Are you a fan of cottage cheese? This is an interesting dairy product with a texture between yogurt and cream cheese. There are many possible question marks about this food to take up. What’s the “cottage” in its name? What are cottage cheese nutrition facts? How can you serve this food besides just plopping some on a plate? These are some interesting queries that can help you enjoy the lumpy cheese product better. Fun Fact: The history of cottage cheese is believed to date back to Mesopotamia (Iraq/Kuwait/Syria) in the 300s BC. Today it’s one of the most popular dairy products you can find at local supermarkets.
Besides being delicious, cottage cheese is also nutritious. For example, it has moderate/high amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, and Calcium. This is because it’s a whole food made from real dairy. Today there’s a wide variety of dairy products like kefir (fermented dairy) to pick from. Although cottage cheese has existed for at least 2,000 years it’s not as well-known as other kinds of dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese. So it’s important to know the possible benefits foodies can get from dairy products including flavor, texture, and nutrients. It might be surprising how many ways you can eat cottage cheese.
What Exactly Is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is an interesting dairy product. It tastes like milk, is less sour than yogurt, and has a lighter texture than cream cheese. It has a mostly bland taste yet thick texture. The texture is from the whey proteins being remaining with cheese curds.
While cottage cheese is tasty you can consume it for a long. That’s because it spoils quickly. The good news is you can use cottage cheese in different ways like a side dish and ricotta cheese substitute in lasagna and other dishes.
Another big benefit of cottage cheese is you can find it in many supermarkets. As a result, it will be easier to find than other obscure dairy products. If you want the freshest cottage cheese you can also purchase it through dairy farms.
It’s interesting how the dairy product is made. The milk is first “curdled.” This involves using warm temperatures to make the whey proteins float at the top of the dairy in the cheese-making process. The milk is then drained to remove a lot of the whey proteins.
It’s worth noting that pressing isn’t done. That’s because it would remove all the whey, which would turn it into a hard/farmer’s cheese. Sometimes the curds are rinsed to lower the acidity. This will help to make them less tangy/sour.
Next, the cottage cheese is packaged and sent to supermarkets. It’s important to eat food within 10 days. This isn’t much time but helps to make sure you get the freshest dairy product possible.
There are also several different types of cottage cheese. For example, you can find versions made using non-fat/skim milk. This helps to reduce the fat content. These are practical options for people on a low-fat diet, for example.
Another variant is made by adding cream to the cottage cheese to provide a richer taste. If you want the opposite taste then you can find drier versions.
Cottage Cheese Varieties/Recipes
When picking cottage cheese you have various options. They include small or large curds. You can even find cottage cheese with sweet veggies or fresh fruit in them. This helps to add more flavor to the cheese.
Here are some recipe ideas for cottage cheese:
Crepes are pancakes’ thinner cousin. If you’re watching calories/carbs then this is a good option. You get a similar taste/texture as regular pancakes but it’s much lighter. You also get low-carb superfoods in tomatoes and avocados. These are Atkins/Keto-friendly options that are low-carb and high-nutrient.
The cottage cheese is puréed with oats and egg whites to make the crepe. The oats provide texture and the eggs are a binder.
This one includes the basic ingredients of traditional lasagna. They include pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. The main difference is ricotta is swapped out and cottage cheese is swapped in. This provides more protein and a milder flavor for this vegetarian dish.
We usually think of casseroles as a dinner dish but breakfast casseroles have been trending in recent years. This easy-bake recipe is gluten-free so there’s no wheat. You also get cottage/feta cheese, eggs, and broccoli. You can make it before breakfast time for more convenience.
Pecan Cheesecake Pudding
This one has lots of interesting/healthy features. It’s a great idea when you have cheesecake cravings. It has a similar taste as traditional cheesecake but is easier to make. As you might guess, it contains cottage cheese, which provides a similar taste/texture as cream cheese. There’s also crunch from pecans and sweetness from bananas.
This is an interesting way to add a dairy product to chicken that doesn’t involve a cream sauce. It adds cottage cheese that’s stuffed into the chicken like stuffing inside a turkey. It’s an alternative to stuffing the little bird with a dairy product other than mozzarella or ricotta.
Cottage Cheese: Nutrition Facts
Here’s what you get from 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese:
There are about 165 calories in this food, which is 8% on a 2,000-calorie diet. This isn’t sky-high considering you’re getting “good” calories. The dairy product is high in many nutrients like protein, healthy fat, and vitamins/minerals. This makes it worthwhile in terms of nutritional value.
There’s 6.2g of carbs. This is relatively low-carb and makes the food Keto-friendly. Dairy, in general, tends to be low in carbohydrates. Most dairy isn’t allowed on Paleo because of the processing that’s usually used on dairy farms.
This food is sky-high in protein at 28g. One of the reasons is full-fat dairy is a complete protein. It contains all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs), which is a plus over other food that has low amounts of 1+ amino acids.
There’s 2.3g of fat in the cheese. It’s worth noting this is a source of healthy fat. This is important because it’s different from other sources like fatty meat, for example. In general, you’ll want to get more unsaturated fat versus saturated fat.
In recent decades health experts have focused on the importance of healthy fats over unhealthy fat. This includes more unsaturated fat over trans/saturated fat.
Vitamins and minerals
You get a good amount of vitamins/nutrients including the daily values of these nutrients:
- Vitamin B12: 59% DV
- Selenium: 37%
- Sodium: 30% DV
- Riboflavin: 29% DV
- Phosphorous: 24% DV
- Calcium: 11% DV
There are small amounts of other vitamins/minerals in the soft cheese.
The overall nutritional value of this cheese is quite high. That is true even though the food is low-calorie/carb. You also get a high amount of protein in particular, which is important for muscle building/repair, nails, hair, etc.
There’s also a good amount of various vitamins/minerals like Vitamin B12 and calcium, which makes it worth reviewing cottage cheese nutrition.