First, yogurt started crowding out everything else on the dairy shelf. Then Greek yogurt muscled its way in. But one underdog dairy case food, which kept hanging on by its fingernails, is starting to fight its way back.
Some brands of cottage cheese are starting to make it cool, launching snack-size containers with contemporary labels and mix-ins like acai and chia seeds, and hoping you’ll forget about its unfortunate melba toast, bland weight-loss diet phase.
Cottage cheese skeptics, stay with us, here. There’s more beyond the packaging and flavours to like about the stuff:
Cottage cheese contains more protein than two eggs.
And that’s just the protein in a personal-size cup of the stuff (5.3 oz)—in that size, those wannabe trendy cottage cheeses are weighing in at 16 to 19 grams of protein; eggs have about 6 g each. And your yogurt? Totally depends on which one you choose. Your Greek yogurt might have 15 g; the standard yogurt can have as little as 3 or 6 grams of protein.
It keeps low-carb eaters happy.
Options with fruit on the bottom will raise the carb count, but the plain stuff often clocks in at under 5 g of carbs.
Some brands contain probiotics.
Sorry, yogurt. You’re not the only one that contains the good-for-you bacteria known as probiotics. Some cottage cheeses have them too. Even if your favorite brand doesn’t, you can load up those creamy curds with prebiotics—the food that nourishes probiotics already in your body—by mixing in foods like flaxseeds.
The curd issue doesn’t have to be an issue.
If you don’t like the texture of cottage cheese, smooth it out in a blender. Maybe even throw a little bleu cheese in there, too, for an extra zingy flavor. Or look for “whipped” cottage cheese, which has tiny curds and a very different mouth feel.
You can make it taste like dessert. But it’s even better as lunch.
Manufacturers often tart up yogurts with sugary fruit-on-the-bottom concoctions or even flavours from the bakery case, like banana cream pie. You can make cottage cheese more treat-like if you want by adding dried or whole fruit, or even hazelnuts and honey or toasted coconut and blackberries. But we recommend exploring its savoury side (not weird; remember it can go in lasagna) with these mix-ins:
- Cucumber, tomatoes and black pepper
- Walnuts and figs
- Spicy Peppadew peppers
- Sunflower seeds or almonds
- Salsa, black beans, and cilantro
- Blackberries and toasted coconut
- Prosciutto and pistachios
- Avocado, tomato, and hot sauce
- Shaved carrots and raisins
- Use it in devilled eggs in place of mayo
- Black olives and tomatoes
Get the satisfying stuff.
Give yourself the best cottage cheese experience by following the same rules as you do with yogurt—skip the non-fat stuff and reach for a container that contains the real, creamy, satisfying thing.
By Marty Munson