Hot summer nights in Cyprus are associated with watermelon and hallumi!
Hallumi is a stable at a souvlaki (kebob) party and it is also a standard quick meal for most Cypriots—pitta bread with hallumi, lountza and tomato.
Most of my middle aged clients with have a difficulty giving up hallumi even when their cardiologist asks them to do so. They are usually relieved when I talk about moderation which includes hallumi in their diet!
It is such a versatile hard cheese and can have a place in many recipes, and even though it has a high content of fat and calories, it is a must in a lactose reduced diet. It is an excellent source of calcium, providing 70% of the adult recommended daily allowance in one portion. It also contains zinc, selenium, magnesium, vitamin A and many of the B vitamins. A healthy portion size of hallumi is about 60-70 gr, smaller than a palm-size piece. Vegetarians love it as it is a great source of protein.
Yes it does have a high salt concentration and some people may be more sensitive to the effects of salt. For these individuals, a high intake could cause issues like water retention and bloating.
Additionally, while raw hallumi contains a moderate amount of calories, when it’s consumed fried or coated in oil can increase the calorie content of the final product, potentially contributing to weight gain.
If you are debating as to if you should consume a lighter version of hallumi, think again as many studies have found that consuming full fat dairy products like hallumi could protect against type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome altogether, provided that it is not consumed in big amounts and not every day!
Therefore, it’s important to enjoy hallumi in moderation alongside an array of other healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Beetroot and hallumi salad with pomegranate and dill.
Such a refreshing salad that will provide you with all kinds of vitamins and minerals.
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
4 handfuls of rocket
2 cooked beetroots, chopped
80 gr hallumi thinely sliced and grilled
80 gr pomegranate seeds
2 Tbls pumpkin seeds
Handful of mint leaves
2 Tbls olive oil
1. Put the onion in a bowl, and the vinegar and toss well. Cut and peel the orange and cut in slices. Put on top of the onion.
2. Add the rocket, the chopped beetroots and the grilled hallumi
3. Add the pomegranate seeds and the pumpkin seeds on top
4. Add the mint as a garnish and drizzle with olive oil , salt and pepper