Love cottage cheese, but don’t want all the sodium? This low sodium cottage cheese is for you!
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Types of Cottage Cheese
There are many different types of cottage cheese on the market. There are two main decisions to make when deciding which cottage cheese to buy.
Cottage cheese comes in both large and small curd. As advertised, the curds in large curd cottage cheese are bigger and a bit more fluffy. Curds in small curd cottage cheese are smaller and more dense.
The best curd size is really personal preference. There is not a big difference in nutrition between the two.
Amount of Fat
Cottage cheese is typically available in 3 levels of fat:
- Low-fat (or 2% milkfat)
- Full-fat or whole milk
Again, the best choice here comes down to personal preference and your health goals. Other than fat, there are not significant differences in the nutrition of fat-free vs. full-fat cottage cheese.
Benefits of Full vs. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
|Potential Benefits of Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
|Potential Benefits of Full-Fat Cottage Cheese
|Better absorption fat-soluble vitamins & minerals
|Lower saturated fat
About half of the fat in cottage cheese is from saturated fat. Although the American Heart Association recommends keeping saturated fat to no more than 6% of total calories, we are learning more about different types of saturated fat. Whereas saturated fat from foods like fatty meats and butter isn’t ideal and should be limited for heart health, saturated fat from dairy products is not associated with the same harmful effect as from other animal foods. (1)
Sodium in Cottage Cheese
Is sodium in cottage cheese a big deal in the first place? It could be.
Most cottage cheese has around 700mg of sodium per cup. (1) This is about 30% of the sodium we should have in an entire day. This is quite a bit.
A low sodium diet is especially important for people with some health conditions. Too much salt is especially harmful for people with high blood pressure, kidney disease, kidney stones caused by high urine calcium, liver or heart failure.
Is Low Sodium Cottage Cheese Healthy?
Absolutely! Low sodium cottage cheese is a great option for a balanced meal pattern.
Cottage cheese is packed with protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. Although most cottage cheese does have quite a bit of sodium, low sodium cottage cheese DOES exist!
If you have oxalate kidney stones, cottage cheese is a wonderful source of calcium to help lower urine oxalate levels.
Low Sodium Cottage Cheese Brands
It can be hard to find, but you can buy low sodium cottage cheese!
The two brands I find most often are:
- Friendship Dairies Cottage Cheese – No Salt Added (45mg sodium per 1/2 cup) available at participating Whole Foods Market
- Breakstone’s Small Curd Low Sodium Cottage Cheese (220mg sodium per 1/2 cup) available at participating Kroger stores
- Hood No Salt Added Lowfat Cottage Cheese (60mg sodium per 1/2 cup) available at participating Shaw’s grocery stores
If you can find Farmer Cheese, it is a fantastic TRICK to finding low sodium cottage cheese. Farmer cheese is very similar to cottage cheese. The curds are just a little more firm. Best of all, it almost never has a ton of salt added to it – like cottage cheese typically does!
Some of the delicious Farmer Cheese brands I’ve tried are:
- 365 Whole Foods Market Farmer Cheese* (25mg sodium per 1/4 cup)
- Lifeway Farmer Cheese* (unable to find specific sodium content)
- Friendship Farmer Cheese* (110mg sodium per ounce)
Low Sodium Cottage Cheese Recipe
As mentioned, low sodium cottage cheese can be really hard to find in the grocery store. When all else fails, you can make your own! This way, you can 100% control the sodium in your cottage cheese.
Plus, it REALLY isn’t that hard. I promise!
Here is Alton Brown’s foolproof homemade low sodium cottage cheese. I just modified the recipe to be low sodium!
Low Sodium Cottage Cheese
- 1 gallon skim milk
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- Warm milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 120 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add vinegar. Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes. The curd will separate from the whey. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Let drain for 5 minutes. Gather the edges of the cloth and rinse under cold water for 3-5 minutes, until the curd is cooled, squeezing and moving the mixture the whole time. Once cooled, squeeze to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
- Add the salt and stir, breaking up the curd into bite-size pieces. When ready to serve, stir in the half-and-half.
How to Use Low Sodium Cottage Cheese
You can serve and use low sodium cottage cheese exactly the same way as regular cottage cheese!
Unsurprisingly, low sodium cottage cheese lacks some of the flavor of regular cottage cheese. My favorite way to add flavor is with fruit! Lookin at you peaches!
You can also use low sodium cottage cheese on toast, with tomatoes or other salads or as an ingredient in dishes like lasagna. Cottage cheese is a key ingredient to add calcium to my Crustless Zucchini Quiche recipe!
Other Low Sodium Cheese Options
Cheese is often ostracized for “having too much sodium”. Poor cheese! There are MANY delicious cheeses that are naturally low in sodium.
My favorite low sodium cheeses are:
- Fresh mozzarella
- Goat cheese
- Cream cheese