Tag Archives: gouda

Take A Hike – But Don’t Forget the Cheese!

With warm weather and re-opened trails beckoning to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, packing up nutritious snacks and meals to take along is important. Cheese is the perfect high-protein food to throw in your backpack. With the array of hike-friendly cheeses available, even the most discerning hiker will have options to choose from.

What kind of cheese should I bring on my hike?

The next time you pack your backpack for a hike, avoid taking soft cheeses (brie, goat cheese or cream cheeses) and go for hard and dry cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda. Avoid shredding your cheese or cutting it into chunks before hiking as it speeds up the aging process and provides more chance of getting contaminated by bacteria.

How should I store my cheese?

Store your cheese in parchment paper while traveling, the porous surface allows cheese to breathe and helps in retaining it’s flavor. Replace your wrap frequently to reduce “sweating” (the process of butterfat separating from the cheese). And don’t forget to store cheese away from hot locations in your backpack and direct sun exposure.

Here’s a list of some popular dry and hard cheeses you can take with you in your backpack:

  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Gouda cheese
  • Cojita
  • Gruyère cheese
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Colby
  • Colby-Jack
  • Manchego
  • Monterey Jack
  • Edam
  • Emmental
  • Comté cheese

How do I keep cheese fresh?

A good habit to get into at home and on the trail, is to write down the date you initially stored your cheese on it’s storage container. This helps you to measure when your cheese may be past it’s prime. And if you’re backpacking for several days – keep your cheese in one block. Cutting it into pieces increases the surface area that can get contaminated by mold and bacteria.

How can you tell if your cheese is past it’s prime?

Always adhere to the 2 Hour Rule for leaving perishables out: After being in room temperature for 2 hours, always re-refrigerate hard cheeses and throw out soft cheeses.

Where can I hike with my cheese?

Anywhere! Check out Tillamook County Wellness and Travel Oregon for more ideas on hiking trails, beaches and scenic areas to visit.

Apple Butter-Pork Burger with Acorn Squash Puree

This savory and sweet burger has ingredients so good that nothing goes to waste. Extra squash puree can be used for your next meal as a side dish or pasta sauce.

Serves 6

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Dietitian’s Tip: Pair this hearty meal with a light green salad mixed with dried or fresh fruit and nuts, and dress with a ratio of 3 parts oil to one part vinegar.

INGREDIENTS
1 acorn squash
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds reduced-fat ground pork (4% fat)
2 tablespoons apple butter (or applesauce)
½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder or 1 smoked chipotle pepper (optional in squash puree)
½ cup low-fat or fat-free dairy milk
6 whole grain English muffins, toasted
2 cups fresh arugula
6 slices smoked gouda (or cheddar)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Halve and seed the squash and cut into large chunks. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and roast on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

In a mixing bowl combine the pork, apple butter, sage and ½ tablespoon of thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together and form into 6 equal patties.

Once the squash has cooled enough to touch, spoon the meat from the skin into the bowl of a food processor.

Blend together the squash, milk, 1 teaspoon of thyme and an optional spice until smooth.

Cook the burgers over a hot grill to desired doneness, flipping only once.

Assemble the burgers: layer the arugula onto the bottom of the English muffins, place the burger on top, and, add the cheese slices, and finish with a generous spread of the squash puree.

Serve right away and enjoy.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Per serving: 470 Calories, 16 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 120 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 46 g protein, 450 mg calcium

Recipe courtesy of: National Dairy Council