Making its way to royal cuisines; cheese is the most versatile ingredient that can be used in a myriad of dishes. Of the various kinds of cheese available, cottage cheese is most popular. Not only it has a luscious taste but is loaded with nutrients that make it highly beneficial for your health. From keeping your blood sugar level under check to preventing strokes, strengthening bones, cottage cheese benefits are many. Here is the complete list compiled for you.
What is cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese is a dairy product rich in protein and calcium. It is made by boiling and curdling milk using lime juice or vinegar.
Cottage Cheese Nutrition Facts
Cottage cheese has a rich amount of essential nutrients that make it great for your health. It is loaded with proteins and contains high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. It also contains an adequate amount of carbohydrates and fats that provide you with sufficient energy. Further, it also contains essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, etc., that boost the functioning of your vital organs and promote your well-being.
What are the cottage cheese health benefits?
Cottage cheese benefits are galore. Whether you’re looking for vegan cottage cheese or low-fat cottage cheese, you’re sure to get numerous health benefits. It is a good inclusion in your diet owing to the moderate amount of cottage cheese calories. Here are a few cottage cheese benefits that would help you understand about this nutrient-rich food.
Some of the cottage cheese benefits are listed below-
1. Cottage cheese benefits in bone strengthening
One of the most crucial cottage cheese benefits is its bone-strengthening properties. The calcium in cottage cheese keeps the bones stronger. Also, eating cottage cheese nutrition diet during pregnancy helps in keeping away osteoporosis.
2. Cottage cheese benefits have antioxidant properties
When it is about cottage cheese nutrition, the food item contains numerous antioxidant properties. One of the main trace elements found in cottage cheese is selenium, which is essential in small quantities and helps in the protection of DNA and cells from any damage. Moreover, you can see in some cases that a selenium-rich diet helps in reducing prostate cancer risks.
3. Cottage cheese benefits in maintaining blood sugar levels
Cottage cheese contains magnesium, which helps in activating different enzymes, thereby maintaining the functioning of the nerves and muscles. Moreover, it also helps in supporting the immune system. But one of the most active cottage cheese benefits is its ability to maintain the levels of blood sugar in the body, which in turn assists in keeping other medical conditions, such as constipation, heart attacks, migraine, and other psychiatric disorders, at bay.
4. Cottage cheese benefits in preventing breast cancer
Vitamin D- and calcium-rich cottage cheese nutrition helps in preventing breast cancer. Many successful studies got conducted on the same.
5. Cottage cheese benefits in improving digestion
One of the main cottage cheese benefits is that it helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Cottage cheese contains phosphorus, which is an active nutrient in improving the process of digestion, and excretion. Moreover, phosphates also help in the production and extraction of energy required by the body cells.
6. Low-fat cottage cheese keeps the cholesterol levels under check
The amount of cholesterol in cottage cheese depends on the type of milk used in it. In case you’re using low-fat milk, then the cottage cheese would have lower levels of cholesterol as compared to whole milk.
How to use cottage cheese to gain all the cottage cheese benefits?
You can get full cottage cheese benefits if you know how to use it well. Here are some of the ways of using cottage cheese recipes in your daily diet.
· As a stuffing
Stuff your chicken with cottage cheese, instead of mozzarella, and get a juicy, creamy texture. This alternative is not only yummy but equally protein filled.
· In a pudding
This New Year eve, try surprising your family and friends by making a banana pudding by adding cottage cheese, some chopped apricots, and sugar.
· In a cheesy dip
Add cottage cheese with black beans, corn, jalapeno, avocado, and tomatoes to make a delicious Mexican dip for those lazy Sunday-evening brunch.
· Make an omelet
Use cottage cheese to make a protein-rich omelet and stuff it with some sautéed kale and mushrooms.
How to make homemade cottage cheese?
With cottage cheese benefits being many, some of you must be wondering how about making it at home! There are various ways to make homemade cottage cheese, and here we have listed two of the most popular and simple ways.
· Using vinegar
- White vinegar – 3/4 cup
- Around 4 litres of pasteurized skimmed milk
- Salt – 1/2 tablespoon
- Heavy cream – 1/2 cup
- Heat the milk in a saucepan at 120 degrees and keep measuring the temperature
- Remove the pan from the heat once it is warm enough
- Add vinegar to the milk and stir in for at least 2 minutes
- Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes
- Line a colander with a muslin cloth or a thin dishcloth
- Pour the mixture in the filter
- Allow the whey to drain completely
- Squeeze the cloth to drain the curd
- Add cream and salt to the cottage cheese
· Using Rennet
- Whole milk – 1 quart
- Liquid rennet – 4 drops
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Heavy cream – 6 tablespoons
- Take the whole milk in a saucepan and heat it at a low heat
- Do not let the milk boil
- Ensure that the temperature reaches 29-degree Celsius
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the liquid rennet
- Cover the saucepan with a kitchen cloth and let the mixture sit for 4 hours
- Use a knife to cut the curd several times
- Add salt to the saucepan and heat the curd at low, medium heat and keep stirring the mixture slowly
- Strain the curd using a dishcloth
- Add heavy cream
- Add more salt, if required
- The cottage cheese is ready
Side Effects and Precautions
As we have seen that cottage cheese is a rich source of calcium, which is a necessary nutrient for keeping the bones and teeth stronger, and which makes the cottage cheese benefits more appealing. But cottage cheese also contains sodium, which, if consumed in large quantity, can cause the blood pressure levels to go high, causing numerous health issues. As per a study conducted, the high sodium content of cottage cheese might hamper the positive effects of calcium and make the blood pressure go higher.
Moreover, there are other studies on the countereffect of calcium on some people. The higher amount of calcium has also seen cases of an increased rate of prostate cancer. However, the results on the same are mixed. It is, therefore, essential and advisable to consult your doctor or dietician to help you with the consultation including cottage cheese diet plan.
· Avoid cottage cheese if you’re lactose intolerant
An exciting phase about cottage cheese – as the cheese ages, the lactose content decreases. But cottage cheese being an un-ripen type of cheese, it contains higher lactose content as opposed to other varieties such as Swiss cheese, Parmesan, and cheddar. Also, the lactose content of the cheese may increase, in case, you add additional milk to the curd. Therefore, people who have lactose intolerant should avoid having cottage cheese. If people intolerant to lactose consume cottage cheese, then they may experience some health issues such as digestive problem, stomach pain, bloating, and gas.
· Avoid cottage cheese if you’re allergic to dairy products
Not just lactose, but if you’re allergic to whey or casein, avoid eating cottage cheese. Some people may experience an allergic reaction due to the cottage cheese protein content that contains whey and casein.
Where to find cottage cheese?
· Online stores or your local departmental store
Any of your favorite online grocery stores would have cottage cheese and that too of many types. You can find an extensive range of cottage cheese including dry cottage cheese, vegan cottage cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, and more on any online store. Moreover, you can also head out to your nearest departmental store and find cottage cheese of popular brands.
· Homemade cottage cheese
Another simple method of finding your favorite cottage cheese is to make one at home. Homemade cottage cheese is easy to prepare, and you can alter it as per your specific needs. So, you don’t have to head out to get cottage cheese benefits but can make one at home.
Cottage Cheese vs. Tofu
· Fat content
In some of the instances, people recommend cottage cheese in the weight loss diet, but technically every 100 grams of cottage cheese contains 20 grams of fat, whereas tofu contains only 2.5 grams of fat in every 100 grams. Therefore, tofu makes for a great alternative as low–fat cottage cheese when it comes to weight loss, and you don’t even have to compromise on the taste.
· Calorie content
Calorie content of cottage cheese is higher than that of tofu. Every 100 grams of cottage cheese servings contain 265 calories, whereas tofu contains only 62 calories. Therefore, you should not have cottage cheese rigorously during a weight loss routine.
· Protein content
Cottage cheese is a delight for vegetarians. It is not only a rich source of protein but also considered excellent when it comes to taste. Tofu contains less protein content when compared with cottage cheese as the former includes soy grains. Therefore, cottage cheese is excellent when it comes to muscle build up during workout regime
· Calcium content
Both cottage cheese and tofu are rich sources of calcium. But when we consider the servings separately, we see that cottage cheese contains higher calcium content than tofu, making it a perfect source for building stronger bones and teeth.
· Iron content
As compared to tofu, cottage cheese contains less amount of iron. Iron is required to maintain the levels of hemoglobin the blood. Therefore, tofu can be included in the daily diet to substitute for the iron content missing in cottage cheese.
Whether it is about gaining extra bone strength or keeping strokes at bay, cottage cheese benefits are something to look out for. Include some in your daily diet and see the magical difference in your health. Also, it is homemade, and so no foreign ingredients get used. We hope these essential benefits, recipes, and precautions help you in maintaining a healthy life.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to freeze cottage cheese?
Frozen cottage cheese doesn’t get recommended as it becomes grainy and its texture goes terribly wrong.
2. Can cottage cheese be given to dogs?
It can be given to dogs but not in more significant quantities as cottage cheese might flare-up the lactose intolerance in them. As cottage cheese has a lesser amount of lactose and abundant protein, calcium, and phosphorus, it you can give it to dogs.
3. Is cottage cheese keto?
The content of carbohydrates in cottage cheese is less which makes it suitable to get included in the keto diet. Owing to its high protein and fat content it is good food for people who follow a ketogenic diet.