I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have an opinion about cottage cheese – people seem to either love it or hate it. I’m definitely a cottage cheese lover, but I get why it might not be everyone’s cup of tea: its texture is a little off-putting, and, for some people, I’m sure its flavor leaves something to be desired.
But no matter whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny cottage cheese is a nutritional powerhouse. You’ve probably heard that it packs crazy amounts of protein (23 grams per cup), but it’s also a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
I’m not saying you need to force-feed yourself cottage cheese, especially if you don’t like it. But if you’re looking to include a little more of the stuff in your life, here are 5 ways to change it up:
1. The classic: cottage cheese and fruit.
This is the easiest way to eat cottage cheese without eating it just plain. Just grab your bowl of cottage cheese, add whatever fruit you want (or whatever fruit is available – thanks, dining hall) and eat it. You don’t even need to mix it!
2. Cottage cheese breakfast toast.
When I don’t feel like waiting in line at the omelette bar in the morning (in other words, every morning), one of my go to breakfasts is toasted cinnamon raisin bread smothered in cottage cheese and honey. It’s not only delicious, but also easy to eat on the go if you realize you have five minutes to get to your 9am (also every morning).
3. Cottage cheese as dip.
Cottage cheese has a mild enough flavor to make it a great base for sweet or savory dips. To make it savory, combine it with salsa as a dip for chips. As a sweeter dip for fruit, try combining it with chocolate sauce (or even better, Nutella), maple syrup or vanilla yogurt.
#SpoonTip: Dip your pizza in cottage cheese instead of ranch. Don’t look at me like that. Just do it. And speaking of…
4. Cottage cheese pizza.
If you haven’t made a pizza bagel in the microwave, have you even lived? You can recreate this childhood favorite in your dining hall by topping a bagel with red sauce, cottage cheese and your pick of ingredients from the salad bar or sandwich line. Pop that sucker in the microwave for a minute or two and voila: healthier pizza bagel.
5. Cottage cheese Caprese Salad.
Unless your dining hall stocks fresh mozzarella and basil, it’s unlikely you’ll be eating a fresh Caprese salad at school anytime soon (and if it does, let me know so I can come to your school).
Spoon some cottage cheese over a bowl of tomatoes and mix in oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Eat it, pretend to be classy, and count down the days until your mom is cooking for you again.