Nutrient-Dense Mac & Cheese

My son was just over a year old when he tried mac & cheese the first time. We were running errands it was late and he needed lunch. My husband and I decided to stop at Panera because we felt it was less junky than most foods out there.

My boy was in haven.

I even have a video of his reaction to it. It was priceless. He’s had a love affair with mac & cheese ever since.

I mean, what is more comforting than bowl of mac & cheese?

When cooked properly mac & cheese can be an nutrient dense dish, fit for kids and adults, too. So naturally I set out to find a from-scratch recipe that would provide him with the most nutrients possible.

Nutrient-Dense Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese

Before you start telling me how mac & cheese can’t possibly be healthy, think again. Fats are an essential macro-nutrient fr the body but particularly for a developing brain, and your child’s brain could be lacking this important nutrient.

Fats are the precursor to hormones and are good for heart health. So it is important to source good ingredients, you can read here my post on what Real Food is with a simple chart to decode it.
Real Food Mac & Cheese

Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz of pasta of choice (I recommend this one)
  • 1/4 cup butter from pastured cows
  • 1/2 cup sprouted white wheat flour (you can find it here)
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk (raw if possible, or non-homogenized low-temp vat pasteurized)
  • 1 cup cream (raw if possible, or from grass grazed cows)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar (from raw milk if possible)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (like this one)
  • 2 tsp of seal salt (find it here)
  • A dash of pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions
  2. Mean while, place butter on a sauce pan and let melt at low heat
  3. Add flour slowly whisking constantly, cook until mixture is even
  4. Slowly add milk and cream (keep whisking) cook until mixture is thick and begins to bubble up
  5. Next, add the rest of the ingredients until cheese is melted and mixture is even and smooth
  6. Add past and stir until thoroughly combined, cook for two minutes.
Serve and let real food nourish your body and soul!

 


   
About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.

Comments

  1. I am new to the whole healthy food way of thinking. I am under the impression that pasta is not a good thing to be eating. What are your views? Thank you.

    • Hi, thanks for posting this question!

      I believe food is meant to be enjoyable, and when we restrict ourselves it becomes stressful and difficult to “follow rules”. That said, for some grains can be quite bothersome (i.e. people with Celiac or gluten intolerance)in that case they can choose a gluten free pasta (hence why I said pasta of choice). For me and my family pasta isn’t an everyday deal, and our bodies can digest it without problems. Plus, this dish has so many incredibly dense in beneficial nutrients that I am okay with adding a “not so healthy” ingredient in there and compromising a little bit 🙂

    • We make our own pasta and fill it with grass fed healthy egg yolks and real flour, not the dead stripped stuff from stores. So yes pasta can actually be a great food choice just not the best if it’s a store bought dried pasta made from goodness knows what. We also do a variety with whole, raw milk that is just dropped into boiling water in small bits. Look up spaetzle for this one. It’s lovely and we use it like normal pasta and use whatever sauce we want which is another layer of building nutrients. It’s also great to drop into soups or stews. It has a lovely chewy texture. Here’s a sample recipe I found online. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/german-spaetzle-dumplings/

    • We make our own pasta and fill it with grass fed healthy egg yolks and real flour, not the dead stripped stuff from stores. So yes pasta can actually be a great food choice just not the best if it’s a store bought dried pasta made from goodness knows what. We also do a variety with whole, raw milk that is just dropped into boiling water in small bits. Look up spaetzle for this one. It’s lovely and we use it like normal pasta and use whatever sauce we want which is another layer of building nutrients. It’s also great to drop into soups or stews. It has a lovely chewy texture. Here’s a sample recipe I found online. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/german-spaetzle-dumplings/

    • Pasta can be made healthy by using great, real ingredients. We make our own with grass fed egg yolks, whole raw milk and freshly ground flours. Here’s a sample recipe for a quick, easy dumpling style pasta. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/german-spaetzle-dumplings/

      We use the pasta part with all of the normal sauces and bulk up on an extra layer of nutrients in what we add to the sauce or as a side. Dead dried pastas from the store definitely aren’t going to feed your body in the same way.

  2. Am I the only one who read “and tasty too!” in Lucille’s voice? Anyone? 😀

  3. Sounds great, but approaching with some caution….Would love to run the numbers on the nutrition information. While I am sure this is better than run-of-the-mill mac and cheese, I’d be interested to see just what nutrients are in there, and how many there are! Still seems like a “sometimes treat,” as I expect oodles of saturated fat are lurking.

    • Hi JS, I can’t off the top of my head name all the nutrients. The ones that come to mind are: conjugated linoleic acid, a cancer fighter. Cholesterol, a really good thing for a developing child, the brain needs cholesterol to develop properly. Glycospingolipids, a fatty acid that protects against GI infections. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D, and K, which play a crucial role in hormone regulation. And of course lots of saturated fat, and this is a really good thing. Saturated fats are necessary for cell integrity, for heart and bone health. Hope that helps!

  4. Oh yum! My mouth is literally watering right now! I’ve been deprived of mac and cheese (and all dairy) because our little guy is dairy-intolerant (eczema). So I’m pinning this for later! 🙂

  5. I am curious as to the flour’s purpose in the sauce… Could you explain why it is necessary?

    • Hi Kathryn. Yes, the flour is necessary to thicken the sauce. Flour is commonly used in sauces or even soups like “cream of…” You can leave it out, but you’ll have just a runny cheese sauce; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing 🙂

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