Things We’ve Given Up – Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food

Well, given our crazy weather, planting is on hold for a bit.  Our seedlings are still coming along, but I won’t be moving any of them outside this week with the weather that’s being predicted!  So on to another topic.

In our homesteading journey, we’ve been discovering lots about processed food versus real food.  Unfortunately it has meant giving up eating some of my favorite (unhealthy) things!  At least most of the time….

I have to admit…this one in particular was hard for me.  Velveeta is in SO many yummy recipes.  Casseroles, creamy soups, queso dip…doesn’t it make your mouth water just thinking about it?.  But once I learned about pasteurized processed cheese food, I felt like for our family’s benefit I needed to find an alternative.

In general, it’s been super easy to just replace Velveeta (or other processed cheese) with cheddar.  However, just recently I came across a family recipe that just didn’t work with cheddar – our favorite broccoli soup.  The cheddar got all clumpy and nasty, and completely ruined the soup.  Needless to say, I will be doing some experimenting with that one!  (Next time I think I’ll make a roux with butter and flour, whisk in the milk and add the cheese to melt, just like you would do to make a cheese sauce for homemade mac and cheese.  Then I’ll add that to the broth and other soup ingredients.  We’ll see if it works!  I’m open to suggestions!)

A quick internet search will find you several more articles on pasteurized processed cheese food if you’re interested in reading more.  In doing so, I also found this alternative homemade version of American cheese.  I’ll be giving that a try as well!

And even though I whine about my lack of Velveeta cheese, I can honestly say that my body feels much happier and healthier with the changes we’ve made, to a diet with more real food and less processed “stuff”!  (And, besides, I’m not against indulging once in awhile….)

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5 thoughts on “Things We’ve Given Up – Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food

  1. Your plan for the soup sounds about right. :) I make a beer cheddar potato soup that often uses an entire 8 oz. block of Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. Here’s what I do (in a nutshell):
    -put all my cubed potatoes in a pot and pour in liquid (beer, broth, etc.) until the liquid covers them by about an inch. Add a bay leaf or two. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer.
    -While the taters are simmering (I’d imagine you could just replace potatoes with broccoli and have the same principle), I do the following in a skillet:
    -saute garlic/onions in three tbsp. butter
    -after about five minutes, I throw in a handful of flour and whisk it to thicken it
    -Once it’s thick, I pour in all the cream I want to use and I bring it to a simmer. It simmers and thickens while the potatoes cook to the right consistency.
    -When the potatoes are mostly cooked and the cream mixtures is thick, I pour the skillet of cream and such into the pot with the potatoes and stir to combine.
    -When everything is mixed together, I take my cheese (cut into small pieces) and drop it a little at a time into my pot, stirring constantly. The cheese melts REALLY nicely into the soup–no clumps or curdles.

    This is a basic recipe that I’ve adapted for all sorts of creamy/cheesy soups. I’m pretty sure a similar method would work for your broccoli soup. I’ve never eaten Velveeta (I KNOW), so I don’t know what I’m missing! :)

  2. We gave up Velveeta too much to my childrens’ dismay! I would love it if you would link this up to The Ole Saturday Homesteading Trading Post blog hop…..I will tell you why I think this is very hard for most people to do and I don’t think people know bad it is for them and how easy the alternatives are to make! Loved this post!

    • Thank you! I will definitely do that. I keep meaning to link up, but then busyness takes over and I forget! Thanks for the reminder :).

      • Joey I forget link ups sometimes too….even some of my favorite ones I will look at the day and be like I can’t believe I forgot again! Glad you linked up this week! Again I truly enjoyed your post!

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