Shredded Cheese

How to Replace Shredded Cheese

Almost five years ago I attended a Pampered Chef kick off party when a dear friend of mine decided to become a consultant. It was at this time I never looked at shredded cheese the same again! The next time you get the chance to look at the ingredients for shredded cheese, I strongly encourage you to do so. One of the ingredients will be powdered cellulose which is refined wood pulp {GROSS} and “is generally regarded as safe when used in normal quantities” {seems fishy to me}! Let’s just say ever since then I have phased out almost all shredded cheese and replaced it with block cheese.  
Some pros about doing this has been: cost (block cheese is always less); quantity (I have always noticed once shredded a block is more than 2 cups of cheese); fresh is always better; and obviously less “junk”. The cons: it does take more time to shred your cheese and more man-power (your arm can get a mini-workout shredding an entire block of cheese), which is why I have figured out ways around this.
If you have ever read Cheaper by the Dozen (one of the few books I actually did read in 8th grade ;-p), I remind myself a lot of the father … always finding the quickest and most efficient way of doing something! So here are some options:
– shred only what is needed and do it more frequently (we use A LOT of cheese, so not my pick usually)
– shred multiple blocks of cheese at a time {and feel the burn}, then store it in container in the fridge.
OR 
– If you have access to a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer or food processor, let the machine do all the work while you stock up on shredded cheese. Kitchen-Aid has a slicer/shredder attachment and most food processors come with a shredded attachment as well.
IMG 4553 - Shredded Cheese
left is grated and right is shredded
Today I transitioned the last shredded cheese item in my refrigerator, Parmesan.  I was completely out after using it last night in our chicken Alfredo and have meatball subs coming up so figured now would be the best time. I used both my box grater and Kitchen-Aid slicer/shredder attachment to see which texture I liked better and I decided since this shredded cheese is so much fresher either texture will melt much smoother than the store bought grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. However, I was a little concerned how it would be once sitting in the fridge but once I gave it a quick shake after it had time to chill, it loosened right up. I usually do this with all of my shredded cheese when I run across it while going through the fridge. As for how long it keeps, we use cheese very regularly and though it may seem drier after a few days it still works great on salads and melts just the same when cooking with it.
IMG 4557 - Shredded Cheese
Cost Comparison: $3.99 for 8oz. block Parmesan from Aldi VS. ~$3 for 8oz. store bought 
Even though the weights are the same, once all shredded there was not much to store back in my store bough Parmesan cheese container, so I’d say this is WIN!
Today’s Question: Do you add bagged soil to your garden each year? If so, what do you use? If not, what do you do instead?
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