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Culinary Corner: Whipped Cottage Cheese

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Culinary Corner: Whipped Cottage Cheese
By Liz Weiss, MS, RDN
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 26 No. 3 P. 50

A Trend Worth Checking Out

Food trends come and go, especially on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. But in 2023, cottage cheese—popularized as a “diet food” back in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s and served with a few slices of fruit or as part of a salad—had a big moment, and it’s still going strong. Don’t believe me? Google “cottage cheese TikTok” and you’ll get nearly 1.5 million results. But instead of the simple preparation from over a half century ago, consumers are now whipping and blending cottage cheese in a food processor or blender, giving it a smooth consistency.

Cottage cheese is a soft, white, and creamy fresh cheese made from the curds of cow’s milk. Those curds can be a textural turnoff for some people. But when whipped, cottage cheese is almost too luscious to resist, thus setting the culinary stage for a variety of dishes. Clients can use it in savory spreads and dips (eg, queso cottage cheese dip was all over TikTok for months) as well as in pasta and pizza sauces. It also works wonders when used in sweet puddings, mousses, fruit-based ice creams, cheesecakes, cookie doughs, and more. (After whipped cottage cheese took off, the trend spilled over to other cheeses, including ricotta, feta, and Brie.)

Clients can find nonfat, low-fat, reduced-fat, and full-fat cottage cheese varieties in the dairy section of the supermarket. One 1/2-cup serving of 1% low-fat cottage cheese has 80 kcal, 14 g protein, and 1 g fat. It also provides vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, and calcium, but surprisingly, it can have nearly 500 mg sodium.1 If sodium is a concern for clients, there are brands that offer lower sodium or sodium-free options.

I’m fond of making dips with whipped cottage cheese for several reasons. The mild-flavored base can be seasoned with many flavorful ingredients—lemon zest, fresh or dried herbs, honey, green chilis, hot sauce—and therefore can be customized to personal preferences and recipes. Dips also are easy to assemble, and they pair well with nourishing “dippers” like whole grain crackers and sliced vegetables. Share the following recipe with clients so they can experience this nutritious trend.

— Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, shares recipes and healthful living advice on LizsHealthyTable.com and her podcast, EAT, DRINK, LIVE LONGER. Weiss is a cooking instructor, frequent lifestyle guest on TV shows across the country, and a recipe developer and cookbook author.

 

Reference
1. Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat. USDA FoodData Central website. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173417/nutrients. Published April 1, 2019.

 

Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip and Tomato Basil Dip

Serves 6

This simple recipe can be served as a snack or appetizer. Arrange in a bowl and serve with whole grain crackers, sliced cucumbers, or any favorite sliced vegetable for dipping and scooping. Double the recipe when feeding a crowd.

Ingredients
8 oz low-fat cottage cheese (1 cup)
2 T crumbled feta cheese
11/2 tsp honey
Zest of 1/4 lemon, plus more to taste
1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (multicolored, if available), cut into quarters
1 T roughly chopped fresh basil, plus a few small leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Place cottage cheese, feta cheese, honey, and lemon zest in bowl of food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lemon zest, as desired. Set aside.

2. Place tomatoes in small mixing bowl. Add basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

3. Spread cottage cheese mixture in shallow serving bowl. Top with tomatoes. Drizzle some or all juices from the tomato mixture over cottage cheese, and add fresh basil leaves for garnish. Serve with crackers and vegetables for dipping.

Nutrient Analysis per 1/4-cup serving*
Calories: 66; Total fat: 4 g; Sat fat: 1.4 g; Cholesterol: 6 mg; Sodium: 155 mg; Total carbohydrate: 4 g; Total sugars: 4 g; Dietary fiber: 0 g; Protein: 4 g

*Note: Crackers and vegetable dippers aren’t included in analysis.



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