Cottage Cheese

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Cottage cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses out there. In the U.S. cottage cheese can be a sweet snack, a savory dish, or incorporated in numerous recipes. Since it is so versatile and also easy to make at home, it’s a fan-favorite when it comes to homemade cheese.

Cottage cheese is also an extremely healthy option when it comes to cheeses, which is one of the main reasons it’s become so popular over the last couple of years. Cottage cheese is packed full of nutritious value so it’s perfect to incorporate into baking dishes like breakfast muffins, as a healthy dessert alternative blended with some bananas, or on its own with tons of fresh fruit spooned on top. It’s commonly sold with fruit such as pineapple chunks or berries right inside, and can be added to compliment melon, peaches, apples, or even applesauce.

With its mild flavor and smooth texture, it can also be used to substitute the mayonnaise in dishes like tuna salad and ricotta cheese for lasagna. It’s high in many nutrients including protein, vitamin B, calcium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus. Many athletics incorporate Cottage cheese into their diet because of the low calorie, yet high protein content. One cup of Cottage cheese is about 163 calories and 70% of that is protein, with 28 grams.

Cottage cheese itself is made from curds from pasteurized cow’s milk. It can be made from any type of milk ranging from non-fat to whole milk. The curds tend to be different sizes ranging from small to large and can be creamed, whipped, lactose-free, and sodium-free as well.

With all the many uses and enormous health benefits cottage cheese has, we highly recommend you take the time to learn to make it yourself! If you do, we’re sure you’ll be making it all the time.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 1-gallon Skimmed cow’s milk or milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp mesophilic starter
  • ¼ tsp of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water

Equipment Needed:

  1. Heat the Milk & Add Cultures

  • Heat your milk up. When it reaches 71F you can start to add your culture in and stir until combined.
  • You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
  1. Add the Rennet

  • Now it’s time to add the diluted Rennet. You should put the ¼ tsp of Rennet into ¼ cups of water to dilute the mixture.
  • Once the Rennet is added, allow this mixture to now sit for 4-6 hours with the temperature no lower than 68F
  1. Cut the Curd

  • Cut the curd into 1 cm size cubs
  • Allow the curd to rest for 10 minutes
  1. Heat the Curd

  • You should start by heating up your curd 2 degrees every 5 minutes until it reaches about 90F. Continuously stir the mixture to avoid any matting
  • Once the temperature is at 90F, continue to increase the temperature 2 degrees every one minute until the curd reaches a temperature of 110F.
  • Maintain 110F and continue to stir the mixture gently every few minutes while the curds cook through.
  • Allow this mixture to cook for 20 minutes until curds are firm.
  • After curds are firm, let it rest for 5 minutes
  1. Draining the Curd

  • Transfer the curds into a colander that’s lined with cheesecloth.
  • Assemble the corners of the cheesecloth and tie it into a draining bag.
  • For sweeter cottage cheese, wash your curds by dipping the draining bag in and out of a bowl of cold water.
  • Allow the bag to drain for 5 minutes then rinse it in cold water and allow it to drain for another 5 minutes.
  1. Salt & Flavor the Cheese

  • When the cheese has reached the desired results, transfer it into a bowl and break up any curds that have clumped into larger pieces
  • Add salt, fresh herbs, or even fresh fruit to add additional flavor.
  • The fresh cottage cheese should be kept in the fridge and will last about 1 week.
  1. Storage

  • The fresh cottage cheese should be kept in the fridge and will last about 1 week.
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