5 Healthy ‘Fresh Cheese’ Recipes

Blake Robinson, from Dairy Australia is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and sports dietitian.

What are fresh cheeses, I hear you ask?

Fresh cheeses are the simplest of cheeses, made by adding cultures to milk and draining off some of the moisture.

They generally have no rind, a soft texture and a delicate taste – making them ideal for cooking and baking as well as enjoying on their own or with some simple accompaniments.

Examples of fresh cheeses include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Feta
  • Ricotta
  • Labne

All of these contain the same package of nutrients found in milk, and being higher in moisture, are generally lower in fat than firmer cheeses.

Fresh cheeses are great with when paired with healthy foods like vegetables and grains, and might even offer a fat burning edge to your meal plan.

Here are five ways to enjoy fresh cheese:

1. Ricotta + toast + anything

You can put ricotta on toast with almost anything and call it a meal. Try savoury with tomato or a fried egg, or sweet with honey and strawberries.

2. Quick pasta sauce

Toss crumbled ricotta or creamy feta through freshly cooked hot pasta with a few of your favourite veg and fresh basil or mint. Add a bit of cooked chicken or salmon if you like – dinner in an instant!

3. Feta salad

Add a burst of flavour along with some protein and calcium to your salad with some feta. Simply add it to beetroot and lentils or try with something different – like watermelon and snow peas!

4. Cream cheese dessert

Stir together one part cream cheese to two parts vanilla yoghurt (or natural yoghurt sweetened with honey), then serve in a glass topped with fresh summer stone fruit, berries and toasted nuts. Better still, freeze this combo in icy-pole moulds for incredible cheesecake ice-cream pops.

5. Quick cottage cheese dip

Make a great go-to dip by blending cottage cheese with your flavourings of choice. Try smoked salmon, chives, basil or a can of white beans, garlic and rosemary. Or you can try something similar with cream cheese, like this Basil, Lemon and Pine Nut Dip. Serve with a few veggie sticks for an on-the-go snack.

How to store fresh cheese:

  • Ricotta: Drain off any excess whey before storing to prevent the cheese from becoming sour.
  • Feta: store fully immersed in brine or marinade in an airtight container.
  • Others: store in original wrapping or container, or on a clean plate covered with plastic wrap.

Find more recipes with cheese over at The Dairy Kitchen.

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