It’s no secret that cottage cheese is currently in her it girl era. Spread on crackers, layered on avocado toast, mixed into pasta, or scrambled into eggs, there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate this versatile, protein-packed ingredient. If you’re skeptical—or haven’t tried cottage cheese yet—I’m here to (hopefully!) change your mind. Cottage cheese is rich in nutrients and relatively mild in flavor. Whether you’re looking to increase your protein intake, manage your blood sugar levels, or simply need breakfast ideas, say hello to cottage cheese. In this article, we’re chatting all things cottage cheese. Plus, get inspired with 10 easy and satisfying cottage cheese breakfast recipes.
what are the health benefits of cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. It is also relatively low in calories and fat, making it a great addition to a well-rounded diet. It’s also naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. Below are a few of the health benefits of cottage cheese.
1. Helps build and repair muscles
Cottage cheese is a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. These are required for building and repairing muscles—making it an ideal ingredient for anyone, especially athletes, pregnant women, and those looking to increase their muscle mass.
2. Promotes bone health
A reliable source of dietary calcium, cottage cheese helps maintain strong bones and teeth. One cup of cottage cheese contains approximately 138 milligrams of calcium, which is about 14% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
3. Supports the immune system
Chock-full of vitamin B12, cottage cheese supports a healthy immune system. Vitamin B12 also helps with the production of red blood cells and DNA—particularly helpful for pregnant women!
4. Aids in weight management
Because it’s high in protein, cottage cheese is a fantastic food to include in your diet (whether or not you’re trying to lose weight). If you choose full-fat cottage cheese, it’s protein and fat content will help keep you full and satisfied. Win, win.
Cottage Cheese and protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient. We need it for building and repairing muscles and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Protein is abundant in plant and animal foods—including cottage cheese! In fact, one cup of cottage cheese contains approximately 28 grams of protein (which is more protein than a chicken breast). Cottage cheese is convenient for kids, athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone looking to increase their lean muscle mass. Additionally, the protein in cottage cheese is easily digestible. Meaning, it can be efficiently used for muscle repair and growth. You can eat it any time of day (even before bed!). Pasteurized cottage cheese is also a great source of protein for pregnant women.
Allergic to lactose? Good Culture makes organic lactose-free cottage cheese.
cottage cheese and Blood sugar balance
Familiar with the dreaded afternoon slump? Or the adrenaline-rush of a sugar high? In part, you have blood sugar to blame. Blood sugar refers to the amount of sugar present in our bloodstream. When we digest sweet and starchy foods, they break down into glucose. And this glucose is released into the bloodstream. We need some glucose to fuel our bodies and brains, but too much isn’t a good thing. Ultimately, the goal is to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. After all, constant spikes and dips in blood sugar have both short-term and long-term consequences! One of the best foods to keep blood sugar balanced? Cottage cheese.
Why Cottage Cheese Helps Balance Blood Sugar
Fortunately, cottage cheese fits the glucose-friendly bill. It’s high in protein and digests slowly, making it particularly beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes, a hormone imbalance, or anyone needing to manage their blood sugar levels (over 88% of Americans don’t have stable blood sugar). Additionally, cottage cheese contains magnesium. And magnesium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, thus helping regulate blood sugar levels.
Want to nerd out on blood sugar? I have you covered.
How does cottage cheese support healthy hormones?
Thanks to factors like stress, poor nutrition, and environmental toxins, hormone imbalances are more common than not. And these imbalances can lead to a range of health problems—irregular periods, acne, mood swings, and weight gain. Fortunately, this is where cottage cheese comes in! It’s packed with hormone-supporting nutrients.
Protein is particularly important for hormone balance as it provides the building blocks for hormone production. As mentioned, cottage cheese contains all of the essential amino acids required for protein synthesis, making it a high-quality protein source.
Calcium is also critical for hormone regulation as it plays a role in the production and release of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. A diet low in calcium can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can affect various aspects of women’s health.
Furthermore, cottage cheese contains a variety of other nutrients that can support hormone balance. These include vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption and plays a role in hormone production, as well as B vitamins, which are necessary for healthy hormone metabolism.
Should you buy organic cottage cheese?
Ideally—when making these cottage cheese breakfast recipes—opt for organic cottage cheese. Organic dairy is free from synthetic hormones and antibiotics, while conventional dairy products may contain traces of synthetic hormones (like recombinant bovine growth hormone—rBGH). This hormone has been linked to various health problems, including disrupting the gut microbiome. My favorite cottage cheese brand? Good Culture (they also make a lactose-free version!).
10 Healthy Cottage Cheese Recipes to Make for breakfast
Without further ado, here are 10 healthy cottage cheese breakfast recipes. That said, they’re also perfect for lunch, a quick dinner, or a hearty snack. Keep in mind that these are simply meant to provide inspiration. For full recipe details, take to Google!
Cottage Cheese Parfait
High protein Pancakes
avocado cottage Cheese Toast
Spread cottage cheese on sourdough toast and top with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, micro greens, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Vanilla cherry Smoothie
Blend cottage cheese with frozen cherries, spinach, a splash of unsweetened almond milk, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder for a protein-packed smoothie.
Add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese to your omelet, along with sautéed vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.). Serve with toast and avocado on the side.
Savory Hummus Wrap
Spread cottage cheese onto a whole-grain tortilla and add hummus, provolone cheese, microgreens, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and thinly sliced tomato. Sprinkle with black pepper, and roll it up for a portable breakfast.
Cottage Cheese and Chia Seed Pudding
Mix cottage cheese with chia seeds, hemp seeds, unsweetened almond milk, and a touch of raw honey. Let it sit overnight for a creamy and nutritious pudding. Top with walnuts and berries before serving.
quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Combine cottage cheese with cooked quinoa, chopped nuts, dried apricots, and hemp seeds for a hearty breakfast bowl.
smoked salmon toast
On a slice of sourdough toast, add a thick layer of cottage cheese, smoked salmon, microgreens, thinly sliced red onion, capers, fresh dill, lemon juice, and black pepper.
Images courtesy of Unsplash. This article contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.