April 14, 2023

Fortune Favors Those Who Add Cheese to Their Smoothies

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Smoothies can be a delicious way to drink your food, and there are a wide variety of ways to flavor your own. You can add any combination of fruit, veggies, dairy, or powders to make a shake that works for your palate and goals. While that’s all fine and good, there’s a bit of dairy that doesn’t get enough attention in drinks. The next time you make a smoothie, leave room for the cheese.

Beginner cheeses

Adding cheese to cocktails is a great way to incorporate texture-enhancing silky fats (similarly to half and half), and the often contrasting flavor of salt, which can make your libation more complex and interesting. It works for smoothies too. I recommend starting with soft cheeses, like cream cheese, mascarpone, cottage cheese, goat, or brie as they’ll blend into the mixture more easily than hard, aged cheeses. Cream cheese, and even cottage cheese, will give you malty cheesecake vibes. If you’re thinking, “That sounds like it would be good with strawberries,” you are correct, and you can find my recipe at the bottom of this post. A strawberry cheesecake smoothie is creamy, tangy, and a great place to start your drinkable cheese journey.

Pairing flavors

I get it, cheese can be funky. While there’s nothing wrong with bringing in the funk, it can be troublesome to pair at first. For starters, always choose a cheese you like in the first place. This is not the time to “get used to” a cheese. If you hate blue cheese, don’t try to get rid of it in your smoothie. Once you have a cheese in mind, think of what fruit you’d normally enjoy it with and you’ve got your foundational flavors. If you like brie and green apple, gather those. Try blue cheese and roasted pears, or apricots. Cottage cheese and cream cheese are both neutral for the most part and can pair well with a host of fruit choices.

How to make a cheesy smoothie

Adding cheese to your smoothie is as easy as adding the other ingredients: unceremoniously plop it in and blend. The more cheese you add, the thicker the consistency will likely be, so adjust the water or other liquid accordingly. Depending on the blending tool you use, it might be better to add the cheese somewhere in the “middle” of your ingredients. I use an immersion blender and I prefer to put the water in first, then yogurt and cheese, and fruit toward the top, so nothing sticky, like the cream cheese, gets lodged to the bottom of the cup, or on the blade.

Keep in mind that you usually only need a couple ounces to benefit from the enjoyable texture and flavors cheese can provide. While cottage cheese does pack some protein, you’d need to make your shake a high ratio of cheese to rack up significant numbers, and you might be asking too much of the curd. For cheese smoothie lovers looking to get a little weird with combos, try adding a salty parmesan and figs or dried apricots (providing you have a high-powered blender that can take the grittiness down to a palatable size), or a peanut butter smoothie with cheddar cheese. Or you can keep it simple with this strawberry cheesecake smoothie.

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold water (For a thicker smoothie, subtract a quarter cup of water.)
  • ½ cup frozen sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • ½ large banana

Add all of the ingredients to a blender vessel, in order. Blend until smooth.

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