When we think of superfoods, it’s not surprising that kale, spinach, quinoa, or almonds might be at the forefront of our minds. However, an unassuming hero of the weight loss journey that often gets overlooked is cottage cheese. Thanks to TikTok and 200 million views – cottage cheese is having a major moment. We’ll admit, we had a hard time understanding why, but, after diving into the details, we are definitely on board for this retro viral fave.
Cottage cheese is a dairy product renowned for its high protein content, calcium, and various vitamins and minerals. It is low in fat and calories, making it a nutrient-dense food. Let’s delve deeper into the health benefits of cottage cheese and explore some savory recipes that transform it from a simple side dish to a weight-loss powerhouse.
The Power-Packed Nutrition of Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a dairy product made from the curds of cow’s milk. Its distinct lumpy texture is loved by many, and it’s available in different fat levels: non-fat, low-fat, and regular.
One cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains approximately:
· 163 calories
· 2.3 grams of fat
· 6.2 grams of carbohydrates
· 28 grams of protein
· 5% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A
· 8% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B-12
· 13% of the daily recommended intake of Calcium
The nutrition profile alone places it in the category of a superfood. Let’s see why:
1. High in Protein: Cottage cheese is loaded with casein protein, a slow-digesting protein that keeps you feeling full for a longer period and supports muscle recovery and growth. This high protein content can support weight management by reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness.
2. Low in Calories and Fat: A cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains just around 163 calories and 2.3 grams of fat. This makes it an excellent choice as it can be incorporated into a calorie-controlled diet.
3. Rich in Micronutrients: Cottage cheese provides essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Phosphorus, Selenium, and more. These nutrients contribute to bone health, immunity, and overall cellular function.
4. Promotes Digestive Health: Being a dairy product, cottage cheese contains probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. A healthy gut can aid in better digestion and weight management.
Savory Cottage Cheese Recipes
You can have cottage cheese in a variety of ways, but we’ve been loving the unexpected savory options! A world of difference from those packs we used to eat with the super sweet jelly, these cottage cheese recipes have us incorporating this superfood multiple days a week!
1. Spicy Cottage Cheese Scramble
A protein-packed breakfast recipe, this scramble is both filling and delicious.
· Heat a non-stick pan and add some olive oil.
· Add chopped onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Saute until they’re soft.
· Add 1 cup of cottage cheese and your choice of spices like cayenne pepper, black pepper, and turmeric.
· Stir well until everything is mixed and cook for a few minutes.
Serve this with a slice of whole grain toast for a balanced, high protein breakfast.
2. Greek Cottage Cheese Salad
This salad is an excellent choice for a light lunch or dinner.
· Combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and olives in a bowl.
· Add 1 cup of cottage cheese and sprinkle some oregano, salt, and pepper.
· Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss the salad well.
You can even add some grilled chicken or tofu for an extra protein punch.
3. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cottage Cheese
A delightful dinner recipe, stuffed bell peppers, can be an excellent source of fiber and protein.
· Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
· Cut the tops off bell peppers and scoop out the seeds.
· In a bowl, mix cottage cheese, cooked quinoa, chopped veggies, and your choice of spices.
· Stuff this mixture into the bell peppers and place them in a baking dish.
· Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the peppers are tender.
Enjoy these stuffed bell peppers hot out of the oven!