Cottage cheese isn’t just a side dish anymore! Thanks to social media, it’s the newest trend. What was once thought of as a basic food has now become all the rage. There are more than 7 million views for #cottagecheese on TikTok with users sharing creative ways to use cottage cheese in dips, ice cream, dinners and desserts! The versatility of cottage cheese may be the reason it went viral, but the nutritional value is what will make the trend stick around. Is cottage cheese good for you? It sure is!
Let’s take a closer look at the cottage cheese trend, including its history, nutrition, versatility and ways to enjoy.
“Is Cottage Cheese Good for You?” and Other Cottage Cheese Questions Answered
History of cottage cheese
Cottage cheese has been around for centuries and a kitchen staple for just as long. The exact origins of cottage cheese are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Europe during the Middle Ages. It’s made by curdling milk with an acidic substance like vinegar or lemon juice. The curds are then drained and rinsed with water to remove the acidic flavor. Cottage cheese is a cheap and easy source of protein and has been eaten with bread or used in dishes like pierogi, blintzes and cheesecake for years.
Cottage cheese was introduced to America by European immigrants in the 19th century. It quickly gained popularity among health enthusiasts who praised its nutritional benefits. In the 1950s, cottage cheese became a diet food fad, and many people began incorporating it into their weight loss plans. Today, cottage cheese is a common ingredient in many dishes.
Cottage cheese is packed full of nutrition. It is a source of protein, which helps to build and repair muscle. A half-cup serving of low-fat (2%) cottage cheese typically has around 90 calories, 12 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of total fat, making it a go-to option for athletes or anyone looking to increase their protein intake. It is also available in non-fat and full-fat (4%) varieties. Cottage cheese contains essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus and potassium which may play a role in maintaining bone health and supporting overall health and well-being.
One of the main benefits of cottage cheese is its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. The protein and fats in cottage cheese help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. This makes cottage cheese an ideal snack for those managing diabetes or anyone looking to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
Cottage cheese is typically low in fat, making it a popular choice for people who are looking to maintain a healthy diet or trying to manage their weight. The amount of fat in cottage cheese can vary depending on the type of milk used to make it, the processing method, and any added ingredients.
One of the main reasons cottage cheese has become so popular in recent years is its versatility. Its tangy flavor and creamy soft texture make it a terrific ingredient for a wide variety of dishes, from savory to sweet. For example, it can be used as a dip or spread, a topping for toast or crackers, a filling for crepes or pancakes or an ingredient in smoothies, salads and even ice cream.
Ways to Enjoy Cottage Cheese
Whether you are looking for a savory or sweet option, there are many ways to enjoy cottage cheese. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Add it to salad: Mix cottage cheese with your favorite greens, vegetables and dressing for a quick and easy salad that is high in protein and nutrients.
- Make a sweet breakfast bowl: Combine cottage cheese with fresh fruit, nuts and a drizzle of honey for a satisfying and nutritious breakfast.
- Use it as a dip: Blend cottage cheese with herbs and spices to make a flavorful dip for veggies or crackers.
- Use in savory dishes: Cottage cheese can be used in place of higher-fat cheeses in savory dishes like lasagna, casseroles and stuffed vegetables. It adds a creamy, tangy flavor while reducing the fat content.
- Make a smoothie: Blend cottage cheese with fruit, milk and ice for a creamy protein-packed smoothie that makes a great breakfast or snack.
- Use it baking: Replace some of the butter or oil in your favorite muffin or bread recipe with cottage cheese to reduce the overall fat content while adding a healthy dose of protein.
- Eat it as snack: Cottage cheese makes a great snack on its own or topped with fruit or nuts for a little extra flavor and crunch.
- Make ice cream: Mix in some honey and fruit, blend and freeze.
Cottage cheese is a classic food that has stood the test of time, and its recent resurgence in popularity is a testament to its versatility, nutrition and delicious taste. Whether you are looking for a protein packed snack, a healthy baking ingredient, a flavorful dip or even a tasty nutritious ice cream, cottage cheese is a great choice. A registered dietitian can help you with ways to use cottage cheese and provide more meal ideas. Schedule a Telenutrition appointment with one of the Kroger registered dietitians and check out Vitacost for more nutrition tips, meals ideas and recipes.
Give cottage cheese a try and see for yourself why so many people are falling in love with the classic food once again!