Feta is a cheese made in Greece from sheep or goat’s milk. The name of this cheese has become a brand – only the product made in Greece is now called this, but you can also find Feta cheese on sale, which is completely identical in composition to Greek cheese but made in other countries.
The appearance of feta cheese resembles compressed cottage cheese, but its taste is brighter, and more expressive, with a characteristic sourness. The fat content of feta cheese is variable and can range from 30-60%, and the aging time is 3 months.
Calorie content of feta cheese
If we talk about the calorie content of feta, it is inferior to the energy value of hard fatty cheeses. The composition of the product may differ in fat content: from 30 to 60%, so Greek cheeses may differ in calorie content. They are often a component of dietary nutrition due to their relatively low-calorie content – 100 grams contain only 220 kcal. The energy value of fatty feta cheese per 100 grams is 290 kcal.
Benefits of feta cheese
100 grams of feta cheese contain 15 grams of protein, 21-30 grams of fat, 50 grams of water, and a limited amount of carbohydrates – only 4 grams.
100 grams of feta cheese fully satisfy the body’s daily need for phosphorus, enriching it with calcium and sodium. The vitamin composition is represented by vitamins B, K, D, and A. In addition, the product has a high content of magnesium and beneficial microorganisms that produce a special type of antibiotics for the treatment of food poisoning.
Nutritional value per 100 g of feta:
- Sodium – 1116 mg.
- Potassium – 62 mg.
- Vitamin A – 422 IU.
- Calcium – 493 mg.
- Magnesium – 19 mg.
Due to its rich composition, cheese helps to strengthen bone tissue, and normalize the nervous and digestive systems, and reproductive function. Protein is highly nutritious and digestible, so moderate consumption of this cheese delicacy will only benefit the body. The tryptophan content in the cheese ensures good performance and mood.
Eating feta cheese within reasonable limits will have a positive effect on the condition of nails, hair, and skin. Feta cheese is used to treat burns caused by prolonged sun exposure. To do this, the product is thoroughly crushed and mixed with water, and the resulting mixture is applied to the affected areas of the skin.
How to choose and store feta cheese
When choosing this product, you should pay attention to the following points:
- The cheese should be in one piece, not broken.
- Feta should be in brine.
- The color of the product can vary from white to yellowish-cream.
- The flavor of the cheese is pleasant, with a slight sourness.
- There should not be any dark spots on the surface of a piece of cheese.
- Greek cheese is stored in brine and there is practically no shelf life. If feta is stored in brine for too long, the cheese can be very salty – it should be soaked either in mineral water or in milk.
How to make feta cheese at home yourself
To make feta cheese at home, you should use only high-quality and fresh products. Ideally, the product is made from sheep and goat milk in a ratio of 70:30. In the absence of such, you can use milk powder.
- Natural milk 2 liters.
- 200 g of homemade sour cream.
- 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Pepsin – 8 tablets.
- Mix a glass of warm milk with sour cream at room temperature.
- Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan and heat to 40°C.
- Combine the diluted sour cream with the heated milk.
- Dissolve the pepsin tablets in water and add to the milk mixture. Mix everything thoroughly, cover with a terry towel, and leave the mixture to ferment. The fermentation process takes 6-8 hours.
- Carefully drain the resulting whey.
- Using a spoon, put the mass into a sieve, previously lined with a gauze layer. Without using a spoon, the whey drainage process will take much longer.
- After 1-2 hours, place the milk mass in a cloth bag, cover it with a load, and keep it in a cold place for 8-12 hours.
- Cut the finished cheese into small cubes. If the structure of the product is too soft, rub each piece with salt and leave it for several hours to drain off excess whey.
Harmful effects of feta cheese
Unfortunately, there are harmful effects of feta cheese if consumed in large quantities. Due to its high-calorie content, feta should be excluded from the diet of obese people.
Doctors state that feta cheese is harmful to people with high blood pressure due to its high sodium content. Patients should limit their consumption of the product. They also note the harm of feta cheese for pregnant women. It should be consumed by expectant mothers only in pasteurized form. Poorly processed product contains bacteria such as Listeria and can cause poisoning. Studies by scientists have shown that infection, once in the body of the expectant mother, can provoke miscarriage or premature birth.
The benefits and harms of feta cheese largely depend on the amount of the product consumed. In any case, you should eat feta in moderate doses, and if you have any doubts about its usefulness for you personally, you should consult a nutritionist and a doctor.