Cottage Cheese Bowl
With it being back-to-school time, snacks are especially important these days. If you missed my recent post for trail mix energy balls, you can find it here! Today's post is a snack idea for those wanting something savory!
Back in my dietetic internship, a dear friend of mine used to eat cottage cheese topped with avocado and crushed tortilla chips. Sounds weird, right? Wrong -- it is delicious and is what inspired this bowl! As a stay-at-home mom to a very active 13 month old, I have limited "free" time and have to be efficient in everything I do, including meal and snack prep. Snacks have to be fast and use ingredients we have on-hand.
We still have some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots of chives from our garden. Just this summer, I started buying cottage cheese again. It's one of those foods that is really polarizing for people. Rob can't stand it, but I do like it, especially with other add-ins. Cottage cheese is protein-rich with 13g of protein per ½ cup and contains other essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins A, D, and B12, and zinc. At only 110 calories for the full-fat variety, that’s a lot of bang for your buck nutritionally, so to speak.
I personally prefer the 4% milkfat cottage cheese, which is the full-fat variety. Fat contributes to fullness and has a richer taste and texture. Gone are the days of buying everything fat free! Based on the current body of research, full-fat dairy foods do not need to be avoided as part of a healthful diet. Despite the higher saturated fat content, consumption of full-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt has not been shown to increase cardiovascular disease risk as once thought. Look at your dietary pattern from the big picture. If eating full fat dairy will also increase your veggie consumption (like in this snack), that’s a win in my book.
Recipe for this cottage cheese bowl is below. I didn't actually measure my portions, but I wanted to provide a general reference. I also paired it with a small apple for a little sweetness and more fiber! This entire snack is only about 200 calories. This may increase or decrease slightly depending on the size of your portions.
Cottage Cheese Veggie Bowl
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ medium cucumber, cut in slices
½ cup whole fat cottage cheese
1 Tbsp fresh chives
Coarse black pepper
Place all components in a bowl. Top with fresh chives and black pepper.
Add a small piece of fresh fruit on the side for additional fiber!