Healthy Substitutes for Crumbled Blue Cheese

Gourmet Spinach Salad
Close-up of a salad with crumbled blue cheese. (Image: Amanda Grandfield/iStock/Getty Images)

Crumbled blue cheese is a common ingredient in specialty salads and as a specialty topping on foods such as burgers and pizzas. It can be found in salads such as wedge salads with iceberg lettuce, crumbled bacon and ranch dressing, and in summer salads with ingredients such as pecans, walnuts, strawberries and lettuce. But blue cheese is also high in calories and fat; according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, just 1 ounce of blue cheese includes 100 calories and 8.15 grams of fat, including 5.29 grams of saturated fat. To cut back on fat and calories, there are many alternatives to blue cheese crumbles.

Low-Fat Dressings

In place of blue cheese crumbles on a salad, or instead of melted blue cheese crumbles on a burger, you can get a similar taste with fewer calories and zero fat grams with a low-fat blue cheese salad dressing. Several food manufacturers make a chunky blue cheese dressing that is fat-free and has roughly 30 calories per 2-tablespoon serving.

Healthier Cheeses

Consider using low-fat blue cheese crumbles, which are available at your local supermarket, usually alongside traditional blue cheese crumbles. Or, switch to lower-fat cheeses, such as reduced-fat mozzarella, which contains roughly 80 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per 1/4 cup, or natural cheese crumbles in feta, which contains 90 calories per 1/4 cup and 7 grams of fat. Take note that not all fat-free dressings are necessarily healthier for you. They often have added sugars and salt to make up in areas of taste.

Other Salad Toppings

Flavorful salad toppings that add only a minimum amount of calories and fat include: celery, carrots, peas, corn, hard-boiled eggs, diced chicken, tomatoes, heart of palm, edamame, radishes, beets, pickles, baby corn, peppers, cucumbers, raisins and dried cranberries. Mix and match a variety of toppings to find a mix you like.

Other Burger Toppings

Blue cheese crumbles can add an unhealthy kick to a burger or sandwich. Instead of heaping on the calories, try adding a variety of other ingredients instead to kick up the flavor. Try sautéed onions or mushrooms, flavored mustards, reduced fat mayonnaise, horseradish, pickles, cucumbers, avocado slices, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, coleslaw, sauerkraut, bean sprouts, reduced-fat sour cream, or pizza sauce. Don’t forget to use lean ground beef to make your burger even healthier.

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