The Best Toppings for Cottage Cheese

Photo: Claire Lower

I love to start my day with curds and whey; they’re filling, neutral enough to pair deliciously with a variety of plant parts, and (most importantly) speedy. A bowl of cottage cheese takes the same amount of time to prepare as a bowl of cereal, but will keep you fuller for much longer. (Also, if you top it with a vegetable, you get to feel virtuous.)

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I have never understood cottage cheese hate—I suspect it’s related to mayonnaise hate—and I won’t apologize for being a diehard fan. It’s crazy versatile. My new favorite breakfast follows a simple template of cottage cheese + fruit or veg + seasoning. It’s adaptable to every whim and mood, even my most dire moods, which are always in the morning. Right now I’m on a cherry tomato + bagel seasoning kick, but I’ve been known to get nutritional yeast involved. It’s also a great vehicle for last night’s roasted vegetables, or a fruit cocktail you forgot to pack in your kid’s lunch. Some other possible quick cottage cheese breakfasts include:

  • Leftover roasted carrots + curry powder
  • Olives + za’atar
  • Canned peaches + cinnamon
  • Pickled apples + fresh pepper
  • Pico de Gallo + a squeeze of lime
  • Pineapple + nutmeg
  • Strawberry jam + lemon zest
  • Pistachios + honey
  • Breakfast radishes + flaky sea salt

As you can see, the spoonable dairy can be forever riffed on, and plays extremely well with both the sweet and savory. My only caution: Do not get the low- or no-fat kind, as those can taste mealy, dry, and are nowhere near as satisfying. After all, the goal is to start your day on a note of satisfaction.

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