As someone who loves cheese a lot, you may often be confronted with the dilemma of picking the type of cheese that is healthy. The reason is that there are a variety of cheeses, and they contain different types of nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fat, etc. Is pepper jack cheese healthy?
Pepper jack cheese is healthy and rich in protein. In terms of nutritional value, it is very rich in minerals like calcium when compared to other types of cheese. However, it is best not to overheat it because of its high cholesterol content, as it could lead to different health problems.
If you are looking for a type of cheese to add to your high-protein diet, pepper jack cheese is your best bet. In this article, you will get to know what pepper jack cheese is made of, its health benefits, and a lot more.
What Is Pepper Jack Cheese Made Of?
Pepper Jack cheese is made of cow’s milk. It is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that is flavored with chili peppers, jalapenos, or other spices. David Jack, a Californian businessman, made the mild, white cheese that is now called Monterey Jack when he discovered that the cheese market could grow.
Later, producers started adding little bits of spicy peppers to curds of Jack cheese, hence the name “Pepper Jack Cheese.” The peppers in the cheese are used to create heat in them. As the cheese ages, the flavor of the pepper intensifies, infusing a spicy flavour into whatever dish you thaw it on.
However, the ingredients used in making pepper jack cheese can differ depending on the brand and the place it is produced. Some Pepper Jack cheese may also contain additional ingredients like annatto, a natural food colouring made from the seeds of the achiote tree. This gives the cheese an amazing orange or yellow colour.
Is Pepper Jack Cheese Real Cheese?
Yes, Pepper Jack cheese is real cheese. Pepper Jack cheese is typically used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine and is known for its mild to moderate spiciness and creamy texture. It is commonly used as a topping for sandwiches, tacos, and burgers and is also popular for grilling and melting. Pepper Jack cheese is widely available at most grocery stores and cheese shops.
Pepper Jack cheese is a version of Monterey Jack with added spiciness. Morrison’s (a UK supermarket) claims it is ideal for grilling as it is less greasy than your native cheddar. But there is a type of cheese called “Follow Your Heart” vegan “Pepper, Jack,” which is non-dairy. And if it’s that, it’s not real cheese.
Pepper Jack cheese is real cheese. While Monterey Jack offers a basic, slightly tangy taste, Pepper Jack provides a spicy lift when cooking; cheddar, Havarti, Gruyere, or Edam can be interchanged due to their similar textures and flavours.
What Are The Benefits Of Pepper Jack Cheese?
Pepper Jack cheese is a good protein, calcium, and vitamin B12 source. It boosts weight loss, improves energy, and promotes your performance as an athlete. It can help your body perform vital functions related to hormones, cell repair, enzymes, and maintenance.
Because of its richness in protein, you can pair pepper jack with foods like lean meats, seafood, eggs, and nuts. This cheese is rich in calcium, which plays a great role in tooth and bone health. Calcium aids muscle movement relaxes blood levels, and helps release hormones.
Pepper jack cheese is also suitable for people with lactose intolerance and has almost no side effects. Lactose is found in cow’s milk, but most of it is taken out when making the cheese, making it a low-carb cheese. This cheese is a perfect replacement if you want to reduce your intake of heavy carbs like fruits and other sugary foods.
Does Pepper Jack Cheese Have Sugar?
No, there is no sugar in pepper jack cheese. It is not a source of carbohydrates, fibre, or sugar. That’s because combining chilli peppers with the soft taste of Monterey Jack cheese provides a distinctive flavour that does not require additional sweetness from sugar.
There are no specific types of cheese that contain added sugar. Cheese is typically made from milk, cultures, salt, and enzymes; sugar is not a common ingredient in traditional cheese-making. Some processed cheese products or flavoured cheese varieties may have added sugar or sweeteners.
The ingredients used in making pepper jack cheese are milk (pasteurized), jalapeno peppers, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, and natamycin (natural mould inhibitor). You should check with the manufacturers to know if there are sweeteners in the cheese before buying, especially if you are watching your sugar intake.
Can A Diabetic Eat Pepper Jack Cheese?
Yes, a diabetic can eat pepper jack cheese because it has no added sugar. Having a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to managing diabetes. Careful consideration of your intake levels of carbs, sugar, calories, and other factors plays a critical role in creating a successful meal plan.
Regarding dairy products, including cheese, there has been some misconception that they are unsuitable for those with diabetes. However, cheese can indeed be included in a healthy meal plan if you are diabetic, provided you consume it in moderation and as part of an overall balanced diet.
Generally, not all cheeses are the same – some contain more calories, saturated fats, and salt, so you must choose wisely. Like pepper jack cheese, healthy cheese is low in salt, has no added sugar, and is free of artificial flavourings and colours. These qualities can effectively manage your diabetes symptoms.
Pepper Jack Cheese Recipe
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1 packet of direct-set mesophilic culture
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
- 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapenos, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cheese wax (optional)
- Pour the gallon of whole milk into a large pot and heat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Heat the milk to 86°F.
- Sprinkle the packet of mesophilic culture over the surface of the milk and stir it in using an up-and-down motion. Cover the pot and let the milk sit for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet with 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water. Pour the mixture into the pot of milk and stir it in using the same up-and-down motion. Cover the pot and let the milk sit for 45 minutes, undisturbed.
- After 45 minutes, the milk should have formed into a solid gel-like mass. Use a long knife to cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes. Let the curds sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Heat the curds over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 102°F. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Once the curds have reached 102°F, use a slotted spoon to transfer them into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Gently press the curds to remove as much whey as possible. Then, tie the cheesecloth into a knot and hang it to drain for 1-2 hours.
- Once the curds have drained, transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add the kosher salt, chopped pickled jalapenos, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Mix well.
- Press the curd mixture into a cheese mold or shape it into a ball using your hands. Let the cheese rest at room temperature for 12-24 hours, flipping it over halfway through.
- If you'd like to wax your cheese, melt the cheese wax in a double boiler over medium heat. Dip the cheese into the wax and let it cool completely. Repeat the dipping process 2-3 times to ensure the cheese is fully coated.
- Once your cheese has been formed and waxed (if desired), let it age in a cool, dry place for 2-4 weeks. During this time, the cheese will develop its flavor and texture.
Like any other cheese, pepper jack cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, but it’s also high in fat and salt. If you love cheese, you must consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you are watching your sodium, sugar, or fat intake, pepper jack cheese is a good option.