Let’s begin with what exactly is cottage cheese. Quite simply, it’s the solids formed by curdling milk or buttermilk, by adding a souring agent like lemon juice, vinegar or tartaric acid. The solids formed are scooped up, further drained and then can be set into shapes as well or simply crumbled – this is cottage cheese.
Why is Cottage Cheese Healthy?
When it comes to cheeses, cottage cheese is perhaps one of the healthiest of all.
- Cottage cheese is a source of “complete” protein, which means it has all the amino acids that the body needs but cannot synthesize on its own. A cup of cottage cheese contains 20-30g protein, which makes it a very good protein source indeed.
- Cottage cheese (even full-fat varieties) contains healthy, unsaturated fatty acids, which keep bad cholesterol in check, and may even help in staving off diabetes. Do remember though, that fat is fat and so cottage cheese should be eaten in moderation.
- Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and sodium, as well as the B vitamins – and it is also low in calories with 100g containing just a little under 100 calories – making it an excellent snack or meal component.
Cottage Cheese Recipe: The Indian Way
Making cottage cheese is pretty simple. Boil a liter of milk, or buttermilk, and then add in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to curdle it. Lower the heat and let the curds separate for another 5-7 minutes. Scoop out the curds with a strainer and transfer into another strainer, or a muslin cloth to further let any leftover liquid drain out. If the cheese tastes a little acidic, you can rinse it out and then let the liquid drain further. After 30 minutes or so, your cottage cheese is ready!
Quick & Easy Recipes Using Cottage Cheese
Once the cottage cheese is ready, all you have to do is refrigerate it a bit and then go as crumby with it as you want… To eat it as a snack, you can simply garnish it with a little salt and pepper and eat it hot or cool. Here are some other ideas:
- You can add cottage cheese to any and all salads for a chewy and fresh texture, and keep that parmesan and cheddar aside – especially if you are planning to lose a few pounds.
- Add cottage cheese to omelets – the heat will not turn the cheese gooey like mozzarella, but will soften and make it creamier – perfect for a breakfast omelet or even a dinner time one.
- Make cottage cheese sandwiches: chop up some onions, tomatoes, celery, lettuce and then crumble in cottage cheese. Add in some salt and pepper to taste, and just a little mayo or cream to let the filling hold together. Fill up those bread slices, tortillas or even leftover chapatis – and you have a healthy meal in a jiffy.
- Make scrambled cottage cheese: Much like we scramble eggs, cottage cheese can be turned into a good scramble, too. You can make it the Indian way: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and add in one chopped onion. Sauté the onion till pink and then add in 1 chopped tomato and two whole green chilies. After 5 minutes, add in the 1 cup crumbled cottage cheese and then season with salt, cayenne or black pepper, a little turmeric and a pinch of Garam masala. Add in ½ cup milk and give everything a good whirl. Cook on low for 7-10 minutes, and then garnish with freshly chopped coriander or parsley. Serve with roti or even toasted bread… Or do it your way!
- You can also substitute half or more of any of the recommended high fat cheese in recipes with cottage cheese. The texture will be different, but no less delicious.
We hope you like cottage cheese as well as its many culinary uses. Use the comments section below to let us know how your recipe went and if you used this humble fresh cheese to make any lip-smacking, healthy delights!
Happy snacking to you!
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