Is cottage cheese gluten-free? Are you looking for answers? We have the best FAQ for you right here, for origin, how it’s made, ways to use it, and more.
Cheese is obviously one of the most popular kinds of food, providing numerous sensations for the palate, such as sweet, mild, buttery, salty, sharp, tangy, smoky, and a handful of other flavors.
One cheese, in particular, cottage cheese, is known for its high-fat content offering more luscious, milkier tastes.
However, for those who follow a diet that is strictly gluten-free, cheese can often be confusing on whether it contains gluten.
This is why many people ask, is cottage cheese gluten-free?
To answer all those questions, we’ve prepared all the information you need, particularly for cottage cheese, so you’ll be wiser the next time you head out to purchase your favorite cheese.
Cottage cheese is a cheese curd by-product known for its mild and creamy flavor.
It is made out of different types of milk, allowing it to have different fat levels and retain its moisture.
Cottage cheese is termed as such because it used to be manufactured in cottages from leftover milk.
Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk, cottage cheese isn’t aged or ripened like most hard cheeses.
You can enjoy it by itself, or with fruits, on toast, or even as an added ingredient for many salads.
Cottage cheese is creamy, lumpy, and milky, without the intense and sharp flavors that many other known kinds of cheese provide.
Curious about what this incredibly versatile cheese tastes like? Here’s the BEST FAQ!
And oh, check out our pick of the best savory cottage cheese recipes!
How is cottage cheese made?
Known for its small curds offering slightly savory and creamy flavors, the process of making cottage cheese involves utilizing good dairy bacteria to convert lactose into lactic acid.
Lemon juice or vinegar are also considered great curdling agents that help the process and curdle the milk.
As the bacteria culture activity continues, the milk acidity increases significantly, allowing the milk to coagulate into a solid curd.
The curd is drained but not pressed to keep some of the whey inside it and retain its moisture before getting washed to remove some of its acidity.
This solid curd can then be cut into small cubes, which are cooked to release its moisture, and chilled to make cottage cheese.
Cream and salt can also be added to the finished cheese product to add some richness and texture.
Is cottage cheese gluten-free?
Many people wonder, with most processed products adding in different additives, is cottage cheese gluten-free?
Gluten is a protein most often found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
Those who have gluten sensitivity can encounter an immune system reaction that leads to inflammation, fatigue, and even visible skin rashes.
It’s important to note that most dairy products, from milk, butter, yogurt, and particularly 100% natural cheese, usually don’t have gluten in them, but may sometimes be added, either knowingly or unknowingly, in the manufacturing process.
On its own, cottage cheese consists of three simple ingredients: milk, a curdling agent such as lemon juice or vinegar, and salt for added taste.
This makes cottage cheese absolutely gluten-free if the ingredients used are all natural-based.
Does cottage cheese packaging say if it is gluten-free?
Most brands that offer cottage cheese on the market usually contain no gluten ingredients, but there can also be instances where gluten is added to altered dairy products to help thicken and stabilize the product itself.
Many kinds of cheese are often modified to remove fat and salt and are added with gluten-based ingredients to improve their texture and taste.
Often, it is the flavored, low-fat, fat-free, processed, or spreadable products that may contain these gluten-based added ingredients.
To know that the cottage cheese you are purchasing is gluten-free, you can check the label on the back to identify potential sources of hidden gluten.
Items that indicate these ingredients, such as wheat, powdered cellulose, vegetable gum, spice mix, modified food starch, or maltodextrin, may contain gluten.
You can also note that if vinegar is listed as an added ingredient, double-check if the vinegar used in the process is malt vinegar, as gluten may also be present.
Reading the label on cheese products can help you identify whether gluten is an ingredient or gluten-based ingredients have been added to the product.
There can also be instances where gluten-free cottage cheese gets contaminated by-products with gluten before you acquire it.
These can happen at the farm, at the factory, during transport, at the grocery store when cheeses are handled on the same surfaces, or at the deli counter where cheeses are sliced using the same machines that slice gluten-containing foods.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicates that these instances of gluten contamination are typically below the limit of 20 parts per million (ppm), which is the smallest amount that scientific analytical tools can detect.
Individuals with gluten sensitivity can generally tolerate foods contaminated with gluten at these levels.
Ways to use cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is chunky and soft cheese with a mild flavor that many find delicious.
While cottage cheese is good enough to eat on itself, spreading it on some toast is a delectable experience that many consider typical.
You can enjoy it with fruits or add it to your salad as well.
To help you determine the best ways to enjoy cottage cheese, here are some cottage cheese recipes you need to try:
These tasty Cottage Cheese Biscuits are tender, moist, and super delicious.
They go great with any meal and can be served alongside your favorite bowl of soup as it is perfect for dipping.
This easy bake method helps you cook these biscuits in just 15 minutes, allowing you to savor the creamy cottage cheese bites in every biscuit.
This Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl is a recipe you can create in under 5 minutes.
Mix up your ingredients in a bowl comprising cottage cheese, scallions, pepper, bell peppers, tomatoes, pistachios, and cucumbers.
This fresh and savory bowl has quite the crunch with its mixed ingredients.
These Cottage Cheese Pancakes aren’t your usual breakfast go-to; they simply rise above the rest.
Aside from being fluffy with crispy edges, this cottage cheese pancake’s gooey center makes it incredibly delicious.
Add on a drizzle of maple syrup, and you’ll never make pancakes the old boring way ever again!
Aside from being an ideal spread bread, you can also mix cottage cheese into your scrambled eggs for breakfast.
While having cheesy eggs isn’t uncommon, using cottage cheese in your egg mixture produces the fluffiest, most pillowy batch of scrambled eggs that you’ll ever have.
A recipe that you have to try, adding cottage cheese makes for one richer and creamier alfredo without being too overpowering on the cheesy flavors.
This recipe actually has fewer calories than the original alfredo option, making this a better pasta to dig into.
Brands that make gluten-free cottage cheese
For those who need the assurance that the cottage cheese product they’re picking off the shelf is gluten-free, you can base it on this list of brands that are commonly available in the U.S.:
1. Axelrod Foods
This brand has seven variations of cottage cheese options, from large curd to small curd, whipped, non-fat, low-fat, salt-free, and even one with pineapple flavor.
According to the company, all kinds are considered gluten-free, with levels of less than 20 parts per million assured in its products.
While none of Axelrod Foods’ products are made in gluten-free facilities, they also produce yogurt and sour cream, which are generally gluten-free products made with the same standards.
A brand that makes a wide variety of cottage cheese options, including small and large curds, plain, cottage cheese topped with fruits, single-serve packs, and yogurt-like cartons with live active cultures.
Breakstone is a subsidiary of Kraft Foods Inc., a company that regularly discloses all gluten-containing ingredients on its labels.
However, cottage cheese products from Breakstone may still be subject to gluten cross-contamination, which is still quite manageable.
3. Cabot Creamery
This brand offers regular and non-fat cottage cheese variants in different sizes.
All of its products are considered gluten-free, except for its spreadable cheddar cheeses and repackaged cheese found at local stores.
Cabot Creamery also produces its cheeses in a gluten-free facility to ensure non-contamination.
Darigold has four different types of cottage cheese options; full-fat, low-fat, fat-free, and pineapple-flavored versions.
The company also doesn’t make gluten-containing products and uses milk without artificial growth hormones.
5. Horizon Organic
An all-organic company that is the top producer of organic milk in the U.S., with two distinct types of organic cottage cheese: regular and non-fat.
Horizon Organic products assure the best quality from manufacturing to packaging to provide the slightest possibility of gluten contamination, making it a suitable brand for most people with wheat and gluten sensitivities.
The bottom line
Cottage cheese has become one of the most famous cheeses that go great with just about anything.
Its mild flavors and rich textures provide the right creaminess to each bite, allowing you to savor every flavor as you munch along.
Knowing how to procure your cottage cheese properly and how to use it can allow you to enjoy it in its optimum freshness, leading to delectable treats with every combo you get to make with cottage cheese.