If you are missing cottage cheese since the time you’ve transitioned into being vegan (or being a vegan on a keto diet like myself) you’ve come to the right place.
Today I’ll share with you three perfect (simple and delish!) recipes of keto cottage cheese that are also vegan. And tell you what you can use as an alternative to this ingredient in lasagna. And also share my findings explaining why a vegan version of cottage cheese can be so much better than the dairy one. Read on.
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Here's what we'll cover:
- What is cottage cheese made of?
- Is regular cottage cheese healthy?
- Is cottage cheese vegan? And why a vegan version might be healthier?
- What can I replace cottage cheese with?
- Vegan cottage cheese nutrition
- How to make vegan cottage cheese?
- Vegan substitute for cottage cheese in lasagna
What is cottage cheese made of?
Traditionally cottage cheese is made from cow’s milk’s curds.
The production might use full fat or low-fat milk, various curd sizes, and the final recipe might be lactose-free, sodium-free, whipped, creamed, and the list goes on.
Let’s have a look at the product’s nutritional value. In essence, one cup of low-fat cottage cheese has (depending on the brand, on average) 163 calories, 28g of proteins, 6.2g of carbs, and 2.3g of fats.
Not bad at all and can be freely use for your standard ketogenic diet (especially if you top it up with some olive oil, a pinch of salt, and leafy greens).
That’s what you might think. But wait, not so fast.
Is regular cottage cheese healthy?
Cottage cheese is known as an invaluable source of calcium. This mineral helps with the prevention of osteoporosis and regulates your blood pressure to start with.
Due to the fact it’s high in proteins and low in carbs, this product is also generally considered suitable for anyone interested in losing weight and building lean muscles. But there’s a but…
Why do they recommend to cut off the carbs while on a diet? Carbs are triggering the glucose levels, and that, in turn, is responsible for insulin spikes in our blood.
However, some products can trigger insulin response even if given the low glycemic index.
And cottage cheese is one of such products that trigger the insulin response.
Check out this video if you want to know more about the glycemic index and insulin index.
When I came across this subject first and started googling, there were not so many mainstream sources writing about it (although I found lots of tiresome researches on the subject).
But this video breaks down the whole concept, so you might want to check it out (even if it has nothing to do with the cottage cheese).
Is cottage cheese vegan? And why a vegan version might be healthier?
As we’ve established earlier, the regular cottage cheese is made of milk. So, by all means, it’s not vegan friendly.
I’ve also covered the fact that cottage cheese (due to the dairy contents) leads to significant insulin spikes. Therefore it’s not ideal for keto, even though it’s low in carbs.
But what else?
Well, I personally have some further concerns about milk (and I am not talking about the environmental or ethical side of things). There were numerous studies investigating milk’s content that found anything from antibiotics to pesticides in that drink.
Here’re some stats from a relatively new study by Emory University, conducted in collaboration with The Organic Center:
- Antibiotic traces were discovered in 60% of regular milk samples.
- Bovine growth hormone (bGH) was found both in conventional and organic milk (20 times higher in former).
- Pesticide traces were found in up to 60% of regular milk samples. And that’s just to name a few.
We don’t know yet how all those ingredients influence the human body long term. But let’s be real if we are using pesticides to kill some species, eating those is not the same as eating kale.
Another research found that rats nourished with milk develop more tumors compared to those who were drinking water. I am not saying the drinking milk is your one-way ticket to a tumor land, but these correlations exist and proven. And you should be aware of it.
On a personal note, I used to drink A LOT of milk and eat TONS of cheese. Honestly, I could consume brie and cheddar all day long. But I’ve noticed that I felt so tired and fatigued after drinking a cup of white coffee (no sugar by the way).
And it’s stopped in no time as soon as I switched to plant-based milk. (For the record, I quit caffeine too, recently, but still drink chicory). So, inflammation is real.
So vegan alternative for cottage cheese might be an excellent thing after all.
What can I replace cottage cheese with?
Most vegan versions of cottage cheese use silken tofu as a base ingredient. However, you can also get great results with regular firm tofu and even soaked cashew nuts. All of those have the proper texture, and you can spice it up for a lovely savory, salty, and sour flavors.
The funny thing is that there are not that many commercial vegan cottage cheese options. So, most likely, you’ll have to make it yourself if you miss it.
Vegan cottage cheese nutrition
Depending on the main ingredient, you can end up with vegan cottage cheese that is high in fats and moderate in carbs or high in proteins and low in carbs. Also, please keep in mind that no matter what you do, vegan cottage cheese doesn’t taste just like it’s dairy version.
But if you miss the texture of regular cottage cheese – those variations will do that trick. And these are generally healthier for your keto diet too, since all the used ingredients have both low glycemic and low insulin index.
I’ve researched and put together three recipes. All of them are vegan and keto-friendly and vary from 131 to 447 calories and from 1.6g to 20g of carbs per serving. So the choice is yours.
How to make vegan cottage cheese?
Easy vegan cottage cheese
Almond milk cottage cheese
Vegan cottage cheese with cashews
Vegan substitute for cottage cheese in lasagna
For a vegan (and keto-friendly) lasagna, you might use a tofu-based version of cottage cheese/ricotta. Just drain and crumble 100g of firm tofu, add a tablespoon of hummus, ¼ tsp of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, basil, and salt to taste and it’s done. The craziest thing is that you probably won’t be able to notice the difference!
Thanks for the graphics: Canva.com
Disclosure: At vegketodiet.com I only mention the products that I researched and considered worthy. But it’s important to note that we are a participant of several affiliate programs, including but not limited to VigLink and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, this website earns from qualifying purchases. Also please note that I am not a doctor. As such readers are strongly recommended to make decisions that might affect their health by doing their own research. At vegketodiet.com I only document and describe thoughts, researches and ideas that proved to be working for me.