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10 Tasty Ways Cottage Cheese Makes the Best Pick-Me-Up Snack

We’ve partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their sweet Cottage Cheese with Strawberry and savory Cottage Cheese with Cracked Pepper—make a delicious snack.

Growing up, my mom would eat cottage cheese almost every day, every which way: scooped over a bed of arugula with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and drizzle of olive oil or spread on whole wheat toast with a little bit of blackberry jam, and a dozen other combos. Years later, and it’s still her favorite snack.

Even though it took me a little longer to come around to cottage cheese, I’ve definitely inherited my mom’s snack-y love for it.

Nowadays, whenever I need an afternoon pick-me-up or a pre-lunch snack (or even a quick breakfast), I’ll turn to cottage cheese. It’s great on its own, but also versatile enough that you can enjoy it savory, sweet, or somewhere in between.

My favorite way to eat it sweet happens to be the same as my mom’s: spread on whole wheat toast with a bit of jam (I prefer strawberry to blackberry, though) and a sprinkle of sea salt. When I need something salty, spicy, and a little more substantial, I’ll put a few scoops of cottage cheese in a bowl and top it with sliced avocado, a soft-boiled egg, and a few drizzles of hot sauce.

But there are a million different snack ideas out there, so I asked the Food52 team to share a few of their go-tos—here’s what they said:

Our 10 Go-To Cottage Cheese Snacks

“I love it with sliced strawberries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of sea salt. The acidity of the berries is tempered by the cottage cheese (and it looks so pretty, too).” —Maggie Slover, copywriter

“With everything bagel seasoning on cracked pepper, whole-grain crackers.” —Angela Bartolotta, drop ship supply chain manager

“I love to make mine Greek-ish, so I’ll spread it over toasted pita and top it with cucumbers, kalamata olives, a drizzle of olive oil, and maybe a dash of smoked paprika or za’atar.” —Lizzie Greene, sales director

“It might sound weird, but I promise it’s so yummy and has just the right amount of sweet: a scoop of cottage cheese (usually one that has some kind of fruit mixed in, like strawberries) over a split banana sprinkled with berries, granola crumbles, and a bit of honey.” —Rebekah Daniels, account manager

“I’ll make some toast, slather it with peanut butter, and top it with cottage cheese, strawberries, bee pollen, and flaky salt.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor

“Sometimes when I’m craving this nori sour cream dip, but don’t want to whip out the food processor, I’ll sprinkle nori over cottage cheese and use it as a dip for sliced vegetables.” —Eric Kim, senior editor

“Cottage cheese with Italian dressing. Don’t judge.” —Sam Stahl, chief revenue officer

“I don’t know if this qualifies as ‘delicious’ as I haven’t eaten it this way in years, but my mom used to make cottage cheese bologna roll-ups for me and my sister as kids.” —Merrill Stubbs, co-founder and president

“Hear me out: I’ll put a bit of cottage cheese on top of my morning waffle with fresh blueberries, cacao nibs, and lots of maple syrup—it’s so, so good.” —Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinatoor

“Our food stylist, Sam Seneviratne, eats it everyday with a side of mango slices.” —Brooke Deonarine, prop & set stylist

What’s your favorite way to snack with cottage cheese? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with Hood Cottage Cheese, we’re sharing our team’s favorite snack-y ideas for cottage cheese, from overtop split bananas with cocoa nibs and granola crumbles to spread on pita with tangy kalamata olives and crunchy cucumbers. No matter what you’re craving—be it something savory and spicy or sweet and satisfying—cottage cheese makes the perfect snack. To make sure you don’t stay hungry the next time you’re in need of a pick-me-up bite, stock up on Hood Cottage Cheese with Strawberry and Hood Cottage Cheese with Cracked Pepper, which are packed with versatile flavor and a hearty serving of protein.

Devour

  1. The best way to overcome your fear is to make your own with Alton Brown’s Quick Cottage Cheese.
  2. Spread some on a cracker or a piece of toasted bread, sprinkle on a little bit of salt and pepper, then top with your favorite veggies (I usually throw on some tomatoes, too).
  3. Add extra protein to any meal with Cottage Cheese Biscuits.
  4. Guacamole With Cottage Cheese will make you a believer.
  5. You’ve probably heard of ricotta pancakes. Now try Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes.
  6. Make good use of fresh sweet corn this summer with Sweet Corn Blintzes With Cottage Cheese Filling.
  7. Diet snack and indulgence in one: Cottage Cheese Ice Cream is low carb and low fat, but high in satisfaction.
  8. Food Network Kitchens’ Cheesy Spinach Baked Penne recipe cuts down on fat and calories by substituting cottage cheese for ricotta, but it makes no sacrifice on flavor.
  9. Add a spoonful while you’re making scrambled eggs. It’ll give you the cheesy flavor you crave with an extra dose of protein. Or try this fluffy quiche.
  10. The Neelys, Melissa d’Arabian, FNK and others all add cottage cheese to lasagna recipes.
  11. The Neelys’ Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread makes use of pantry staples like corn muffin mix and frozen broccoli for this classic comfort food.
  12. Mix some cottage cheese into your red sauce next time you’re making pasta for some extra creaminess.
  13. I don’t even need to sell this one: Lemon Marble Cheesecake.
  14. Cooking Channel’s Double Cheese Pita Pizza is a great, no-fuss midweek dinner.
  15. Paula sneaks some cottage cheese into her Cottage Potatoes — the perfect sidekick to meatloaf.
  16. Fun fact: Richard Nixon regularly ate cottage cheese with either pineapple or ketchup.
  17. In a crepe slump? Spice it up with Roti Crepes With Ri-Cottage Cheese, Roasted Apple Chutney and Pickled Radish.
  18. Add in some cottage cheese to your grits right as they’re about to finish cooking for some extra richness.
  19. Sandra Lee stretches your dollar by adding cottage cheese to her Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
  20. If you’re still not a fan of the texture of cottage cheese, whiz it up in a blender or food processor like this Cottage Cheese Pineapple Parfait.
  21. Surprise everyone at your next party with Lighter, Creamy White Bean Dip from FNK.
  22. Go Dutch (Pennsylvania Dutch) and spread some cottage cheese and apple butter on toast for breakfast.
  23. This Noodle Kugel utilizes a pint of cottage cheese to lighten up the sweet egg noodle custard.
  24. Aaron McCargo, Jr. removed cottage cheese from the diet food label with his Fried Lasagna Bites recipe.
  25. Going Greek never tasted so good as with this cottage-cheese-infused Spanakopita.

Is Cottage Cheese Healthy?

Cottage cheese can be polarizing—you either love it or love to hate it. Long seen as a punishing diet food, these quirky curds have taken a back seat to other dairy products in popularity. However, cottage cheese can be so much more than just a diet food, rather a tasty, muscle-building staple. Fortunately, more people are starting to see cottage cheese as such, and this nutrition powerhouse is currently having its moment. Below, learn the nutrition of cottage cheese and exactly why you should incorporate it into your diet if you haven’t already.

Low-Fat Cottage Cheese vs. High-Fat Cottage Cheese

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There are lots of options out there when it comes to cottage cheese—low-fat, reduced-fat, grass-fed, the list goes on. Our dietician recommends opting for the 4% fat varieties instead of lower-fat options for several reasons. First, the higher-fat cottage cheeses will keep you satiated, helping to keep extra snacking at bay. Also, reduced or low-fat varieties are usually filled with additives and stabilizers to help give it that creamy consistency already present in full-fat cottage cheese. They still tend to be too dry and gummy even with the artificial boost.. And most importantly, higher-fat cottage cheese tastes much better anyways!

Cottage Cheese Nutrition

Cottage cheese is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and some good-for-you carbohydrates, making it the well-rounded health food it truly is. Here’s the nutritional breakdown for a half-cup of 4% cottage cheese with small curds:

Source: USDA

Protein

Cottage cheese is clearly a protein powerhouse, with a half-cup serving touting as much protein as two eggs. Cottage cheese is made with mostly casein protein, rather than whey protein, which is slower-digesting and more efficient than whey at preventing muscle breakdown.

The high protein content of cottage cheese also helps with satiety and appetite control, alongside the higher-fat content. Cottage cheese makes for an excellent post-workout food, as protein helps to repair, recover, and even build more muscle while keeping your body full until your next meal.

Interested in learning about the health benefits of other foods?

  • How Healthy Are Hard-Boiled Eggs, Exactly?
  • Is Turkey Actually Healthy?
  • Exactly How Healthy Are Brussels Sprouts?

Carbohydrates

Cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates, which is why it’s often considered a staple for keto and other low-carb diets. A majority of carbs in cottage cheese come from a naturally occurring milk sugar, lactose. While there are people out there who cannot tolerate this milk sugar, it is an important component of cottage cheese, serving as an energy source so the proteins can focus on repairing and strengthening your body instead.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a lesser-known mineral, but that doesn’t make it any less essential. It is crucial for helping the body process carbohydrates and fats, and also for the production of protein. Like calcium, it is important for healthy bones and teeth, and also works with B vitamins for proper kidney, nerve, and muscle function. Phosphorus even works to help balance the acid in your body, functioning as a natural alkalizing agent.

Sodium

The one caveat in the nutritional information about cottage cheese is its high sodium content. One half-cup serving packs in about 20% of your daily recommended limit, making it something those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues might want to avoid. (However, more research is showing sodium might not be the villain of blood pressure and heart conditions after all.) As long as you stay within a healthy serving size, cottage cheese can certainly be considered part of a balanced diet.

Cottage Cheese vs. Yogurt

The most popular way to eat cottage cheese is as if were yogurt, topped with fruit and some healthy granola. So why should you choose it over yogurt? Ounce for ounce, cottage cheese packs more protein than yogurt—even Greek yogurt—and would make a great option for vegetarians looking to pad their protein intake. Also, unless you are purchasing plain yogurt, most are high in added sugar, while cottage cheese has none. More options for quality cottage cheeses are also coming out, such as Good Culture, which packs an extra probiotic boost.

Ways to Incorporate Cottage Cheese Into Your Diet

The unique flavor and texture of cottage cheese makes it a perfect protein-boosting ingredient in lots of recipes. Besides just scooping some cottage cheese and fresh fruit into a bowl for breakfast, try a little in your scrambled eggs, smoothie, or even your favorite pancake recipe for light and fluffy flapjacks. Cottage cheese also makes a wonderful substitute for ricotta cheese, sour cream, and even mayonnaise.

Cottage cheese is having more than just a moment. It’s downright the hottest product in the dairy aisle these days. One recent report predicted that cottage cheese sales will grow nearly 10 percent every year for the next five years. For context, that’s essentially what happened in the yogurt aisle in the early 2010s when it was exploding.

Protein has gained recognition as a must-have nutrient, and cottage cheese has plenty-there’s 13 grams per 1/2 cup. And while some popular diets shun dairy, low-carb and keto dieters are likely flocking to whole-milk cottage cheese, which only has 4 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup.

Regardless of what is fueling the growth, this old-fashioned midday meal your grandmother ate is getting a modern makeover: much like manufacturers did in the yogurt aisle, cottage cheese makers are introducing on-the-go single-serve containers, sweet- and savory-flavored cottage cheese, and versions with tasty mix-ins.

But what really gets us health-conscious types excited is that cottage cheese has some serious nutrition cred. It’s a solid source of some nutrients that most of us fall short on-calcium and potassium-and other nutrients that we’re all wanting more of (protein and, depending on the brand, probiotics). Plus, health experts’ ever-so-slight loosening of the reins on fat (especially the fat in dairy) helps.

Yes, cottage cheese is raking in nutrition accolades, but some varieties are healthier than others. Keep these four points in mind if seeking out the healthiest options is a priority. While certain nutrition numbers vary from brand to brand, in a 1/2 cup of whole-milk cottage cheese you can expect to get about 110 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrate and 13 grams of protein.

Check sodium counts.

As delicious as it is, a single serving of cottage cheese could deliver as much as 20 percent of your daily limit for sodium. There are lower-sodium versions out there, but if you find they taste a little lackluster, try comparing nutrition labels and picking a “regular” version with the least sodium.

Mind the sugar.

Sugar’s story is similar to sodium in that brand-to-brand there’s some variation, especially with flavored varieties. Your best bet is to compare brands. But also remember that dairy has natural sugar (called lactose) in it, so don’t set your sights on a brand with zero sugars. If added sugars isn’t listed on the label (because that’s still a work in progress), compare a flavored variety to the same brand of unflavored or plain cottage cheese, and you can estimate the added sugars with a little subtraction.

Seek out probiotics.

Not all brands include those good-for-your-gut bugs. If you’re trying to up the ante on probiotics, check the ingredients in your favorite brand and make sure it lists “live and active cultures.”

Read the ingredient list.

Some brands are ever-so-slightly “cleaner” than others. The must-haves for cottage cheese are milk, cream and salt. Other common additives aren’t necessarily unhealthy (in fact, some brands add vitamins), but if you aim to limit “unnecessary” ingredients, this category is one to take a closer look at.

5 Dietitian-Approved and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Cottage Cheese

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To get in on this cottage cheese craze, all you need is a refrigerator and a spoon. You can use cottage cheese in pancakes or instead of Cheddar to top a baked potato. And if you want to infuse a little more creativity, here are five nutritionist-approved ways to indulge your creamy, salty craving and dress up Grandma’s cottage cheese. No cantaloupe included, we promise (though that too is a good-for-you choice).

1. I like my cottage cheese super-savory-Castelvetrano olives, ground fennel seeds and orange zest. I also love adding it to breakfast casseroles. It melds into the eggs and creates a custardy texture once the casserole bakes. -Jamie Vespa, R.D., of DishingOutHealth.com

2. While I enjoy cottage cheese both sweet and savory, my favorite way to eat it for either breakfast or a quick dessert is to add the flavors of apple pie as toppings. I stir in chopped apples, ground cinnamon, a splash of vanilla extract and chopped pecans. The apples add crunch while also providing a punch of sweetness and fiber. The cinnamon and vanilla also add a sweet flavor and the pecans offer healthy fat, fiber and plant protein. -Holley Grainger, M.S., R.D., Cleverful Living blogger at HolleyGrainger.com

3. One of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese is to mix in a little of the pure, jarred horseradish (not fresh, but also not the dip) and then use it is as a dip for cucumber slices, or if I’m feeling indulgent, potato chips. -Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., of MohrResults.com

4. My choice way to top cottage cheese is with a handful of blueberries and a dash of cinnamon. A hit of fruit curbs sweet cravings, without added sugar. -Carly Crawford, nutritionist, of NourishMeals.com

5. Freshly chopped tomatoes, drizzled with a quality olive oil, and some pepper and flaky salt-all on top of probiotic-rich cottage cheese like Nancy’s or Good Culture. The fat in the cottage cheese and the olive oil will help your body absorb more of those disease-fighting chemicals in the tomatoes.-Brierley Horton, M.S., R.D.

WATCH: Is Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt Healthier?

Chia seeds in your smoothie? Check. Collagen in your coffee? Check. It can feel like you’ve tried everything to pack more protein into your day, but we’re betting there’s one source you’ve been underestimating.

The low-key king of satisfying snacking: Muuna® cottage cheese. Yup, cottage cheese is making a comeback as the go-to base for breakfast bowls and the melt-in-your mouth spread for every snacking scenario. And the benefits are legit: Muuna® is not the average stuff you’re used to, due to a proprietary method that makes it seriously creamy—and a protein boost that blows yogurt’s out of the water.

So before you turn up your nose at the idea, listen to this intel from Melissa Rifkin, RD.

“What may surprise people is although many may consider cottage cheese a diet food because of its reasonable calorie count and high protein content, it’s flavorful and a very versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet snacks and dishes,” explains Rifkin.

Some of the must-try ways to use it to step up your snack game? Try it with a soft-boiled egg and everything bagel seasoning, scoop it into a smoothie for an extra dose of creaminess, or spread it over toast with avocado and strawberries—AKA your tastebuds are already thanking you.

And considering the food boredom that tempts you to raid the office snack cabinet every day, isn’t it worth adding a new go-to into rotation that’s loaded with good stuff, to boot?

Keep reading for 3 reasons you’ll want to add cottage cheese to your snack-time repertoire this summer.

1. Powered by protein

When you’re busy knocking out your summer bucket list, the last thing you want is hangriness to slow you down. The secret to staying satisfied all day is protein, and Muuna® delivers that macronutrient in spades with a complete amino acid profile (bonus: that’s what will help build muscle tissue).

“It’s also a source of casein protein, a type of protein that breaks down and releases into our bloodstream at a slower rate than other protein sources,” says Rifkin. “Therefore, this means you’ll feel satiated (or fuller) for longer.”

With up to 19 grams of protein per serving, it packs way more than most yogurts, and having it as a midday snack assures you’ll stay energized from your outdoor picnic lunch until rooftop happy hour.

2. Gut-healthy goodness

Protein isn’t the only thing packed into the good-for-you recipe. With belly-boosting probiotics like B. Lactis in every spoonful of Muuna®, your snack gets a total health upgrade.

According to Rifkin, research shows that supporting the balance of good bacteria in your gut (AKA your microbiome) can “influence digestion, vitamin production, immune system development, inflammation, and even your metabolism and weight.” In other words, sneaking in gut-friendly probiotics wherever you can is a slam dunk.

Pro tip: Add an ingredient with prebiotics (like banana) into your cottage cheese, and you’ll help amplify the digestion-friendly benefits of the probiotics. And in a season filled with beach trips and poolside hangouts, bloat-busting snacks are the best kind of snacks.

3. Simply sweetened

Avoiding a sugar crash is key for resisting the urge to nap on activity-packed summer days (or while you’re sitting at your desk at work), which is why picking a low-sugar snack is so important.

Rifkin recommends skipping over carb-heavy options (which can leave you bloated and sluggish) for something with lower-sugar, like Muuna®. “Stable blood sugar usually results in a more balanced energy production, reduced food craving, alertness and stability in mood,” she notes.

Uniquely creamy Muuna® cups are flavored with real fruit on the bottom (and still have only nine grams of sugar total)—so with your pineapple, peach, or blueberry-infused snack you go straight to deliciousness, sans crash.

In partnership with Muuna®

Photos: Muuna®

Salad Recipes? Cottage Cheese? Cottage Cheese Vegetable Summer Salad

You know you want to try this: Barbecue Sauce Cottage Cheese Salad. Watergate Salad is a crazy delicious concoction of pistachio pudding, Cool Whip,​. Today I am sharing a recipe I grew up with, a staple in my grandparents’ home, especially in the summer – Cottage Cheese Salad. Light, refreshing and healthy​. With this Barbecue Cottage Cheese Salad you are really spoiling us Imagine this being your first exposure to anything “barbeque” flavored.

Cottage Cheese Jello Salad is a super easy side dish that you can bring to any family gathering! Some people will even call this Jello Salad a dessert, but I have always considered it to be more of a fluffy salad side dish, perfect for those BBQ parties, or other family gatherings. Ingredients: 6oz box Orange Jello 11oz Mandrin.

Mac and cheese is one of those recipes that can take on so many different forms. Get all dressed up and dance the bbq cottage cheese salad away while everyone else is asleep, waiting for Santa.

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Orange Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese is a fun and fruity addition to your next picnic or BBQ.

This Orange Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese is a family favorite. Someone in my extended family will make it to bring to all family functions. It is so easy, and comes together quickly. It’s so easy that we teach the young kids how to make it so they feel like they are contributing to family functions when they make it.

What you’ll need to make Orange Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Package of Orange Jell-O
  • Pineapple Tidbits
  • Whipped Topping

First you will add your Orange Jell-O and cottage cheese into the bowl and mix until the Jell-O has dissolved.

Next, add in the pineapple tidbits and the mandarine oranges. Mix well.

Last, add in the whipped topping and mix well.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Orange Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese Author: The Crafting Chicks Recipe type: Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large package of Orange Jello
  • 1 24 oz carton of Cottage Cheese
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits, well drained (I use the tidbits)
  • 1 15 oz can mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 16 oz carton of Cool Whip

Instructions

  1. Mix orange Jello and cottage cheese together until the Jello has dissolved into the cottage cheese.
  2. Add pineapple and mandarine oranges and stir in.
  3. Add the Cool Whip and mix all together until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving so it can firm up.

3.5.3208

I always plan on making a lot for family gatherings, so I use the large size of all the ingredients. If you are planning on making this for a smaller group, just use the smaller size of Jell-O, and everything else. This recipe is really easy to scale down.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.

Here are some other salad recipes you may like:

Chicken Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad with Chicken

Spinach Tortellini Salad

7 Ways to Cook With Cottage Cheese

You know that thick, white goop that usually comes with a plate of cantaloupe or jello? Well, it’s called cottage cheese—and while the texture might be a bit freaky for some people, it’s incredibly good for you.

Cottage cheese is rich in protein and it provides a good source of calcium for bone and heart health, says Maggie Moon, MS, RD. It also has probiotics for gut health, she adds.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Yet, you should still be aware of portion control. “Sodium and added sugar are the nutritional watch-outs. Look for cottage cheese that has less than 400mg of sodium with no added sugars in the ingredients (keep in mind that the natural sugar in dairy and fruit are not added sugars),” says Moon.

Here are a few delicious ways to cook with cottage cheese for filling, nutritious meals:

Sub It in for a Healthier Lasagna

Use cottage cheese to add that creamy, luscious texture to lasagna—without packing on the excess fat and calories. “Personally, I love to include cottage cheese in my lasagnas as a 50-50 split with ricotta cheese,” says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT.

“If a recipe called for 2 cups ricotta cheese, I’d usually do 1 and 1/4 cups ricotta and 3/4 cup cottage cheese, but it really just depends on the recipe you use,” she says. It will add a bit more liquid, so decrease the sauce slightly to help offset this problem. “Also, I like to switch it up and add zucchini as noodles with cauliflower and broccoli into the layers and a little parmesan cheese into the cheese mixture for flavor,” she adds.

Make a Delicious Stack of Pancakes

Use cottage cheese as a base for protein-packed flapjacks. It couldn’t be any easier, and cottage cheese pancakes can satisfy both savory and sweet palates.

All you need are 2 eggs, 2 heaping tablespoons of cottage cheese, 3 tablespoons of cream cheese, and 1 heaping tablespoon of flour. “Mix ingredients together in a food processor, cook the pancakes on the skillet, and drizzle maple syrup over them for a classic stack,” says Chef Fabio Viviani at Siena Tavern in Chicago. For added flavor, use fresh fruit, spices, herbs, or nut butters—anything you’re in the mood for!

Use It in Your Favorite Dip

You can easily use cottage cheese in a savory, rich dip, says Shaw. Try a spinach dip, where the greens and cheese work well together, to help boost the protein and lower the total fat, she says. While you’d typically use sour cream or mayonnaise for dips, swapping in cottage cheese saves a ton of calories and saturated fat, while adding in more nutrients, like calcium and protein. Plus, it tastes great!

“I’ve also been experimenting with cottage cheese in baked goods and dessert dips and have to say, I’m digging the combo of light cream cheese, 2% fat cottage cheese, vanilla extract, peanut butter, a tad of maple syrup and some chocolate chips,” she says. Serve that with fresh fruit, and you’ve got a great combo for conquering your sweet tooth.

Add It to Pesto

Much like other dips, cottage cheese adds depth to light pesto. “For the pesto, it doesn’t sub for any ingredient, but is added to your favorite pesto, whether it’s a traditional basil-pine nut-parm-olive oil-garlic pesto, or one made with pistachios or walnuts,” says Moon. Adding cottage cheese to pesto also makes the sauce more nutritious by increasing protein and lowering total calories per bite.

Fill Warm Breakfast Crepes

You can make sweet or savory crepes and fill them with cottage cheese for creaminess and satiety. “Fill buckwheat crepes with cottage cheese and top with pineapple chunks. Fold the crepe closed and drizzle with maple syrup,” says Moon. Let them cool to room temperature before eating, though it’s also fine (and probably nice) if they are a little warm.

Spread It on Toast

Say goodbye to avocado (for the moment) and give cottage cheese a try instead. For a gourmet breakfast toast that’s high in protein and calcium, spread 1-2 tablespoons of cottage cheese on a slice of whole grain bread and then top with 1-2 cut figs for a sweet, nutty taste, says Moon.

To finish, drizzle a teaspoon of 20-year aged balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction) and garnish with 1-2 mint leaves, along with some sea salt, to taste.

Make Overnight Oats

There’s nothing easier than waking up to a ready-to-eat breakfast. Overnight oats are super healthy, too—they pack a ton of protein, good fiber, and carbohydrates to provide long-lasting energy.

Moon loves this recipe: a ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup of almond milk, 5-6 oz. of cottage cheese, ¼ cup of blueberries, and a pinch of ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt to finish. You can also use a little agave syrup or honey if you’re in need of some added sugar.

“Place oats, milk, and spices into jar. Top with cottage cheese, then blueberries. Drizzle with agave. Chill in refrigerator overnight and have a nice breakfast in the morning,” says Moon.

Cottage cheese is one of those foods that people tend to love or hate. I have been a huge fan since first discovering its healthy diet food status back in the 1970s.

It is a great source of protein with about 14 grams in a 4 ounce serving and low in calories provided you choose a lowfat or nonfat variety. (You’ll want to use non-fat cottage cheese if you are following Weight Watchers Simply Filling /no count program.)

Here are 15+ of my favorite ways to enjoy this classic diet food staple…

Easy + Healthy Ways To Enjoy Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is much more than a boring diet food. It can be enjoyed in so many ways – on its own, with fruit or salad, on toast, as a vintage Weight Watchers “Danish” and in a wide variety of both sweet and savory dishes.

How Do You Make Homemade Cottage Cheese?

As a lazy cook, I’ve never considered making cottage cheese myself. You can find it at most any grocery story. I’m sure the fresh homemade version tastes amazing.

So if you’re curious here’s a Quick Cottage Cheese Recipe from Alton Brown at the Food Network.

Are you put off my the texture of cottage cheese?

To give your cottage cheese a smooth consistency, give it a whirl in a food processor (affiliate link) or blender (affiliate link). Then it becomes a healthier alternative to sour cream in your favorite dip recipe or as a tasty topping for baked potatoes. This was a popular low fat alternative back in the “old days” before Greek yogurt came into vogue.

This smooth whipped cottage cheese is also delicious slathered on a bagel, or pancakes, with jam.

More Favorite Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese

#1 Serve it with fruit. One of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese is with fruit. It’s a match made it heaven.

I love it for both breakfast and lunch during the summer. Just about any fruit will work – fresh, canned in fruit juice, or frozen. Delicious options include:

  • Sliced bananas
  • Crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks
  • Berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or a combination
  • Melon chunks or balls
  • Fresh or canned peach slices
  • Chunks of apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Applesauce or apple butter
  • Or get fancy and make this cottage cheese banana split.

#2 Mix it with nut butter. Stir a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter into a half cup of cottage cheese. Use it to stuff celery or spread on whole grain toast or crackers.

#3 Add it to smoothies. Blend it into your favorite fruit smoothie or green smoothie recipe for an extra boost of protein.

#4 Add it to pancake batter to make Cottage Cheese Pancakes, which are much higher in protein than regular ones, but taste just as delicious.

#5 Make muffins. Stir into muffin batter to make blueberry cheesecake muffins like Kristina did over at Love and Zest.

#6 Stir it into pasta. The cottage cheese gets warm and creamy and is especially good with lots of freshly ground pepper.

#7 Or use it instead of ricotta cheese in Lasagna, Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Cottage Cheese in Casserole Dish or Mom’s Easy Baked Ziti.

#8 Or try this tasty low calorie Orzo with Cottage Cheese and Peas recipe:

4.32 from 32 votes

Orzo with Cottage Cheese and Peas Recipe

One of my favorite ways to use cottage cheese with pasta with less fat and more protein – simple, healthy and delicious! Prep Time10 mins Cook Time10 mins Total Time20 mins Servings (adjustable): 6 Calories: 229 Author: Martha | Simple Nourished Living

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low fat cottage cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions or chives
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound orzo (rice shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the orzo in plenty of boiling salted water until tender. While the orzo is cooking, place the peas in a colander in a the sink.
  • While the water boils and orzo cooks, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the cottage cheese, salt, scallions, lemon zest, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  • When the orzo is done, drain into the colander right onto the peas.
  • Shake off the excess water and dump into the bowl with the cottage cheese mixture.
  • Stir gently and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Serving Size: about 3/4 cup Weight Watchers PointsPlus: *6 Weight Watchers SmartPoints: *7 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints *6 Nutrition Facts Orzo with Cottage Cheese and Peas Recipe Amount Per Serving (1 /6th recipe) Calories 229 Calories from Fat 20 % Daily Value* Fat 2.2g3% Carbohydrates 34.7g12% Fiber 2.9g12% Protein 16.4g33% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Course: Side Dish Did you make this recipe?Mention @simplenourishedliving on Instagram and tag #simplenourishedliving – we love to see your creations!

#9 Serve it on a baked potato with salsa. For an incredible quick, easy and healthy lunch or dinner, one of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese I learned years ago from Weight Watchers.

#10 Spread it on toast. for a vintage Weigh Watchers “danish.” I love cottage cheese spread on toasted raisin bread, then sprinkled with cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Or make this vintage “WW Danish”.

#11 Spread it on thin slices of apple and sprinkle with cinnamon. Perfect for breakfast or a healthy after school snack.

#12 Add a spoonful while you’re making scrambled eggs. It’ll give you the cheesy flavor you crave with an extra dose of protein. Or try this light + healthy spinach and feta crustless quiche.

#13 Use cottage cheese as a substitute for sour cream. First buzz it in a blender (affiliate link) or food processor (affiliate link), with the tiniest bit of boiling water to make it make it creamy and then you can use it to make all kinds of skinny dips.

#14 Season it with your favorite spice blend. Lemon pepper, Mrs. Dash, Old Bay and Herbamare all work well. Spread on vegetables or whole grain crackers of stuff into celery or hollowed out tomatoes.

#15 Stir in some pesto with it. Then enjoy as a dip or spread for vegetables or crackers or stuffed into hollowed out cherry tomatoes.

# 16 Mix it with chopped vegetables or tuna or shrimp to make a salad. Makes another great dip or spread perfect with toasted whole grain bread, crackers, or vegetables.

A Simple Spread: Cottage Cheese with Olive Oil and Black Pepper

Food doesn’t get much faster than this. This is best with large-curd cottage cheese, preferably organic. Put some on a plate, season with sea salt and coarse freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil (affiliate link) over the top. Enjoy with whole grain bread or crackers.

*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan’s ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.

WW 2019 Wellness that Works Program Changes

More WW Friendly Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese

  • Cottage Cheese Pancakes (Simple-Nourished-Living)
  • Cottage Cheese Recipes (Simple-Nourished-Living)
  • Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Cottage Cheese (Simple-Nourished-Living)
  • Cottage Cheese Waffles (SnackGirl)
  • Healthy Sour Cream Substitute (TheYummyLife)
  • Tuna, Cottage Cheese & Avocado Salad (RecipeDiaries)
  • 25 Uses of Cottage Cheese (Devour the Blog)
  • Cheesy Guacamole (The National Dairy Council)

WW has also updated their program to SmartPoints from PointsPlus – .

Weight Watchers Makes Changes for 2018

Learn more about the WW Freestyle Plan in this short video…

This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!

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18 Clever Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is the “unsung hero of the cheese aisle,” says Palak Patel, chef at the Institute of Culinary Education.

“There’s a lot you can do with it, whether it’s something sweet or something savory,” she says, referencing the mild flavor and versatility of cottage cheese. “And, it’s healthier than a lot of other cheeses.”

Cottage cheese is low in calories, high in protein, and packed with nutrients like calcium. It’s attractive to athletes and a mainstay of high-protein diets like keto, says Malina Malkani, a registered dietitian nutritionist, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle. Cottage cheese can help regulate blood pressure and is essential for bone health.

Despite its health properties, cottage cheese has been overshadowed by yogurt in recent years, and many people still see cottage cheese as a diet food straight out of the 1970s. But, as yogurt sales are flattening, cottage cheese (made from separating the curds of pasteurized milk from the whey) is making a comeback.

Though it’s most commonly known as a pairing for fruit, there are so many more ways to enjoy it. Here are 18 creative ways to enjoy cottage cheese, straight from experts.

1

Create smooth, sweet spreads

The lumpy texture or cottage cheese can be off-putting for some, says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet. If you’re looking to avoid those unsettling lumps, she recommends whizzing it through a food processor or blender to smooth it out.

Richards likes to mix 6 ounces of cottage cheese with a teaspoon each of vanilla extract and honey to spread on toast. She often makes extra to store in the fridge.

2

Banana Pancakes

Courtesy of Palak Patel

Cottage cheese is commonly used in breakfast dishes, like pancakes, especially as people are cutting out white flour or embracing paleo or gluten-free diets, says Patel.

Patel’s banana pancakes recipe includes 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese puree, 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup almond milk. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine and let it sit for 10 minutes. Use 1/2 cup to ladle into a nonstick pan.

3

Recovery Bowls

Erin Kaese, managing editor of Athletic-Minded Traveler, swears by her “recovery bowl,” which she says she has been eating nearly every day for the past 15 years.

She makes the bowl by combining berries, diced apple, two spoonfuls each of cottage cheese and yogurt, high-fiber cereal and almond milk. She usually enjoys this bowl with a cup of coffee in the early afternoon.

“I love that it has protein, antioxidants, and fiber,” she says. “Most important, I love the taste. It’s food bliss for me.”

4

Lemon-Blueberry Swirl

Courtesy of Lauren O’Connor

As a spin on the classic “peaches and cream,” Lauren O’Connor, a registered dietitian and owner of Nutri Savvy Health, says her lemon-blueberry swirl pairs cottage cheese with fresh or frozen blueberries, lemon, and honey. The “dessert-worthy treat” can be served as a side, a healthy snack, or on toast. Get the full recipe at Nutri Savvy Health.

5

Beet and Berry Dip

Courtesy of Lauren O’Connor

Dips, both sweet and savory, are another natural fit for cottage cheese. O’Connor’s beet and berry dip combines both flavors, using a “double cream” base of cottage cheese and sour cream with balsamic beets and blackberries. Get the full recipe at Nutri Savvy Health.

6

Smoked Salmon Dip

Courtesy of Palak Patel

Patel says she enjoys making a variety of dips with pureed cottage cheese. A favorite is smoked salmon dip, with 1 cup of cottage cheese pureed in a blender or food processor, 12 ounces of chopped smoked salmon, 1/4 cup of fresh dill, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons capers, juice of half a lemon, kosher salt to taste, and freshly ground black pepper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and serve with cucumbers.

“These are super simple things, and people can just interchange the herbs, interchange what you put in, whether you want to make it vegetarian or if you want it put dried fish, smoked fish, clams, whatever fits your fancy,” Patel says.

7

Basil and Pine Nut Delight

Courtesy of Lauren O’Connor

Cottage cheese works well with savory flavors, and adding basil, pine nuts, and olive oil offers a protein-dense, pesto-flavored dish, O’Connor says. Get the full recipe at Nutri Savvy Health.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

8

Creamy Dijon Potato Salad

Courtesy of Lauren O’Connor

Small-curd or pureed cottage cheese adds extra creaminess to many different dishes, including potato salad. The addition of cottage cheese boosts the protein levels and lightens up the typically mayonnaise-heavy potato salad, O’Connor says.

She also suggests adding dijon mustard, green onions, celery, cottage cheese, and spices to make a tangy picnic staple with lots of texture. Get the full recipe at Nutri Savvy Health.

9

Lighter Chicken Salad

Subbing cottage cheese for mayo makes chicken salad a little healthier, says Laura Licona, executive chef at Fairway Market. The cottage cheese also adds more protein. Add the chicken salad to whole wheat bread for a delicious and easy lunch.

10

Lighter Mac and Cheese

Courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds

Cottage cheese in mac-and-cheese recipes adds creaminess, texture, and richness, while cutting some of the fat and calories that other cheeses contain, Patel says.

For a full recipe for cottage cheese mac and cheese, check out this one we love from Fit Foodie Finds.

11

Creamy Lasagna

Courtesy of Cookie + Kate

Cottage cheese can be used as a swap for ricotta in lots of different dishes, like lasagna or any creamy pasta sauce, Patel says.

For a lasagna recipe using cottage cheese, check out this recipe we love from Cookie + Kate.

12

Cucumber Yogurt Soup

Courtesy of Malina Malkani

Cottage cheese adds a creamy texture to soups, Malkani says. Also, a dollop of the cheese can be used as a topping for chili and stews. Malkani’s recipe for cucumber yogurt soup incorporates cottage cheese, yogurt, and crème fraiche for a light and refreshing meal.

13

Tomato Confit Toast With Cottage Cheese

Courtesy of Judy Kim

Layering toast with cottage cheese and tomato confit makes a great rustic snack or quick meal, says Judy Kim, a recipe developer who works with Hood Cottage Cheese. An even quicker version uses any prepared tomato sauce that may already be on hand. Get the full recipe here.

14

Herbed Cheese Bites

Courtesy of Judy Kim

Kim says herbed cheese bites, made with cottage cheese, are perfect for entertaining and are “a flavor bomb full of texture.”

“I like that the cottage cheese marries well with the other ingredients, like the sesame seeds and almonds, to create a lovely toothsome texture,” she says. Get the full recipe here.

15

Raspberry and Cottage Cheese Tart

Courtesy of Judy Kim

Desserts are a natural fit for cottage cheese, because it’s so often paired with fruit, and its creamy flavor goes well with raspberry compote, Kim says.

“The dessert comes together very quickly if you make the cookie base in advance, perfect for entertaining or on a weeknight,” she says. Get the full recipe here.

16

Chocolate Mousse

Courtesy of Palak Patel

Pairing chocolate and cottage cheese makes an easy no-bake mousse, Patel says.

For her recipe, she uses 1/2 cup of pureed cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of dark chocolate pieces, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, sea salt, and cinnamon (optional). To make the mousse, melt the chocolate mixed with oil in a microwave-safe dish, add the chocolate to cottage cheese, and chill. Serve it cold, topped with berries, cinnamon, and sea salt.

17

Cottage Cheese Paneer

Courtesy of Well Plated

Patel, who specializes in Indian cuisine, says cottage cheese can be substituted for paneer, a fresh cheese commonly used in Indian cooking. However, cottage cheese needs to be put through a cheesecloth to get rid of its extra moisture. The resulting dried cheese can be served with sautéed onion, garlic, and spices, like cumin and cayenne, and fresh cilantro.

“It’s actually a really great breakfast that we eat in India with scrambled eggs or an omelet,” she says.

You can try making this Tikka Masala recipe from Well Plated by simply swapping out the paneer for cottage cheese.

18

Make your own cottage cheese

While there are plenty of cottage cheese products, making your own can be a fun, simple at-home science project, Licona says. She recommends this recipe from Food Network’s Alton Brown.

“It’s like a chemistry project right before your eyes and a cool way to understand the childhood curds and whey nursery rhyme we all grew up with,” Licona says.

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This cottage cheese alfredo is a lower fat, lower calorie version of the rich and creamy pasta favorite! One of the best cottage cheese recipes, it’s an easy dinner to make and the best part? You’d never even know it’s healthy.

Show of hands: who hates alfredo?

You.. there, in the back. GET OUT. You are but a robot amongst us sent to destroy the empire.

The alfredo empire of deliciousness, that is. Uh… I digress. Another show of hands: who loves the fat and calories in a bowl of creamy, rich fettuccine alfredo?

You.. there, in the back. GET OUT. I hate you for your metabolism.

Alfredo has always been one of my favorite pasta sauces, but I tend to reserve it for a special occasion treat, due to the high amounts of butter, cream, and cheese. And then… I found this. We typically associate cottage cheese with gummy bites at an assisted-living center or our tiny-ass dog Magnolia, whom we were instructed by the vet to feed cottage cheese mixed into her dry food so she’d put on some pounds (11, going on 12! But we still tell everyone she’s a week-old lab, for the sake of O’s masculinity). But think again, people! Blended with some other ingredients, it transforms into a luxurious, creamy sauce, at a fraction of the guilt and hippyness.

Why This Cottage Cheese Alfredo Recipe Is So. Dang. Good.

  • It’s wonderfully rich and creamy, thanks to the cottage cheese, but lower in fat and calories. Also thanks to the cottage cheese!
  • This cottage cheese recipe comes together really, really quickly, and you could make it almost entirely during the time your pasta is boiling.
  • You can add all sorts of different spices or seasonings to this cottage cheese alfredo. It’s super versatile.

But be warned. You might have to fend off dozens of requests a day for this stuff. I’m not lying.

The first time I made this, O ate his bowl–and subsequently licked the bowl clean–in total silence.

“He hates it,” I told myself. “Oh well. It’s still so much better for us, and I think it’s pretty damn delicious.”

An hour later.

“That was the best thing I’ve ever had,” O spouts, unprovoked. “Can we have it again tomorrow?”

No. No, we can’t. But “tomorrow”, he repeated the question. I repeated the answer. I need variety, dammit! No matter how good something is. The day after “tomorrow”, he repeated the question, and I, the answer. And so on, until I caved and whipped it up the next week. And then the week after that as a sorry-I’m-going-to-St.-Louis-without-you-and-leaving-you-to-fend-for-yourself dish. I’m not exaggerating in claims of how insanely good this stuff is.

Update: Now that O and I have been married for what feels like a hundred years and have a kid, I have a new anecdote to verify the deliciousness of this cottage cheese recipe. My kid freaked out because somewhere along the line that day he was promised “mac and cheese,” and I kind of thought this would work for that particular request. He wailed a bit but finally tried it. My picky, picky toddler then claimed,

“I love it so much. I want to eat it on Wednesday. I want to eat it on Monday. I want to eat it a lot of times when we come home.”

So… if that doesn’t tell you something about this cottage cheese alfredo, I don’t know what would.

Variations

  • Instead of basil and oregano, sprinkle in a bit of Cajun seasoning and serve with blackened chicken, tomatoes, and green onions for a Creole pasta.
  • Use cultured cottage cheese to make this cottage cheese recipe even healthier.
  • Try arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch if you have to or want to avoid corn.

Tips for Making This Cottage Cheese Recipe

  • Make sure you blend the cottage cheese alfredo mixture until it’s very smooth.
  • This cottage cheese recipe is best with about half a pound of pasta. If you don’t mind a less saucy pasta, upping your pasta poundage is fine!
  • Simmer your sauce just until it’s thickened – you don’t want to reduce it too much!

How to Make Cottage Cheese Alfredo

Combine the milk, cottage cheese, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a blender, then blend until very smooth.

Pour into a medium saucepan or skillet and add a pinch of two of dried basil and oregano, or whatever seasonings you prefer.

Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, smooth, and a bit thickened. Add more basil and oregano if you like!

Toss with pasta and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

You’ll also like:

  • Whole30 Tuna Zoodle Casserole
  • Creamy Pumpkin Sage Alfredo with Ronzoni Gluten Free Penne
  • Fried Zucchini Basil Gluten-Free Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

And if you’re looking for a wonderful version of classic Fettuccine Alfredo, this recipe from Erren’s Kitchen is fantastic!

Did you make and love this recipe? Give it your review below! 👇 And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

5 from 20 votes

Cottage Cheese Alfredo

A rich and creamy pasta sauce made with cottage cheese. Easy, versatile, and super quick to make, it’s one of the best cottage cheese recipes. 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.

Course Main Course Cuisine Italian Keyword dinner, pasta, skinny Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 4 people Calories 120 kcal Author Cheryl Malik

  • 1 cup milk (skim for low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (low-fat cottage cheese to make this recipe low-fat)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese
  • dried basil to taste
  • dried oregano to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish, optional
  1. Put all the ingredients, except basil, into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Pour the mixture in a small saucepan and add basil and oregano. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through and smooth. Add more basil, oregano, salt, or pepper (or other seasonings), to taste.

  3. Let it cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked pasta right before serving and let it soak in for a couple of minutes. Top with meat or veggies as desired; garnish with fresh chopped parsley, optional. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts Cottage Cheese Alfredo Amount Per Serving Calories 120 Calories from Fat 54 % Daily Value* Fat 6g9% Saturated Fat 3g19% Cholesterol 19mg6% Sodium 467mg20% Potassium 119mg3% Carbohydrates 6g2% Sugar 3g3% Protein 9g18% Vitamin A 235IU5% Calcium 239mg24% Iron 0.1mg1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe was originally published in January 2014 but was updated with tips, step by step photos, and video July 2018.

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