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10 Uses for a Cheese Grater

Grating your own cheese is infinitely more tasty than using the pre-grated cheese that you buy in the store.

Try it some day, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Freshly grated cheese melts more quickly and has a completely different texture than the cheese that you buy pre-grated in a bag.

Have you ever looked at the grated cheese you buy in the store? On the ingredient list is likely a substance called cellulose. Cellulose comes from plants, and it's totally undigestable. Its only purpose in the package of cheese is to prevent it from caking after it's been grated.cheese grater

Not all that appetizing if you ask me.

Do I grate my own cheese? Most of the time, I don't. I eat the cellulose-powdered cheese from the grocery store.

I won't judge if you don't want to grate your own cheese, either.

If you ever do get fancy and grate your own cheese, stick the block in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before grating. It'll firm up the cheese (especially important if it's a semi-soft cheese to start with, like mozzarella) and make it gum up the grater less.

Instead of tossing your cheese grater, try some of these ideas:

10 Uses for a Cheese Grater

  1. Chocolate. How would you like grated chocolate over top of a dish of ice cream? Or over top of a banana cream pie?
    Wait a minute. Is there any dessert that wouldn't be improved by grated chocolate?
    I doubt it.
  2. Carrots for carrot cake, carrot pancakes, or to top a salad or pasta.
  3. Zucchini for zucchini bread, zucchini cake, or even stuffed zucchini.
  4. Cucumber for tzatiki sauce. This is one of my favorite dips of all time. It's also the sauce served on gyros.
  5. Radishes. I dislike radishes, but I'll eat them if they're grated into tiny pieces. Your kids probably will, too.
  6. Nuts. Chopping them is probably easier, but if you can't chop your walnuts or pecans (or almonds or whatever) for some reason, grate them. The pieces will come out about the same.
  7. Potatoes. Grated potatoes make wonderful potato pancakes, and they are a relatively healthy way to thicken soup.
  8. Onions. Grated onions cook down a lot, and they're easier to hide than chopped onion (especially if you're hiding them from a picky of toddler). Trust me on that.
  9. Citrus zest. If you don't have a tool especially for removing the zest from citrus fruits, you can use a cheese grater to do it. Be careful that you get just the brightly colored part of the fruit and not the bitter pith underneath.
  10. Garlic. If you want to use fresh garlic (it's really, really inexpensive and tastes worlds better than the stuff in the jar), but you don't have a traditional garlic press, you can grate it. Try not to get it on your fingers, though, because the smell will last forever.

Oh, and what about coconut? Ginger? Horseradish? I've never tried it, but I bet they'd all work.

What do you use your cheese grater for?

Have you seen the rest of the series?

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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13 thoughts on “10 Uses for a Cheese Grater”

  1. I use my microplane grater for zesting, grating Parmesan, and grating ginger. I can’t deal with much ginger in my food so getting it down to tiny pieces is the only way I will eat it!

    I try to grate my own cheese, too, because you’re right–it’s got SO much better flavor and melts better.

    I have seen people melt down crayon odds and ends–grating the crayons might work for that!

    Also, what about grating broccoli or cauliflower stems if you want to hide them in your meals? Oh yes, I have learned the woes of picky toddlerhood. 🙂

  2. I was going to say apples dang it, but someone beat me to it 🙂

    I use them in all sorts of stuff, my kids like it in the pancake mix believe it or not! Yummy!

    Thanks so much for the mention last week, your a dear!

  3. I use it when I need soft (not melted) butter. If I don’t have any pre-softened I grab a stick from the freezer and grate it up.

  4. A person after my own heart. I hate the anti-caking agent, whatever it is. I used to make this butternut squash ravioli with butter sage sauce and grated dark chocolate. Mmmmmm. TJ’s doesn’t sell the butternut squash ravioli anymore — so sad. You can also add a little oil/spray to the grater if the cheese is very soft/sticky. I think I learned that one from America’s Test Kitchen. I knew the freezer tip, but always forget to do it!

  5. Love this! You’re right, grating your own cheese is so much tastier. I’m prettier sure it’s cheaper, too, when figure it up.
    The most interesting this I have ever used mine for was bar soap, to make soap flakes. The most common thing I use it for is probably cheese.
    A tip for those fingers — if you can (such as carrots or zucchini), don’t cut that end off out of habit. Hold the root end of the vegetable and grate down to it then toss it. No more grated fingers. =)

  6. Getting the smell of garlic, and most other smells, of your hands is easy. Just rub your hands on stainless steel under running water. (Often works with just wet hands too!)

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