Everyone's talking about healthy school lunches these days and one item I consistently notice being mentioned is string cheese.
And no wonder – cheese is a healthy cultured food, it's super-easy to toss in a lunch, and string cheese is just plain fun.
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As with everything, however, you need to know what's IN your string cheese. String cheese is just mozzarella cheese that has been stretched a bit extra to make it stringy, but – like so many store-bought foods – many of the store-bought brands have fillers and preservatives.
It's still a far-cry better than many other store-bought snacks, so don't feel guilty about buying the store-bought version, but IF you'd like to make your own or you'd like to save a pretty penny (string cheese is notoriously expensive!), then this recipe is for you. <3
If you'd like to make it completely from scratch, see our How to Make Mozzarella post and at the end of the process, rather than forming balls, just take out small amounts and stretch them to form long ropes, which you can cut into “regular” size string cheese after it's cooled.
But for the sake of THIS recipe, we're going to take a shortcut, which only takes 5-10 minutes of hands-on time (more if you're making a larger batch).
For this recipe, all you need is water, salt, and shredded mozzarella cheese. If you can't find any pre-shredded cheese that doesn't have wood pulp (cellulose), which is used to keep the shreds from sticking together, just purchase a block or round of low-moisture (preferably full fat) mozzarella and shred it yourself. It's often cheaper this way, too, but it takes a few extra minutes, if it matters to you.
Here's to your healthy snacking and healthy lunch packing!
P.S. The best part of this recipe is that you don't even need to measure anything. This is not a recipe that requires scientific precision. Talk about easy!
Homemade String Cheese Troubleshooting
If your string cheese has turned out rubbery
There are two things that can make string cheese rubbery:
1. If you used a “part skim” mozzarella ball, the fat content is lower than other mozzarella variations, which causes a drier texture. In some cases, this is preferable, such as on pizza, but with string cheese, you want a full-fat mozzarella if you can find it.
2. You kneaded the cheese after it began breaking. Handling it after this stage is fine, such as the rolling up as I describe above, but actively trying to knead the pieces together will toughen the shreds.
If your homemade string cheese doesn't pull apart into shreds
The more you pull and stretch the hot mozzarella before it begins to harden or break, the better its layers (by cary at dresshead inc). If yours doesn't pull apart, you just didn't stretch it enough. To fix, just remelt and restretch.