
Grate each cheese stick first into the beaten egg, then into the almond flour mixture, placing the breaded sticks on the prepared baking tray.
Repeat the above step, dipping each cheese stick into the beaten egg and almond flour a second time. Make sure the cheese is completely covered or it will melt as you cook.
Place the cheese stick in the freezer and freeze for about 3-4 hours or until the cheese is completely set.
In a medium saucepan, add just enough tallow, lard, or coconut oil to reach 1 ½-2 inches deep.
Heat oil over medium and high heat until very hot. If you drop a little almond flour into the hot oil and it foams and starts to float, the oil is ready.
Remove the cheese from the freezer and fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time in the heated oil for a few minutes until they turn golden brown.
Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the fried cheese sticks from the pan and onto some paper towels to drain.
Repeat frying with the remaining cheese sticks until they are cooked through.
Serve these with homemade marinara or pizza sauce!
Service: firstcheese sticksCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 8gFat: twelfthgSaturated fat: 5gPolyunsaturated fats: 0.3gFat: 2gTrans fats: 0.003gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: firstgStreet: firstgVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 0.004mgCalcium: 139mgIron: firstmg
What was your favorite “bad” food before switching to a food diet? Do you like cheese sticks? Share below!