Cottage cheese has been popular in the States for many years now, and it actually first became popular as an alternative for meat because it was advertised as being both more affordable and containing a higher amount of protein. People also thought of cottage cheese as a good diet food because of its low-fat content yet deliciously creamy taste and texture.
However, since the late 70s, the popularity of cottage cheese has been on a steady decline. Because of the rising prominence of new high-quality cheese manufacturers and weak marketing on the side of cottage cheese, it grew out to be one of the most unpopular products in the dairy section of stores—But is the world ready to love cottage cheese once again?
Cottage cheese was originally named as Dutch cheese, but it was later coined as cottage cheese because this cheese was initially made from the leftover milk cottages from the making of butter. It was discovered that these cottages had a fresh taste and soft texture that many people came to enjoy.
Though rather unpopular today, this cheese has been around for quite some time now—actually, for thousands of years—with the first ever recorded use of this cheese taking place around 1831.
Due to the different sizes of curds and moisture levels, two different versions of cottage cheese came into existence: dry cottage cheese and wet cottage cheese. Dry cottage cheese is a sweet flavored version of cottage cheese, and this sweet taste comes from its rinsed curds.
This type of cheese is lactose-free because all of its lactose is broken down during the fermentation process. Thus, this variation of cottage cheese is great for people who are lactose-intolerant.
The second variation of cottage cheese is the wet cottage cheese. This cheese has a mixture of the curds along with the addition of a cream dressing to attain a richer flavor.
In terms of the curd sizes, cottage cheese has the characteristics of a California-style, country-style, and popcorn-style. If you want to know if your cottage cheese is high-quality, you can check the curd size, flavor, and the consistency of your cottage cheese.
Good quality cottage cheese has a clean, creamy appearance and flavor along with a relatively uniform size of curds. Lastly, it should not be pasty or firm, but have a soft, pliable texture.
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Cottage Cheese Substitutes
Since cottage cheese has already been poorly advertised and marketed, you might encounter problems regarding its availability. Moreover, you might also want to try out healthier or cheaper ingredients to use in place of cottage cheese. If this sounds like you, you're in luck! We've selected the best of the best cottage cheese substitutes just for you.
Ricotta cheese is an Italian cheese that is traditionally made from the leftover whey of Provolone cheese and Mozzarella cheese made from the milk of sheep, goats, cows, or Italian water buffalos. Since it came from the leftover whey, its name can also be translated as "re-cooked." Today, there are already various methods being used to produce this milk such as pasteurized non-fat milk with the addition of the organic salt.
This cheese also has many health benefits to offer. It's high carb content makes it a great source of energy, and it is a good source of protein too. Ricotta cheese is also a great source of vitamins and minerals such as Riboflavin, vitamin A, Zinc, Phosphorus, Selenium and vitamin B12. Of course, since ricotta is also a dairy product, calcium won't be missing from its nutritious contents. With a cup serving of this cheese fulfilling a huge 52 percent of the daily calcium recommendation, this is one cheese your bones will really thank you for! Lastly, ricotta is a source of good fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Good fats don't cause heart diseases, unlike bad fats.
Ricotta is a good substitute for cottage cheese if you want a similar texture to your dish. It's not actually the same texture per se, but it is certainly similar enough to make a worthy replacement if you want to maintain that classic cottage cheese texture. However, remember that ricotta can have a stronger flavor than cottage cheese, and is also slightly creamier.
Egg whites are included as one of the best substitutes for cottage cheese because of their affordability and delicious taste. Egg whites are also loaded with protein, which can be very useful if you're using cottage cheese for a high-protein diet. In addition, egg whites also contain a higher amount of protein while having a very less amount of calorie compared with cottage cheese, making it an even better alternative if you're looking for something as healthy as possible.
Other than that, egg whites are also easy to use, just like cottage cheese. In storing egg whites, you will just need to simply hard-boil all of the eggs and then store them in a refrigerator until it's already time to consume it. It can require more work compared to cottage cheese sometimes, but its status as a great cottage cheese substitute is undeniable.
We touched briefly on the health benefits of egg whites before, so let's take a deeper look into what makes this alternative so healthy. Egg white contains several important vitamins like Vitamin D, A, B12, and Riboflavin which is also called as Vitamin B2. Egg whites can also help in preventing cardiovascular diseases by regulating your body's blood pressure. It contains a good amount of potassium that doesn't just help in bone development, but also in blood pressure regulation. In addition, it is high in protein content while also having a small amount of calorie which was already mentioned earlier. Lastly, it is cholesterol-free that is essential in avoiding the risks of suffering from heart-related diseases.
Fromage Blanc is quite a rare and expensive cheese to find. It is a fresh cheese that has a yogurt-like, tasty, and buttery nature. This cheese is also commonly used for dessert toppings. Fromage Blanc is also low in fat that is a good substitute also for cottage cheese. It has a flavor of mild tangy or sweet. Another use for this cheese is a spread for bread. The name of this cheese is also translated from French as "White Cheese."
Other than being used as a substitute for cottage cheese, Fromage Blanc can also be used as an alternative for cream cheese and ricotta cheese. This cheese also works as a great pair for fruits, as a whip, and as a part of your dish along with different kinds of herbs and spices. Not many people use this kind of cheese because it is a little bit pricey and quite hard to find in some stores. But once you've tried it out, you might just find yourself craving for more.
The consistency of this French cheese is what will make this ingredient worth-finding for. Though it has also been famous for its creamy and soft texture, this cheese doesn't let you suffer from a high amount of fat intake. If you're looking for a cottage cheese substitute for your dessert or baked goods such as lasagna, this is the go-to alternative for you. However, since it is hard to find, the chances of finding this cheese are lesser compared with the other cheeses that are mentioned.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is another great substitute for cottage cheese if you are looking for a fresh cottage cheese replacement for recipes such as desserts and fruit bowls. Interestingly, Greek yogurt was not actually named as such because it comes from Greece. Contrary to its name, Greek yoghurt is actually believed to have originated from the Middle East. However, its delicious taste and health benefits have made it a firm favorite all over the world.
As western countries are more accustomed to their own form of yoghurt, this novel, healthier form has become especially popular in countries such as America and the UK. This is one of the best ingredients to use if you want to achieve a creamier dish and especially if it consists of many fruits or dessert options.
Greek Yogurt is also beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant because the sugars in the milk are easily broken down by the bacteria it contains. Greek yogurt is also loaded with health benefits, which is great news for you if you're particularly health conscious.
This yogurt has a high amount of protein, even greater than the protein content of milk. It is also loaded with probiotics, high in vitamin B-12, and a high amount of potassium that neutralizes the sodium level of your body. Those characteristics have added into the case of Greek Yogurt is one of the best substitutes of cottage cheese that you can find.
Tofu is soy food that can also be a good substitute for cottage cheese. Just like any other soy foods, tofu originally came from China, and it has a rather interesting backstory. According to legend, it was about 2000 years ago that a Chinese cook accidentally added nigari seaweed to soy milk and then curdled it, which then formed tofu. When the 8th Century came, tofu was introduced to Japan. Being a non-dairy source of protein, tofu is also very popular among vegetarians and vegans.
In choosing tofu as a substitute for your cottage cheese, there are a few tips that you need to know in order to have the best version of tofu as your alternative. With the non-firm variety of tofu, you should thoroughly mash it until you have already achieved the same consistency as cottage cheese. Though tofu is rather different from cottage cheese in terms of flavor, it boasts a highly similar texture when mashed in this manner.
Tofu can be a great use for making ravioli, lasagna-filling, cannoli, and manicotti. However, the egg-like flavor of tofu disappears when used in baked goods. Other than cottage cheese, tofu is also an alternative for ricotta cheese and has a very high amount of protein while having a low amount of cholesterol and fat intake. Another reason why you should choose this is that it is free from saturated fats and sodium.
There are several alternatives that you can use in place of cottage cheese. However, it’s important to keep in mind that all of these substitutes are not going to fit your needs 100 percent of the time—there can still be some instances wherein the only best ingredient to use is cottage cheese without any other options.For example, a cottage cheese substitute for baking might not work as a substitute for a recipe that is going to be consumed fresh. It also applies to a lot of other ingredients. With that being said, the most important thing to remember when finding an alternative for an ingredient is the compatibility of the replacement depending on what kind of dish are you going to make.