Friday, July 20, 2012

Cottage Cheese: The Original High-Protein Cultured Dairy Product

One of my favorite cultured dairy products—cottage cheese—is poised for a comeback thanks to its inherent high-protein content and ability to complement both sweet and savory flavors, enabling it to be an appetizer, snack, meal or dessert.

There’s no doubt that dairy proteins are one of the most on-trend ingredients and food components in the food industry today. (Prototypes sampled at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo are testament.) Greek yogurt, sports beverages, nutritional drinks and simple, traditional chocolate milk…dairy proteins are inherently in so many dairy foods and they are being added to so many others.

So let’s revisit cottage cheese…the former accompaniment to half of a canned peach on the corner restaurant’s diet platter.  After all, cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse that can be so much more than curds floating around in a (yummy) creamy dressing.

A quick label read of some popular cottage cheese brands shows the following protein contents per half-cup serving:
  • Breakstone’s 2% and 4% milkfat: 10 grams
  • Breakstone’s fat free: 11 grams
  • Daisy 4% milkfat: 13 grams
  • Daisy 2% milkfat: 14 grams
  • Dean’s 4% milkfat: 12 grams
  • Dean’s 1% milkfat and fat free: 13 grams
  • Friendship’s 1% and 4% milkfat: 15 grams
  • Friendship’s 1% milkfat: 16 grams

Friendship Dairies leads with its 1% milkfat variety, which delivers a whopping 16 grams of protein per half-cup serving. It’s no wonder Friendship has decided to boost its marketing of this powerhouse protein product.

The company recently introduced inventive mix-in ideas and recipes, elevating cottage cheese to a must-have staple for on-the-go snacks and tasty, wholesome meals. Healthy, creative and delicious, these fresh ideas showcase the scrumptious versatility of cottage cheese. Consumers are rediscovering cottage cheese as an adaptable and surprising base ingredient as well as a great source of nutrition.

If you are a cottage cheese marketer…you should be doing the same. What would be even better is to offer innovative inclusions in a separate compartment with a single serving of cottage cheese.

Thank you Friendship Dairies for the following innovative mix-in/topping suggestions and recipes for cottage cheese.

Granola Glee: pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, granola and real maple syrup
Waikiki Delight: dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped toasted macadamia nuts and crystallized or candied ginger
Instant Wasabi: crispy onions with wasabi peas
Everything Bagel: toasted dried onion, dried garlic flakes, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds and flaky sea salt
Savory Summer: crumbled bacon, chopped cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, chopped red onion, fresh basil, a squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil
Strawberry Decadence: graham cracker crumbs, sliced fresh strawberries and shaved chocolate curls

Friendship’s new recipes incorporate a range of ideas from breakfast to dessert, including starters and vegetarian dishes that add healthy, flavorful twists to classic dishes.

Putting a spin on Spinach Artichoke Dip, Friendship has lightened this appetizer by using cottage cheese, giving it fluffiness and full flavor without the fat.

In a new take on a traditional Italian classic, Friendship’s whipped cottage cheese takes the place of ricotta in Pasta A La Norma, creating an incredibly authentic tasting tomato and eggplant pasta. The eggplant and whipped cottage cheese meld together, enhancing the creaminess and elevating the dish.

Triple Berry Streusel Parfait contains an incredibly smooth, exquisitely rich cream based on 1% milkfat cottage cheese blended with sour cream and sugar.

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