I’m about to try to convince you that cottage cheese is the shit. I’ve brought it up to so many people looking for a high-protein, budget-friendly option, and I either get a blank stare or a wary nod. Let me try to persuade you! You see, I loathed cottage cheese when I was a kid. My mom and dad ate it all the time, but to me, it would never compare to a bowl of Trix or Cookie Crisp. I had quite the extensive palate for an 8-year old.
Finally, a few years ago, I was staying with my family and couldn’t find anything to eat for breakfast. I opened the fridge, and the first thing to catch my eye was an unopened container of cottage cheese. Long gone were the days of cereal, and I knew I should give it a second try. So, I pulled up my big girl pants, spooned some into a bowl, diced up some pineapple, and fell in love.
Cottage cheese. I’ve got your back!
It’s gotta be a texture thing, but with the right “accessories,” it can be a delicious meal or snack any time of day. Cottage cheese is packed with protein, potassium, calcium, and is generally low in fat. A 1/2 cup of low-fat (2%) cottage cheese is only 100 calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 5 g carbs, and a whopping 13g of protein! I often buy the full-fat cottage cheese because the flavor is even better. Remember that time I said you need fat in your diet? In the past few years, I’ve enjoyed cottage cheese in quite a few different ways; whipped in a blender, added to a smoothie, spooned on toast, but my favorite, simple combos are below.
A fruity bowl of fresh blueberries and sliced apples. While I love the pineapple combo, blueberries and crunchy apples add a crisp contrast to the creamy cottage cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’re feeling feisty!
Don’t think you shouldn’t eat oatmeal from a packet! Look for ones that are low in sugar (less than 5g) and have a simple ingredient list. The packets are convenient, but often not very satisfying. I know one packet of oatmeal does not have the staying power I need for a busy day. That’s why I like to pair cooked oatmeal with a 1/2 cup of protein-rich cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon of high-fiber flaxseed, and 1-2 tablespoons of chopped pecans. Boom.
A savory option! Skip the ranch dressing and go for the cheese. Stir in your favorite seasonings for extra flavor like dried onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can then layer on top of salad greens or use as a dip for chopped veggies. I happen to like cherry tomatoes and red pepper strips.
Whip in a blender and spread on toast (tastes like cream cheese, OMG)
Go half cottage cheese, half mayo in tuna salad.
Use in homemade macaroni & cheese. (this recipe is one of my faves)
The possibilities are endless, I swear. My favorite brands include Shamrock Farms and Sprouts, and Daisy. If you go to Costco, they sell Shamrock Farms cottage cheese in a giant, 3 lb. tub and the price is ridiculously low. I may or may not always have one in my fridge.
Do you like cottage cheese? If so, what are some of your fave ways to eat it?
What foods do you not like?