What is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese comes from cow’s milk; it is created by adding an acid to the milk, such as vinegar, lemon juice, or even a bacteria culture that produces lactic acid during digestion of lactose (milk sugar). This results in the curds separating from the whey (remember the Little Miss Muffet rhyme?). After the curds are formed, cut into pieces to further separate the whey from the curds, rinsed, and may have salt and other flavorings or additives added. According to the California Dairy Council, it is thought that cottage cheese is one of the first cheeses to be made in America by immigrants around the mid 1800s.
Furthermore, historical records claim that cottage cheese was “accidentally discovered” by a 3rd Century BC Mesopotamian (modern day Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Syria) traveler. He packed milk in his sheep stomach bags and when he wanted to take a drink they were curdled! The travel through the desert heat and the sloshing interacted with an enzyme called rennet from the sheep stomach that curdled the milk!
Variety of Curd Sizes
As a dairy product, cottage cheese is full of many vitamins and minerals essential for health! Phosphorus is used as a building block in things like cell membranes and DNA, while Vitamin B12 is a key player in developing brain and nerve cells. Cottage cheese is also a good source of calcium, which helps muscles contract and regulates heart rhythms and nerve functions.
Pumpkin Whipped Cottage Cheese
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ teaspoon pumpkin spice or up to 1 teaspoon, to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, or more to taste
- Optional toppings, see notes
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve immediately, topping with toppings of your choice, or chill and enjoy within 2 days.
- Do not use a high powered blender! It will turn the cottage cheese into a liquid instead of into a smooth creamy, fluffy cottage cheese! I use a this small food processor and it’s perfect for this recipe.
- Use any kind of cottage cheese you like! I prefer fat-free, unsalted cottage cheese
- Chill your pumpkin puree in the fridge for a colder treat. Or freeze some in an ice cube tray! If using frozen pumpkin, puree the pumpkin first before adding cottage cheese, to make sure you don’t have any ice chunks!
- Start with less pumpkin if you are not sure you like pumpkin flavor that much. I found that 2:1 cottage cheese:pumpkin ratio was perfect for me!
- Use honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, or brown sugar, or a keto-approved sweetener for a low carb pumpkin dessert
- Topping ideas: whipped cream, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), hemp hearts, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings, crushed pecans, candied pecans