Mindful eating and healthy habits are the talk of the town as we step into the New Year, with the Keto Diet leading the way in popular food trends. This low-carb, high-fat and protein lifestyle is a favorite for those looking to start the year off with some clean eats. The best news? You can still have your favorite cheeses from Murray’s. According to the experts, some selections are more healthy(-ish) than others, so we’re taking a look at your best–and most delicious–options for keto-friendly snacking.
Highly recommended for when you want to get “more bang for your buck” a.k.a., the most flavor for the least amount of cheese, blue cheeses are the first choice for serious cheese lovers. Easily crumbled over veggies or added to a delectable pork or chicken dish, our favorites for decadent cream with balanced spice are Mountain Gorgonzola and Jasper Hill’s Bayley Hazen Blue. This particular Gorgonzola, one of Italy’s most beloved cheeses, is dense and milky with a sharp bite, while the Bayley Hazen is an award-winner that’s stacked with rich notes of cocoa and hazelnut.
Forget the grocery store tub that you slather on your bagels, these cream cheeses are the real deal. Light, tangy, and undeniably tasty, cream cheese is an easy and fun way to add some flavor to fresh vegetables (crudité platter, anyone?) or whip up some keto-approved desserts. And when it comes to cream cheese, New York knows best. Ben’s, a Lower East Side tradition, is the real deal, and certainly not to be missed. However, if you’re craving something a little lighter, grab some Victor’s Labne, a soft cream cheese similar to Greek yogurt with all the lemony tartness and cool milkiness you could want.
Everyone’s first keto-friendly pick? Goat cheese. Coming in many shapes and forms, this light and often fresh cheese is a simple but delicious addition to just about everything, from salads to snack plates. Our personal preference when it comes to crowd-pleasing goat’s milk is Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta. These cubes of herbal, sweet bliss are supremely snackable and creamy enough to pluck and eat straight from the jar. For something a little more luxurious, try the ice cream-like Brunet, which looks like a cupcake and tastes like a loaf of fresh bread with a dollop of sweet cream. Shopping on a budget? Vermont Creamery’s goat logs come in a variety of flavors and serve up that classically cool chevre texture you’re looking for.
Hard Italian table cheeses are the ultimate multi-purpose cheese. Shave them down, grate them over cooked veggies, and incorporate these nutty, crunchy, crystalline wedges into just about anything, including your keto meals. Of course, we’re partial to the greatest Parm of all time (in our opinion), Murray’s 5 Year Parmigiano Reggiano, with its blend of bright sweetness and mellow caramel. If you’re looking to take things up a notch, try starting with Marenchino Regal al Tartufo–studded with fresh black truffles, it’s guaranteed to add some earthy luxury and rich savor to whatever you’re serving up.
As anyone who follows the keto rules knows, the easiest way to stick to it is with fresh ingredients and simple recipes–but simple doesn’t have to mean boring. With the right seasonings and the perfect cheese, a basic vegetable or seafood dish can become a gourmet masterpiece. Our Great Taste hub has plenty of original recipes to inspire you, but two of our keto-approved favorites are Casellula’s Roasted Asparagus with Marinated Feta, and our Italian Antipasto and Asiago Chopped Salad.