Cottage Cheese Is The Easiest Way To Beef Up Boxed Oatmeal

Cottage cheese is having a moment. These days, the internet offers plenty of advice on unexpected ways to use cottage cheese in both sweet and savory dishes. In the process, this creamy spread has been rebranded — cottage cheese is no longer just a bland feature of a 70s diet, but an exciting ingredient that can enhance the flavor, texture, and nutritional content of various foods. If you were intrigued by TikTok's impossibly fluffy cottage cheese bread but never got around to baking a loaf, there's an easier way to start the day with this unique dairy product: spoon it into your oats.

Cottage cheese is the secret key ingredient for the creamiest, heartiest oatmeal that will brighten your morning and keep you energized all day long. Best of all, it's super quick and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. All you need to do is prepare your boxed oatmeal as you normally would. Then, after you have finished cooking it in the microwave or on the stovetop, stir in the cottage cheese just before sitting down to eat. The quantity of cottage cheese will be about half the amount of oats used; for one serving, use a half-cup of oats and a quarter-cup of cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese is hydrating and rich in protein

One of the greatest draws of cottage cheese from a nutritional perspective is its high protein content — one cup contains 28 grams of protein. Our bodies digest protein slowly, and this essential macronutrient can help stabilize blood sugar levels. If you're looking to build muscle mass and exercise more often, cottage cheese is an ideal ingredient to help increase your daily protein intake. Additionally, its calcium content strengthens your bones, protecting against high-impact activities. This particular dairy product is also rich in a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and selenium, which are essential for optimal blood health.

If these reasons weren't enough to incorporate this soft, spreadable dairy into your regular breakfast rotation, it's also worth noting that cottage cheese is an undercover hydration booster. Comprising about 80% water, this cheese is a delicious way to ensure you're staying adequately hydrated, which can help prevent headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and low blood pressure.

More ways level up your creamy oatmeal

Cottage cheese has a mild, milky flavor with just a hint of saltiness and acidity, similar to yogurt, allowing it to blend seamlessly into dishes and let other ingredients shine, while adding a pleasantly thick, creamy consistency. It's a perfect addition to boxed oatmeal, because it can be adapted to suit both sweet and savory preparations.

If you prefer to wake up with something sweet, prepare your oatmeal with cottage cheese, then add in your favorite fruits, whether fresh, dried, or cooked. Lean into the creaminess of this dish with slices of ripe banana, or toss in some chewy raisins for textural contrast. For an extra protein boost, add a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter.

If you'd rather start the day with a savory dish, use your oatmeal as the base for sauteed garlic and leafy greens, flavored with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also increase the protein in this version by sprinkling crumbled bacon or toasted nuts on top.