Velveeta Cheese is a cheese product that was first created in 1918. It is made of milk, whey, and an emulsifier salt, with the consistency of cream cheese or processed American cheese.
It’s texture and ability to melt make it hugely popular to use in making cheeseburgers, queso dip, macaroni and cheese, nachos, broccoli cheese soup, and other dishes.
Although its texture and consistency make it great to use as an ingredient, Velveeta Cheese is not the healthiest cheese and it can be substituted with low-fat or non-fat cream cheese rather than full fat cream cheese.
So, what more do I need to know? What are healthy alternatives and how can I make it myself? We find out…
- 8 Things You Need To Know Before You Eat Velveeta Cheese
- Velveeta Cheese: What Is It Made From?
- Is Velveeta 100% Real Cheese?
- How To Melt Velveeta Cheese?
8 Things You Need To Know Before You Eat Velveeta Cheese
1. Velveeta is not made with real cheese. It is a processed food product and, as such, it does not contain the same essential nutrients and healthy fats that naturally occur in unprocessed cheeses.
2. Velveeta cheese has artificial ingredients and preservatives in it meaning that it can last for a long time and does not require refrigeration.
3. It is cheaper and faster to make your own Velveeta cheese at home using natural ingredients. A good homemade version will have less calories, fat, sodium and carbs than Velveeta cheese does.
4. Velveeta cheese can be expensive compared to other cheeses such as natural cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese or even cream cheese. Compared to homemade versions, it can be 4-5 times more expensive per pound.
5. Velveeta cheese is often associated with processed diet foods like hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, nachos because it melts well without getting greasy or oily.
6. Whole-milk cheeses are healthier than processed cheeses like Velveeta because they contain healthy nonfat solids and more nutrients, including calcium, protein, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin D.
7. Because of the large amounts of sodium in processed cheeses like Velveeta, they’re often served with salted crackers, salty chips or pretzels to balance out their saltiness.
8. The amount of sodium in one slice of Velveeta cheese is 280 milligrams, which isn’t as high as the amount of sodium found in some meats, but it certainly is higher than what you’ll find in most natural cheeses. The amount of fat in one slice is 16 grams, which is half of what you’ll find in cream cheese for example.
Velveeta Cheese: What Is It Made From?
Velveeta cheese is made from a blend of aged cheddar cheese and emulsifiers such as whey, buttermilk and annatto which takes on an elastic, sticky consistency that allows it to melt without separating.
Ingredients: Milk, Whey, Water, Milkfat, Milk Protein Concentrate, Modified Food Starch, Colored with (Annatto Extract and Paprika Oleoresin), Salt, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Sodium Citrate, contains less than 2% of Sodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Sodium Alginate, Cream, Butter (cream containing natural flavor), Enzymes.
Is Velveeta 100% Real Cheese?
No, Velveeta is not 100% real cheese. It is a processed food product made from aged cheddar cheese blended with other ingredients to form the famous gooey, stretchy texture. The amount of real cheese it contains is approximated at around 48%, leaving nearly half of the product made up of additives and other chemicals.
How To Melt Velveeta Cheese?
There are a few easy options to melt Velveeta cheese, it just depends on your preference. Here are 4 quick and easy ways…
Place a slice or two of Velveeta cheese in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 15 seconds. Stir the cheese until it’s smooth, and repeat if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut velveeta slices into smaller pieces and place on a tray covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Fill a medium saucepan with about an inch of water, and place a large mixing bowl on top so it fits snugly. Chop Velveeta cheese into smaller pieces and add it to the mixing bowl. Stir occasionally as the cheese melts.
Fill a medium saucepan with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil. Add Velveeta cheese pieces, reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until the cheese is beautifully melted.
Can I Freeze Velveeta Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze Velveeta Cheese. Just make sure to tightly wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil and place it inside a freezer bag. Another option is to freeze the cheese in a plastic container, with wax paper layered in between the cheese to keep it from sticking.
How Long Does It Last In The Freezer?
Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 12 to 18 months in the freezer, but will remain safe beyond that time. It’s important to note that food stored constantly at 0 degrees Fahrenheit will always be safe.
How Long Does It Take To Thaw Velveeta Cheese?
It takes about 24 hours in the fridge, or you can use the defrost setting on your microwave for faster results.
What Is A Healthy Alternative To Velveeta Cheese?
There are many options to choose from when it comes to healthy alternatives to Velveeta cheese. A few of the healthier choices include Gouda Cheese, Feta Cheese, Garbanzo Bean Flour (for baking), and cream cheese (for cooking). You could also use plain Greek Yogurt or Almond Milk for similar consistency as Velveeta.
An example of a healthy dish with a Velvetta substitute melted is vegan Queso: you can use cashews, potatoes, and spices to make a beautiful cheese sauce.
Homemade Velveeta Cheese – A Simple Recipe to Follow All Year Round
Here is a really easy homemade recipe for Velveeta cheese that can be enjoyed throughout the year. It is perfect if making chili, nachos, dips or casseroles – hope you enjoy it!
- 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Mix together chicken broth, flour, salt and garlic powder in the top of a double boiler.
- Stir until smooth and thickened.
- Add cheese to the mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly.
- Cook over boiling water for 10 minutes or until smooth and creamy, stirring occasionally.
- Keep warm for serving.
Velveeta cheese often goes side by side with classic ‘American’ dishes like macaroni and cheese or a simple grilled cheese sandwich. It’s also very tasty with nachos, crackers, chips or veggies.
However, luckily for us there are healthier alternatives to Velveeta cheese that are easy to buy and easy to make that are just as good in taste and texture. Everyone likes a little indulgence now and again, it’s just probably best not to make it a daily habit!
Why not try making your own healthier version of Velveeta cheese at home instead? You might be surprised at how good it tastes.