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Does cottage cheese contain probiotics? July 23, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. Most people know that yogurt (depending on the brand) can be a great source of probiotics, live, beneficial bacterial cultures that promote digestive health and boost our immune systems and overall physical functioning. Probiotics are also abundant in unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, kombucha, kefir, and other fermented foods. But I was stunned to read yesterday that cottage cheese is also an excellent source of probiotics.

Cottage cheese? You could have fooled me. I love cottage cheese, especially in summer, when cottage cheese and ripe tomatoes makes a light, delicious, cooling lunch. (In winter, cottage cheese and unsweetened apple butter is a surprisingly decadent breakfast treat.) But I’ve never seen a word about probiotics on a cottage cheese carton. And given what a hot button it is, especially now that digestive health is being increasingly viewed as the key to health, period, you’d think if a product contained probiotics, it would be touted all over the packaging.

I grabbed my store-brand carton of cottage cheese out of the fridge and read the ingredients label just to make sure: no probiotics. So I turned to my good friend Google to see where all this probiotics-in-cottage-cheese stuff had come from to begin with.

Turns out, some brands of cottage cheese do contain probiotics: Breakstone, Horizon organic, Trader Joe’s, a few brands found (supposedly) in health food stores. Sadly, there’s no Trader Joe’s near me, and our health food stores, while carrying all kinds of cheese, yogurt, and the like, have no cottage cheese. Local groceries do carry Breakstone and Horizon products, just not their cottage cheese. What’s a cottage-cheese lover who’d appreciate a probiotic boost to do?

Well, the answer seems simple enough to me: Buy a carton of plain Greek yogurt with live cultures and mix some into your cottage cheese before you eat it. Experiment with the amount, starting with a tablespoon per serving and working up. Your goal is to add probiotics without ruining the curdy texture of the cottage cheese. (Otherwise, you could just eat yogurt.)

This works because, unlike regular plain yogurt, which can be a bit tangy, Greek yogurt is mild and creamy, just like cottage cheese. Its thick texture won’t dilute the cottage cheese and make it watery. Add your tomatoes, berries, pineapple, cantaloupe, apple or pumpkin butter, or whatever you enjoy, and bask in the thought that you’ll be getting those good-guy probiotics in every luscious bite!

‘Til next time,




1. Huma - July 23, 2013

Yes but does all yoghurt contain probiotics. I am in a country where I do not see any ingredient lists on yoghurt packages even though the yoghurt is very good. It is also not macrobiotic!

Hi Huma! Here’s the deal: All unpasteurized yogurt contains probiotics. Pasteurized yogurt only contains probiotics if they’ve been added back in after pasteurization, which kills everything. If pasteurized yogurt contains probiotics (“active cultures”), it will likely say so on the label. If the yogurt isn’t pasteurized, no worries, you’re good to go. And you’re quite right, yogurt and dairy of any kind is definitely not Macrobiotic!

2. alisa - September 4, 2014

if they have one item from a label in the store it’s likely they can get others. try requesting the horizon cottage cheese.

Thanks, Alisa! Definitely worth a try.

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