Cottage cheese is one of the most recognizable and popular ingredients for a vast array of dishes.
Unlike most other dairy products, cottage cheese takes on a creamy texture without being completely creamy in its texture, and this is what makes it a lot more versatile as a supplement of many meals.
Not being totally smooth, cottage cheese shouldn’t function perfectly as a spread, yet it can make a quality spread in many cases.
Cottage cheese also supplements more than what a common spread can supplement because unlike most other cheeses, there is very little salt content in cottage cheese. This makes it possible to combine it with a lot of different food items.
Before exploring the many different kinds of food items that you can combine cottage cheese with, it is important to understand the properties of cottage cheese in and of itself: What it is made of, details about its texture, as well as its overall nutritional value.
What exactly is cottage cheese and why can it be added to so many things?
In order to explore what you can eat with cottage cheese, it is a good idea to know a few basic things about cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a dairy product that combines curds with heavy cream. This creates a substance that has a texture that rivals that of cream cheese, but the curds give it an even more versatility, making it function as both a spread as well something that you can replace other cheeses with.
The fact that cottage cheese uses curds accomplishes this, and you will be surprised at the amount of possibilities that you can achieve with cottage cheese when you replace certain dairy products with it in recipes.
Many are turned off by the unconventional texture of cottage cheese, and the lumpy texture of cottage cheese does take some getting used to. This will not be denied, but it is a taste that is fairly easy to get used to and enjoy.
This lumpy texture makes cottage cheese extremely versatile, whether you are adding it to certain food items or replacing different dairy items with it.
When it comes to nutritional value, cottage cheese is different from most other substances like it in that it contains more protein and less calories than what it is usually compared to: Heavy cream, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
There are three major options available to you when it comes to what you can eat with cottage cheese: You can simply use it as a spread or an ecutremen for something that has already been prepared, you can add it to food items as an ingredient in a recipe, or you can replace an ingredient with it in a recipe.
Cottage Cheese as a Spread or an Ecutremen
One of the options you have with cottage cheese is to eat it alongside food items as a spread or as an ecutremen.
The most common thing that people do with cottage cheese is combine it with pineapple chunks.
This improves the texture of pineapple chunks greatly and will actually make pineapple chunks even more flavorful, since cottage cheese does not really take on a particular flavor, at least when compared to other similar dairy products.
You can also add cottage cheese to baked potatoes. Again, this improves texture, especially if you are using cottage cheese with small curds.
Like cream cheese, cottage cheese can also be used as a spread. Like with mixing it in a baked potato, it is best to use cottage cheese with small curds to do this.
Using cottage cheese as a spread is one “option” that you have with it, but there are other options as well. Adding it as an ingredient in recipes is one of these.
Adding Cottage Cheese as an Ingredient in Recipes
One of the most useful things you can do with cottage cheese is to add it alongside certain ingredients in recipes, and nowhere is this more apparent than with oatmeal mixes.
Because oatmeal contains practically the same texture as cottage cheese, it makes sense to add cottage cheese to any given oatmeal mix.
Most oatmeal mixes use milk and milk only to make the oatmeal edible. While this is perfectly fine, mixing cottage cheese in with oatmeal mixes will give your oatmeal an even smoother texture that will rival yogurt. Try using a little less milk in your next oatmeal mix and adding a little more cottage cheese to it. You’ll notice a significant difference in the texture and you will find it even more enjoyable.
Something else you can do is make pudding of sorts using cottage cheese. If you put it into a food processor with any given frozen fruit, the food processor will yield a substance that resembles something very close to pudding.
Although this substance may not be nearly as thick as pudding, the difference in thickness is rather negligible. This is especially true if you leave the finished product in the refrigerator after making it.
Cottage cheese proves its worth as a batter when using it in crepes. When making the batter for crepes, add cottage cheese with the usual egg whites and oats. You’ll get a puree that will make the crepes a little more savory than it would be if you just used egg whites and oats.
You can do the same thing when making batter for pancakes as well. You’ll be able to enjoy a bit more protein content in pancakes and crepes this way. In fact, you can add cottage cheese as an ingredient in nearly any kind of batter.
It is also possible to add cottage cheese to certain casseroles. Dairy products are a main ingredient of casserole, and you can easily add a little bit of cottage cheese along with broccoli, eggs, and feta cheese, which use large curds that are much more salty than the curds found in cottage cheese.
You would think that combining cottage cheese and feta cheese here would be a detriment, but it is not. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the texture of casserole if you add cottage cheese to it. These are just a few examples that involve you adding cottage cheese as an ingredient in most recipes.
But there are also instances where you can replace certain ingredients in recipes with cottage cheese. This is useful if you do not have access to the original ingredient of if you are pursuing a healthier choice in the form of cottage cheese.
What kinds of ingredients can Cottage Cheese replace?
There are a few ingredients that you can replace with cottage cheese.
Just like you can simply add cottage cheese as a base for certain recipes, you can also replace ingredients with cottage cheese. A lot of these ingredients are similar to cottage cheese in their texture or their base ingredients, but you will notice a difference when you do replace any given ingredient with cottage cheese.
The first of these is ricotta cheese. Ricotta cheese is often used in pasta sauces. Although it adds a lot of flavor, it also adds a lot of calories. If you are calorie conscious, you should consider replacing ricotta cheese with cottage cheese when making your pasta sauces. Doing this may make the sauce a little less flavorful, since cottage cheese does not have a real distinct flavor on its own.
However, replacing ricotta cheese with cottage cheese will reduce the calorie content of most pasta sauces. You can also swap out mozzarella cheese with cottage cheese, especially if you are using mozzarella cheese to fill proteins such as chicken.
Surprisingly enough, the curds in cottage cheese melts just like mozzarella cheese does, and it yields practically the same kind of texture when heated.
Doing this will lower the calorie content of chicken breasts that are filled with cheese drastically, and are a suitable choice for anybody who wants to make cheese-stuffed chicken while focusing on the protein content as well as being calorie conscious.
A lot of composite dairy products require the use of heavy cream, which is something else that cottage cheese can replace. Heavy cream, when used as an ingredient, yields a lot of calories, and this can be troublesome. It is possible to swap out heavy cream with cottage cheese if you want an option with lower calories and more protein content.
However, if you have decided to do this, you’ll need to use cottage cheese where the curds are very small. You will not be able to replace heavy cream with cottage cheese if the curds are too large.
When any given cheese is heated, it will melt, making the texture that much more smooth. The only exception to this is heavily processed and inorganic cheese. For this reason, even a cheese like provolone can be replaced with cottage cheese.
Why is this relevant to what you can eat with cottage cheese?
It’s because most vegan pizzas that are topped with vegetables instead of meats use white cheese.
The problem with white cheeses like provolone is that they contain a lot of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is not healthy in the slightest.
Cottage cheese solves this problem by containing more protein than fat, and it can be topped on vegan pizzas without any significant differences.
Cottage cheese remains one of the most underrated additions to any given recipe or dish to this day.
- It can be used as a spread.
- You can sprinkle it on certain food items to add texture.
- You can add it as an ingredient to not only improve texture but to add nutritional value to certain recipes.
- You can even replace certain ingredients to give a dish better nutritional value.
Why is it overlooked, then?
It is probably overlooked because its texture does take some time to get used to.
However, you should not let this stop you from using cottage cheese in your everyday life. You will have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you take the time to explore the possibilities that cottage cheese has to offer.