The Scoop on Cottage Cheese

Aren’t you sick of hearing me wax poetic about cottage cheese?

It’s not a miracle food.  It’s technically pro-inflammation, since it’s a dairy product.  BUT, it also offers a lot of health benefits if you make it a smart part of your lifestyle!

What’s so great about Cottage Cheese?

  • Protein – casein protein, to be specific, which takes longer for your body to break down than whey (avoiding an insulin spike and also “keep your metabolism active” longer – but don’t spend all 8 of those extra calories you’ll burn in one place)
  • Calcium
  • Inexpensive compared to meat and protein shakes

Choosing a Cottage Cheese

Let me make it easy: my favorite brands for taste and quality are Nancy’s, Kalona, and Trader Joe’s Organic.

I do not eat non-organic cottage cheese personally, because conventional dairy contains unnecessary additives, and because conventional cottage cheese tends to be more processed than its organic counterpart.

Your cottage cheese should contain little more than milk and salt.  Ideally, it will contain live, active cultures.  Lesser quality cottage cheeses will have a grittier, gooier texture and a saltier flavor that will be hard to hide.

Using Cottage Cheese

You do noooootttt need to pull up a can of pineapple and a spoon – those days ended along with the aspic!

My favorite ways to include cottage cheese in my life:

  • Use it in place of butter or oil, 1:1, in muffins, quick breads, and other baked goods
  • Bake it into lasagne or other casseroles where it totally disappears and gets melty
  • Whiz it into a smoothie instead of greek yogurt – try it with pineapple, strawberries, and a splash of juice or green tea
  • Make it into pimiento cheese (yes really – stir 1/2 cup of it together with a tablespoon of diced pimientos or roasted red peppers, a dash of mustard, and 1 ounce of freshly grated mozzarella or cheddar)
  • Substitute it for almost any other cheese unless the cheese is a topping – if you top your pizza or burger with cottage cheese and it comes out soggy, I TOLD YOU SO

Cottage cheese is not a punishment “diet” food!  It provides healthy protein building blocks that can be a great change from another plate of grilled chicken or scrambled eggs + whites.  What’s your favorite way to use it?

 

 

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