111 Cottage Cheese Facts: Health Benefits, Taste, Process And More | Kidadl


111 Cottage Cheese Facts: Health Benefits, Taste, Process And More

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Cottage cheese is a versatile, low-calorie, and protein-rich fresh curd cheese.

Apart from being a high protein source, it is also a good source of nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin A, and folate. It is characterized by a mild flavor since there is no aging of the cheese involved in making it.

The other popular alternative names of cottage cheese are Schmierkase and Dutch cheese. For people trying to lower their fat or cholesterol intake or those trying to lose weight, adding cottage cheese to their diet is highly recommended. It is also very popular among athletes as a part of a balanced, nutrition-rich, and healthy diet.

There are various ways to incorporate cottage cheese into your diet. The versatility and mild flavor of cottage cheese make it easy to pair it with a variety of foods like veggies, fruits, granola, salads, dips, and condiments. You can mix cottage cheese with nuts, fresh or dried fruits, and seeds for a filling, nutrition-rich snack. Use it to substitute ricotta cheese in recipes. It works very well in pasta and lasagna. You can spread cottage cheese on your toast and top it with your favorite toppings. You can add cottage cheese to baked goodies like cakes, muffins, and rolls. It can be added to your scrambled eggs for an extra creamy texture. You can use it as a mayonnaise substitute as well. The possibilities of adding it to your diet are endless.

As it is a milk product, you should consume cottage cheese within two to three days of purchasing it. Creamed cottage cheese typically has a consistency like that of creamy curd. It is widely promoted as a healthy food with high-protein packed in fewer calories. It is widely used by athletes and bodybuilders and in weight loss plans. The casein in cottage cheese is slowly absorbed and helps in building muscles. It is easily available in low-fat and non-fat versions in the milk products aisle in the supermarket. 

You can also check out our other articles on French cheese facts and where does feta cheese come from here on Kidadl.

Fun Facts About Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is believed to have been in existence since ancient times, and its history dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. However, it is believed that early American settlers named it cottage cheese as they traditionally prepared the cheese in the kitchen of their small cottages.

During World War I, cottage cheese was widely popularized in the United States to save meat for army rations. The popularity picked up pace after the war, and a whopping 30 million pounds of cottage cheese is said to have been produced in 1919. The cottage cheese market soared in the United States at the beginning of the '70s. It was a staple food for many Americans, with an average American eating about 5 lb (2 kg) of cottage cheese per year. Interestingly, the last meal of President Nixon before he resigned in 1974 was a bowl of cottage cheese paired with pineapple.

Compared with other cheeses, cottage cheese wins on the health front, hands down. There are only 98 calories in a 100 g serving of cottage cheese. The fat content for the same serving is 4.3 g, of which only 1.7 is saturated; the carbohydrate content is 3.4 g, and sodium is 364 mg. A 100 g serving has 11.1 g of protein. It is a great vegetarian protein option for athletes and people looking to build muscle. As it is low in fat, low in carbs, low in calories, and high in protein, it is considered super healthy and nutritious.

Health Benefits Of Cottage Cheese

Do you know more than 70% of the calorie content of cottage cheese comes from protein? If you have one cup of cottage cheese, you will already have consumed more than 20 grams of protein in your day.  Cottage cheese is a good source of B-complex vitamins: folate, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid, which help regulate the body's metabolism.

Cottage cheese is very good for your bones and teeth. This dairy product has a significant amount of calcium which is good for bone strength and helps prevent osteoporosis. A study carried out in 2014 concluded that consuming dairy products like cottage cheese can lower the probability of heart disease. Cottage cheese also contains potassium which aids in preventing strokes. It is good for people with diabetes, as it helps maintain blood sugar. Adding cottage cheese to the diet also helps lower the risk of metabolic syndrome in men, both for those with diabetes and those without. Cottage cheese also has iron and vitamin A, and it also contains Vitamin D - also known as the sunshine vitamin essential for bone health. Cottage cheese also has selenium - an essential mineral needed for healthy skin, and it also contains zinc - a mineral that improves our immune system. The cottage cheese you buy from the supermarket has a high sodium content of 696 mg/cup. Such a high amount of salt is not good for people with high blood pressure, and it can even nullify the benefit of calcium. So when getting a tub of cottage cheese from the supermarket, check out the sodium content and get cottage cheese with low sodium content. 

The carbohydrate content of cottage cheese is about 3%; it has milk, sugar, and lactose. While it has a lower amount of lactose than other dairy products, it is not recommended to have cottage cheese if you are lactose intolerant. If you experience bloating after eating cottage cheese, you must talk to your doctor as it can signify lactose intolerance.

The Process Of Making Cottage Cheese

As cottage cheese is a milk product, you should consume it within two to three days of purchasing it. It is not advised to freeze it because on thawing, its texture will change. However, dishes made using it like pasta, lasagna, or casseroles can be frozen.

The process of making cottage cheese is simple. It is a dairy product that you can easily prepare at home. All you need is cow's milk and an acidic agent for curdling milk. You should never use unpasteurized milk for making it, as it can lead to bacterial infection. Making cottage cheese begins with heating milk and then adding acidic agents like vinegar or lime/lemon juice to it so that it curdles. The mixture is heated a little more, and soon the whey and milk curds get separated. The whey is strained from the solid milk curds and is pressed and cooked further to remove all the moisture in it. The cheese formed at this stage is also known as pot cheese. The pot cheese is then washed to remove any traces of acidity. The cheese here is soft and can be easily crumbled. In the final stages of making creamed cottage cheese, flavoring agents like spices, cream, herbs, and salt is added.

In industrial settings, cottage cheese is usually prepared using pasteurized low-fat milk or concentrated non-fat milk. A food-grade acid like vinegar or lactic-acid-producing bacterial culture is added to curdle the milk. The curdled milk mixture is heated so that the milk solids and whey are separated and cooled. The milk solids are also called curd; they are separated and processed further. The curds are cut with wires to drain out any leftover whey. The curds are then heated to 120 F (48 C) for an hour or two. The dried curd is then pressed further and then rinsed with water. For the final product, a dressing of cream and salt is added. Some brands use gums and starches as stabilizers. The cottage cheese made using food-grade acid comes with a label of 'direct acid set.'

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and calcium for vegetarians.

Cottage Cheese Taste

If you are looking for a healthy cheese to add to your diet, cottage cheese is perhaps the best option to try. If you haven't tasted cottage cheese yet, you may wonder what it tastes like. Cottage cheese manufacturing doesn't need any aging, so it tastes different from other ripened or aged cheeses.

Cottage cheese has a very mild flavor. It has a creamy texture and it has a slightly sour smell to it. The milk fat content of cottage cheese determines its flavor to a certain extent. Low-fat cottage cheeses are slightly sour, while the high milk fat content cottage cheese is milkier. The commercially available cottage cheese has salt added to it. Many people do not like cottage cheese, saying it smells like spoiled milk. However, that's not true and can be easily overcome. The good news is that cottage cheese is mild in flavor and is very versatile. It can be flavored with herbs and spices the way you like it. We have discussed the various ways of adding cottage cheese to your diet earlier in this post. With a little bit of cooking skill and creativity, you can eat cottage cheese every day as a part of a healthy diet.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 111 cottage cheese facts: health benefits, taste, process, and more then why not take a look at what does gouda cheese taste like or how is cheese made.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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