Cottage cheese is low-cholesterol, low-fat and gluten free. Milk and dairy foods are great sources of protein, minerals and vitamins, especially for the vegetarian type 2 diabetics. It is an excellent choice for high-protein and lower-carb diets.
This cheese is a well-known heat and acid-coagulated milk product that resembles soft cheese. It is rich in calcium, protein and helps in many body processes. This dairy product is very popular in the Indian subcontinent and has also appeared in the western and Middle East markets. In India, one percent of the total milk production is converted into cheese and the annual production is estimated at 150,000 tonnes. Currently, this type of home-made cheese enjoys the status of national culinary dish of India, which has the largest vegetarian population in the world.
The shelf-life of cottage cheese is quite low and it loses freshness after two to three days when stored under refrigeration. The spoilage of this cheese occurs mainly due to the growth of microbes. The use of antimicrobial additives is not advised because of perceived toxicity risks.
The vegetarian diabetic should include cottage cheese as part of daily diet in order to fulfill protein requirements of the body. Milk and milk products have been an important part of human diet since ancient time. Milk and dairy foods are considered healthy foods as they serve as good sources of proteins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, vitamin D, B12, riboflavin and other essential nutrients needed for the body. Milk products are consumed throughout the world by both sexes, all age groups and in every season.
This cheese is mainly prepared from the milk of buffalo and cow. Goat, camel and yak milk are also used in certain parts of the world to make these commodities. It is believed that the nomads of south-west Asia were probably the first to develop this cheese and was introduced in India by the Persian and Afghan invaders. However, in the last five decades, this cheese has received great importance due its wider use in a variety of culinary dishes. Cottage cheese is an important dairy product and has great value in diet because it is an excellent source of high quality proteins, fats and minerals.
This product obtained from cow or buffalo milk or a combination thereof by precipitation with sour milk, lactic acid or citric acid, does not contain more than 70% moisture and the milk fat content is not less than 50% of the dry matter. Cottage cheese has high levels of fat (22 – 25%), protein (16 – 18%) and a low level of lactose (2.0-2.700). In addition to milk, sweet cream butter milk can also be utilized in the manufacture of this cheese.
Cottage cheese can be easily prepared at home by adding lemon juice or vinegar or curd to the freshly boiled milk of cow, buffalo or goat. Stir it well till the milk coagulates; in order to separate the curds from the whey. Other coagulants, such as sorbic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, sodium and potassium salts can also be used to make this cheese. The curds are drained in a clean muslin cloth and the excess water is removed by pressing it.
Requirements of a Good Quality Cheese
- Cottage cheese should be clean and free from dust, dirt and surface discolouration.
- It should not be contaminated with any adulterants.
- Cottage cheese should have closely knit smooth texture, firm, cohesive and spongy body.
- Cottage cheese should have a pleasant smell and characteristic mould-acidic flavour.
- The top of the cottage cheese should remain wet not dry.
Nutritional Profile of Cottage Cheese
It is reported that 100 gm of cottage cheese will provide calorie 72, water 93.5g, proteins 13g, carbohydrates 3.4g and ash 1.5g. It contains proteins, fats, fatty acids (Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids), carbohydrates, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, fluoride) and vitamins. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin),Vitamin 5 (pantothenic acid),Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, choline and folates.
Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has several health benefits when consumed in moderate quantities. Overeating of this cheese is not advised.
- Aids in weight loss.
- Treats osteoporosis
- It boosts the immune system of body.
- It prevents tooth decay in children.
- It helps in healthy fetal development of pregnant women.
- Improves bone health.
- It possesses antioxidant properties.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- It decreases the risk of breast cancer.
- It helps in improving digestion.
- It reduces muscle cramps.
- It maintains the brightness and strength of the hair.
- It makes the skin wrinkle free.
- It reduces the risk of asthma.
- It helps in lowering the body weight and also managing the weight.
- It prevents the malnutrition and other protein deficiencies in children.
- It reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
- It helps to lower the high blood pressure.
- It helps in preventing the stone formation in the gall bladder and urinary system.
- It decreases the level of anxiety and stress.
Use of Cottage Cheese in Various Cuisines
Cottage cheese can be used to prepare many types of recipes, such as any Indian main course, it can also be used in salads, sandwiches, as toppings, in dips and cheesecake. It is suggested that homemade cheese must be refrigerated in water or salt water and used within 7 days.
E354 – Cottage Cheese Please – www.diabetic.today