When I think of certain foods that are on the indulgent side, cream cheese is at the top of the list.
There is just something special about a toasted bagel with a big schmear of cream cheese on top.
It’s one of my daughter’s favorites, especially with homemade cinnamon maple cream cheese on top.
However, “indulgent” means that I try not let her have it frequently…until I discovered Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese.
This stuff is amazing.
I have never been a big fan of light cream cheese. Something usually seems “off” when I use it in recipes. Healthy eating should never be about eating things you don’t enjoy.
I love revamping recipes to be a little healthier, but if it doesn’t taste good, then it’s scrapped.
What I love about Greek Cream Cheese is that it actually tastes like cream cheese. It’s also great on it’s own, no strange after taste.
I’m telling you, it’s amazing.
Here’s a comparison of “real” cream cheese to Greek cream cheese per serving size (2 TBSP):
Calories (Real 90, Greek 60)
Fat (Real 9 grams , Greek 3 grams)
Protein (Real 2 grams , Greek 4 grams)
There is a clear winner here when it comes to the healthier option.
So when and how do I use the Greek cream cheese?
Whenever I possibly can.
I find that I can usually substitute it with recipes that call for softened cream cheese. I have yet to bake with it, but it is at the top of my To-Do list. I’ll post updates as I trial recipes.
Do I still use real cream cheese?
However, I tend to save it for special occasions or in baking.
Like with real cream cheese, it’s important to remember the Greek cream cheese needs to be softened before you add anything with a liquid consistency (like maple syrup) to it.
If you forget this step, you will likely have big chunks of cream cheese that refuse to incorporate (I’ve certainly never made that mistake before, wink).
My favorite recipe is Greek cream cheese with maple and cinnamon. I make this weekly for my youngest daughter.
Maple Cinnamon Greek Cream cheese
See how much this looks like cream cheese? No one will ever know.
In a small bowl, combine 4 oz softened Greek cream cheese, 1 TBSP maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
To soften the cream cheese I usually just throw it in the microwave, on defrost, for about 30 seconds.
You might get a little concerned at this point as the Greek cream cheese gets a bit on the clumpy side. Not to worry though, just keep whipping and you will get to this:
It makes a fantastic guilt-free breakfast or snack.
Lox with Dill Greek cream cheese
In the summer, I tend to have fresh herbs on hand and I’m always looking for ways to use them up.
Lox on a bagel with a dill cream cheese schmear is the perfect choice. For those of you that are not familiar with lox, it is a brined salmon that is traditionally served with a bagel, cream cheese, and condiments of choice (tomato, onion, capers).
I just love dill. This fall I got a pleasant surprise when I had a wild patch that came up in the garden. The timing was perfect as the original dill I had planted earlier in the year had run its course.
Doesn’t this look incredible?
So creamy and delicious.
Now spread it on a bagel, top with smoked salmon and you have yourself a healthy and filling lunch.
Now I have some REALLY exciting news to share with you. As I was researching Greek cream cheese I came across something that blew my mind.
Did you know that you can actually make your own Greek cream cheese?
I had to try it.
To see how I did it and the results, go to Homemade Greek Cream Cheese