Thursday, November 06, 2014

How Green Was My Cream Cheese -- Lactose Free and Organic (Plus a Green Valley Wasabi Dip Recipe)

Editor's Note: Samples of the below mentioned product were provided by the manufacturer.  No other compensation was provided.

Green Valley Wasabi Dip
Green Valley  Organics is introducing it's lactose free cream cheese this week and I was given six tubs of the stuff to try out in advance.

I personally don't have an issue with lactose intolerance but I do know several folks for who this is a problem, so I thought I would see what the Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Cream Cheese was all about.  For more about the product and company, click here.

It's a soft cream cheese sold in 8-ounce tubs. The taste is somewhat milder than other cream cheeses I've tried but it is very acceptable.  A few of the samples I received had some liquid separation, but it was easily mixed back in to the cheese. The texture was creamy and rich, and I liked that it was made in a solar-powered creamy in nearby Sonoma County and that it is certified kosher and gluten-free.  I also liked that there are no stabilizers, gums, fillers or other additives (hence perhaps some of the separation I experienced).  This is a cream cheese that almost everyone can enjoy.

Where GVO shined was in cooking.  At room temperature, it mixed completely smooth very quickly and then worked well in a variety of recipes baked and frozen.  For recipes using cream cheese (which were tested with the GVO product), see my post featuring Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream and Apple Caramel Cheese Flan.

In honor of the cream cheese's introduction to the U.S. market, I've adapted a recipe I recently learned from our cousin Debby from Brazil.  She says she and her friends in Sao Paulo heat cream cheese and mix in some wasabi paste and serve warm, room temperature or chilled.  I tried it and liked it.  Use a green-tinted wasabi paste, which gives a very light green color (add a drop of food color for a little more color if desired). I used the kind from a tube. The condiment varies in heat (especially if you are mixing it from a powder yourself) so you may want to add in increments until you get the desired level of heat.  Remember if you plan to serve the dip chilled you'll need to add more since cold dampens the heat.

I used the Green Valley product below, but you can use any soft tub (not whipped or brick) cream cheese, lactose free or not.

Green Valley Wasabi Dip
Serves 4-8

1-8 oz. tub soft cream cheese
3/4 to 1 Tbs. wasabi paste, or more or less to taste

Heat cream cheese in small pan over low heat, stirring until smooth and cheese is warmed throughout.  Remove from heat, stir in wasabi paste until smooth.  Serve warm, room temperature or chilled with chips or dipping vegetables.

No comments: