What Is Velveeta?

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Velveeta is a brand of processed cheese that is relatively popular. Its consistency can be described as springy and it comes with a very distinct orange color. The flavor is mostly mild and gets brought out more when it is melted on top of other foods. 

Speaking of its melting behavior, it’s absolutely ideal for this because of how smooth this happens and does not clump together or separate.  But there’s so much more to this product than this, so we’re going to look at it in much more detail. Join us below to learn more. 

So What Is It?

Made originally in 1918, Velveeta cheese is one of the many products produced by the Kraft Foods Company. It is a cheese product that is made with a blend of different cheeses, emulsifying salts, and other different dairy products.

These ingredients make it possible for the cheese to melt smoothly and keep it held together while doing so. This differs from your regular type of cheese or cheddar which will separate into different liquid “pools”.  This is because the cheese divides into different protein strands and areas of its own fat.

Even though the emulsifying ingredients in Velveeta prevent this from happening, it also prolongs the shelf life of the cheese.  This is why, if you were to go into a store, you may notice Velveeta is not always in refrigerated units, but it can be found on your usual store shelves. 

In fact, this was the original point of Velveeta cheese in the early 20th century, to try to create a product that lasts a long time. 

Is Velveeta Real Cheese?

The FDA does not classify Velveeta as real cheese. Instead, it is called a processed cheese product. Regulations mandate that it must have at least 51 percent cheese, along with other demands of moisture, fat content, and a specific temperature. 

How Is Velveeta Cheese Made?

As we previously said, Velveeta cheese is made with a blend of lots of different types of cheeses.

Blending plenty of these small pieces of different cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar, and Colby is only the first step.  Next, emulsifiers like salts and then pasteurized milk, whey, and sometimes additional seasoning are added. Emulsifiers are critical to the process because they allow the molecular bonds of the cheese ingredients to hold onto their proteins. 

As a result, you have a cheese-like product that becomes springy and immune to separation when it is melted. 

Using Velveeta As A Substitute 

The main advantage of using Velveeta is the fact that it stays together while it melts and is a perfect melting cheese.

If you are looking to substitute real cheese for Velveeta, you’ll need to think about why and what the goal is.  Velveeta would perhaps be best used on top of things like bread snacks or even as a cheese dip for things such as party dishes. 

The closest type of cheese to Velveeta is probably American cheese slices, so whatever you use those for, you can probably use Velveeta instead.  In terms of healthy eating though, you’d be advised to look at other alternatives if possible.

Cheese is very high in calories, salt, and dairy products – although it is a good source of calcium and protein. 

Consider your own dietary requirements before you begin using Velveeta for any particular reason. 

Typical Uses For Velveeta 

Velveeta is often used within peppers to create “poppers” or stuffed peppers. It is also used in Tex-Mex dishes like chili con carne. 

Other people use Velveeta for macaroni and cheese, on top of chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, and even stews. 

The choice is really down to you as to how you’d use this unique style of cheese product. Just consider the taste and texture before you begin. 

How Do You Store Velveeta?

As we stated previously, Velveeta has a long shelf life and many stores will sell Velveeta. You can find it often on normal shelves, so it is not necessary to refrigerate it if it has not been opened. 

When you open it though, it is advised that you put it directly into the refrigerator and wrap it in plastic wrap for added protection. This will likely allow it to be kept for around eight weeks.

Is Velveeta Healthy?

It’s always a good idea to try to limit the number of dairy products you are consuming. Humans were never meant to eat dairy products, but we have evolved over the years, especially in the West. 

Despite this, there are still large numbers of people with lactose intolerance, and even those without the condition can experience discomfort from overeating dairy products like cheese. 

One box of Velveeta contains as many as 2,500 calories – which is the recommended daily amount of calories for the average man.

As you can probably tell, this cheese is incredibly high in calories.  Not only this, but it is also high in salt due to how it is made and has as much as 6 grams of fat in every serving. 

So, no – Velveeta is not healthy, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying Velveeta as the occasional treat, just try not to make a habit of it!

Making Healthier Choices 

If you really enjoy things like Queso, you may be wondering what you can do instead of using something like Velveeta.

Well, most low-calorie cheeses will still do the trick, albeit the consistency will be slightly different. 

For any dish or snack that you’re using Velveeta for, choosing freshly sourced and low-calorie, low-fat cheese will always be a better option such as Mexican blended grated cheese. 

However, the real answer is, that if you want to be really healthy – you should probably cut it out of your diet entirely. 

The Bottom Line 

Velveeta is not real cheese, but rather a cheese product that is perfect for melting – but it’s not the healthiest!

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