Is Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Healthy? A Dietitian’s Review
Cottage cheese ice cream is trending on TikTok right now, but is this viral take on the classic frozen dessert actually more nutritious?
As a Registered Dietitian, I am breaking down everything you need to know about cottage cheese ice cream, if it truly is a better-for-you version of classic ice cream, and most importantly…if the taste is truly worth trying it out for yourself.
What is cottage cheese ice cream?
If you have been on TikTok, you have probably seen the viral TikTok cottage cheese ice cream craze. But what exactly is this frozen treat?
Basically, cottage cheese ice cream replaces heavy cream in traditional ice cream with cottage cheese instead. This frozen dessert is made with cottage cheese, milk, sugar (or another sweetener), and sometimes other ingredients, such as fruit, nuts, or chocolate chips.
Because cottage cheese replaces heavy cream, the dessert is lower in calories, fat, and sometimes sugar, depending on how the recipe is sweetened.
This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.
Why is cottage cheese ice cream so popular?
Why did this frozen dessert become a viral sensation? According to fans of the concoction, this dessert looks and tastes like traditional ice cream, but since it is more nutritious, it can be enjoyed more frequently.
This dessert can also easily be made at home in a high-powered blender or a food processor and can be customized to meet many flavor preferences.
The health benefits of this dessert also make it appealing. With fewer calories, carbs, and added sugar along with higher protein, it makes for a blood-sugar-friendly dessert option that is gaining popularity among people with diabetes as well as those with insulin resistance.
The health benefits of cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a dairy product that is made from curdled milk. One serving of cottage cheese provides a good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus.
When compared to yogurt and cow’s milk, cottage cheese is generally lower in overall carbohydrates while providing more protein, meaning it will have less impact on blood sugar levels.
Here are some of the health benefits of cottage cheese:
- High in protein: Cottage cheese is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues, maintaining muscle mass, and keeping you feeling full.
- Low in calories and fat: Cottage cheese is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- Good source of calcium: Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
- High in phosphorus: Cottage cheese is high in phosphorus, which is essential for energy production, cell growth, and bone health.
- Contains other nutrients: Cottage cheese also contains other nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, and selenium.
One additional benefit of cottage cheese, as shown by this new viral trend, is its versatility. It can be eaten plain, topped with fruit or nuts, or used in recipes. For instance, I’ve used cottage cheese in everything from smoothies, to muffins, and even chia pudding. And now, you can use it to make ice cream too!
The pros & cons of cottage cheese ice cream
If you are considering jumping on the cottage cheese ice cream trend, there are a few pros and cons to consider.
- Cottage cheese ice cream is lower in calories and fat than traditional ice cream.
- Depending on how the recipe is sweetened, this ice cream can be lower in added sugar (but not always!).
- This ice cream alternative can be a good source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients.
- It offers a versatile dessert that can be made in a variety of flavors.
- It’s easy to make at home and requires no special equipment.
- Cottage cheese ice cream may not taste exactly like traditional ice cream.
- This alternative frozen dessert may not be as smooth and creamy as traditional ice cream.
- Depending on your preferences, you may not find this ice cream as satisfying as the traditional version.
Overall, cottage cheese ice cream is a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream. However, it is important to note that cottage cheese ice cream is still a dessert, and it should be eaten in moderation, especially when using added sugars as a sweetener.
How is cottage cheese ice cream sweetened?
Cottage cheese ice cream can be sweetened with a variety of sweeteners and your choice of sweetener will impact how much, if any, impact this dessert will have on blood sugar levels.
You can sweeten cottage cheese ice cream with both caloric and non-caloric sweetener options, such as:
- Maple syrup
- Agave nectar
- Monk fruit extract
The type of sweetener you use will depend on your personal preferences and dietary needs. If you are looking for a natural sweetener, you may opt for honey or maple syrup, however, keep in mind, these sweeteners still impact blood sugar levels.
If you are looking for a lower-carbohydrate frozen dessert option, you may want to choose low or no-calorie sweetener options including stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit extract.
It is important to note that the amount of sweetener you use will affect the taste and texture of your cottage cheese ice cream. If you use too much sweetener, your ice cream will be too sweet. If you use too little sweetener, your ice cream may not be sweet enough.
The best way to find the right amount of sweetener is to experiment. Start with a small amount of sweetener and add more to taste. You can also add the sweetener gradually, blending the ice cream after each addition, until you reach the desired sweetness level.
Is cottage cheese ice cream really healthy?
This frozen dessert has a leg up on traditional ice cream, but the health benefits will vary greatly depending on the ingredient options you choose.
Adding fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables to your cottage cheese ice cream can be a great way to boost the antioxidant and fiber content of the recipe while providing natural sweetness without the need for added sugar.
When making this recipe, choosing low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese and milk can cut calories while reducing unhealthy, saturated fat levels.
The sweetener you choose will have the biggest impact on the health benefits (or risks) of this recipe. Using fruits, vegetables, and low or no-calorie sweeteners will offer the least impact on blood sugar and insulin levels.
The Easiest Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Recipe (Low Carb/ Keto-Friendly)
The Easiest Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Recipe (Low Carb & Keto-Friendly)
- 1 cup cottage cheese, low-fat
- 1/2 cup milk, 1%
- 1/4 cup erythritol (or another no-calorie sweetener of your choice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup berries, frozen optional
- In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
- If desired, add the frozen fruit and blend until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Scoop and enjoy!
- Use full-fat cottage cheese for the creamiest texture.
- Use low-fat or fat-free milk if you prefer a lighter ice cream.
- Use your favorite sweetener. Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar are all good options.
- Add your favorite flavors. Chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, or candy are all great additions.
- Freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours, or overnight, for the best texture.
The bottom line on cottage cheese ice cream & your health
Cottage cheese ice cream may be a healthier alternative to traditional versions since it is typically lower in saturated fat, added sugar, and calories. However, depending on your sweetener choice and the add-ins and variations you choose, this ice cream alternative may still contain a significant source of added sugar and carbohydrates.
If you are aiming to manage blood sugar levels, be sure to make your own cottage cheese ice cream with minimal added sugar or use a low or no-calorie sweetener option instead.
To maximize the health benefits of this frozen dessert, use fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables for added flavor, fiber, and antioxidants.
Remember, however, that cottage cheese ice cream is only a good alternative if you like the taste. If not, enjoying a smaller portion of traditional ice cream as an occasional treat is still fine to enjoy.