A roundup of my go-to food tips to take a classic grilled cheese sandwich to the next level! Healthy food hacks that are simple and delicious.
What better way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day than with a step by step guide to building the ULTIMATE grilled cheese sandwich?
I personally LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches, but that hasn’t always been the case. I think I was slightly turned off when I was younger due to the rubbery, overly cheesy, lukewarm sandwiches we were served in the elementary school cafeteria. Anyone remember these?
However, now that my palate has matured and I have a greater appreciation for different kinds of cheese, the grilled cheese is back on the menu for good!
Since it’s National Grilled Cheese Day, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the ways I “healthify” a traditional grilled cheese.
Sure the standard sandwich is pretty simple on its own: bread, cheese, and maybe some butter or oil. But with my easy food hacks, you can take your grilled cheese to the next level of deliciousness (and health!).
Press instead of pan fry
No need to reach for a pan with gobs of butter or spoonfuls of oil to achieve that ideal crispy, crunchy bread texture. Instead, pull out a small panini press or mini George Foreman to toast your bread and melt your cheese! No oil, butter, or spray needed and your sandwich still comes out perfectly ooey, gooey, and perfectly pressed together. Gotta love those grill marks too!
Go for low-fat cheese
We all know that not all cheese is created equal. Some smell like socks, some melt better than others, some are hard, some are soft, some are spreadable. They are all different! And depending on the cheese, the nutrition info varies a lot as well. But just because a cheese may be lower in calories and fat than another variety, doesn’t mean it lacks in flavor! Opt for sharp or extra sharp cheeses for a stronger taste and choose low-fat varieties like: cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, goat cheese, mozzarella, and feta cheese.
Opt for whole grain bread
If you picture a grilled cheese in your mind, you usually imagine a melted, toasted sandwich on classic, processes right bread. But grilled cheeses made on whole grain breads can be just as, if not even more, tasty! Whole grain breads like whole wheat, spelt, millet, and brown rice bread, have more flavor, better texture, and are more satisfying than white bread because of their higher fiber content.
Add veggies and fruit
For an extra nutritional boost, add produce to your sandwich like raw greens, grilled veggies, or fresh herbs such as basil! If you like a sweet and savory combo, fresh fruit also pairs amazingly well with cheese. Think sliced grapes, thinly cut apples or pears, and all fruit spreads like fig or jalapeno jelly.
Choose low-calorie condiments
Cheese is obviously the key ingredient in a grilled CHEESE, but you don’t have to rely on it solely for flavor in your sandwich. By adding low-calorie condiments with strong tastes, like horseradish or Dijon mustard, you can add tons of flavor to your sandwich without increasing the caloric impact on your body.
Now that you have these tips in your back pocket, you’re well equipped to make a healthy sandwich next time you’re in the mood for a grilled cheese!
You can check out some of my favorite grilled cheese recipes below for some more inspiration for your own sandwich…
Are you a grilled cheese fan?
What’s your favorite way to prepare a grilled cheese?
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