One of the perks of being a registered dietitian is the food samples. Recently, I was the lucky recipient of some Daisy brand cottage cheese, delivered cold right to my door. I’m not a big cottage cheese-eater – it’s a food item I often forget about even though it’s fairly nutritious – so I was pleased with the opportunity to try some again.
Perhaps my all-time favorite cottage cheese was something served in a local restaurant where I grew up. Instead of bringing over a bread plate for patrons to nibble on while we glanced over the menu, the servers dropped off dishes of herbed cottage cheese (I think with chives) along with an assortment of breadsticks and crackers. We used to devour this free appetizer and sometimes asked for seconds. I’ve yet to replicate the consistency and flavor of this cottage cheese, and the restaurant is long-since closed, replaced by a strip mall, so the recipe is probably gone forever.
Now, it’s very likely that this cottage cheese from my youth was full-fat and mixed with who-knows-what to give it that spreadable, thick consistency. The 2% fat Daisy brand I now have in my fridge is a pretty good substitute, in that it’s thick enough to be eaten with a fork rather than a spoon. And at 90 calories per ½-cup serving, it’s a low-calorie, lowfat way to get high-quality protein and some calcium (10% Daily Value). Milk, yogurt and even most regular cheeses are better sources of calcium, usually providing 20% Daily Value or more. Also as with all cheeses, cottage cheese is not a good source of vitamin D and provides a fair amount of sodium. Still, you’re getting a pretty nutritious bang for your calorie buck.
One of the reasons cottage cheese isn’t among my go-to foods is because I find it a little sour. It’s just not a food I could eat on its own – I need to mix it with something sweet, such as chopped fruit, or put it into a pita pocket with crisp lettuce and cucumbers. One great idea I recently heard is to top a baked potato with cottage cheese and chives instead of sour cream – what a nutritious, balanced meal! For other ideas on how to serve cottage cheese, check out some of the tips on the Daisy website.
Despite my own preferences and biases, I would recommend reduced-fat cottage cheese to most relatively healthy clients looking for a quality, vegetarian protein without too much fat and calories. Now, time to make a cottage cheese sandwich!
Note: As with everything on my blog, all views expressed in this post are my own. I did not receive compensation for this post, nor did Daisy ask me to post a review.