Before we even consider getting more from quark cheese, let’s make sure that we know what it is. If you’re a seasoned baker, especially if you make meatless, high-protein meals, then you must have come across this special type of cheese.
Quark cheese is creamy, unaged, and is alike in appearance and texture to Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, and Crème Fraiche. Just like these more popular dairy products mentioned, quark cheese can be spread on toast, use in baked goods, and dips.
It is a healthy way to add some creaminess, tangy flavor, and extra proteins to numerous recipes without the inclusion of salt, sugar, or carbs. It, therefore, boasts of certain health benefits which we’ll discuss later on.
Knowing More About Quark Cheese
Quark is a fresh, creamy and sour cheese produced from a combination of milk and lactic acid, which is a bacterium that separates the whey from the curd in the former. It is also known as pot cheese, quarg, tuaróg, and dry curd cheese.
Quark is subtly sour or tangy to taste, just like yogurt. Typically, quark has no extreme taste —sweetness or tartness; choosing instead to strike a balance between the two. As per texture, quark is similar to yogurt, albeit a tad thicker. However, this often depends on the production and straining processes.
And whereas quark was introduced to us recently, it’s been available and accepted in the Scandinavian Region and Central Europe since the 14th century. Russia, Denmark, Germany, and Austria are examples of countries consuming quark the most.
Importantly, quark is available in different textures and tastes, although the most common is creamy and mildly tart. The straining process mostly determines these two factors.
Nutritional Value of Quark Cheese
Quark is made with just three basic ingredients, which are cultured, pasteurized milk, enzymes, and salt. That’s all. Therefore, while it is a rich source of protein and healthy fats, it is low in carbs and sugar— which is an advantage. Compared to similar cheeses, quark typically has lesser salt, fat, and calories contents, according to the type of milk used (unpasteurized can be used as well, although rarely).
Quark is a good choice for vegetarians as well because it does not contain rennet, which are enzymes made in the gut of ruminant mammals found in other aged cheese. Throw in the fact that quark contains beneficial probiotics (which are gut bacteria that aid digestion and stomach health) and you realize that we have real, nutritious food on our hands.
A one-time 150–g serving of grass-fed, plain quark cheese offers the following:
- 200 mg of potassium — 6% DV
- 150 mg of calcium — 10% DV
- 140 calories
- 16–g protein
- 6–g fats
- 4–g carbohydrates
Benefits Associated With Getting More From Quark Cheese
Quark cheese, of course, has several benefits. We should expect this, considering its impressive nutritional profile. In this section, therefore, we’ll look at four common benefits of quark cheese. Here we go.
High Levels Of Protein
Quark has a considerably higher level of proteins than fats and carbs. As such, it is an excellent filling inclusion to a diverse host of recipes, ranging from rich breakfasts and lunches to dinner packs and desserts. Foods rich in proteins are vital to the body. They keep us full, energize our brain and muscles, repair connective issues, aid growth, and many more. And, yes, a lot of other foods provide the body with protein, but quark cheese comes with better benefits.
Generous Source of Potassium & Calcium
Calcium is crucial to heart health, mental state, and, more prominently, healthy bones. So, it is a relevant mineral in the body. Ironically, according to research, over 40% of kids under 8 are calcium-deficient, meaning that they do not have enough calcium in their bodies and are doing nothing to improve the situation. This is because calcium, despite its importance, does not give clear symptoms when inadequate in the body. It thus slowly leads to bone and joint weakness, osteoporosis, and other joint defects later on in their lives, especially in girls.
Likewise, potassium has excellent benefits to the body. Having high levels of phosphorus in the body helps to regulate body fluids, reduce the risk of blood pressure, prevent kidney stones, and many more. So, calcium and potassium are two minerals to attach importance to. Thankfully, making quark from whole milk will provide the body with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamins B6 and B12, and vitamin D.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in the gut and are usually obtained through dairy products. Probiotics are highly advisable due to the bunch of benefits they provide. Regular consumption of probiotics helps to heal gut diseases, support nutrient absorption, aid digestion, boost immune function, and regulate appetite.
Fortunately, quark contains probiotics in a significant amount. This is because it is produced through a fermentation process that converts milk sugars into lactic acid cultures, which does refine not only the tartness but also breeds healthy gut bacteria.
Ideal For All Classes of Dieters
As previously mentioned, quark cheese is low in carbs, sugar, and salt, and is, therefore, suitable for all dietary requirements. So, whether you’re keeping to the MIND or DASH diet, low-sodium diet, keto diet, small protein diet, or whatever, a spread or touch of quark cheese is always healthy.
Additionally, if you’re following the Budwig diet but don’t enjoy cottage cheese, quark is a great alternative. And, by the way, a Budwig diet is planned to strengthen immune function and prevent chronic diseases as a result of its anti-inflammatory qualities.
And not to forget, vegetarians also take quark cheese since it does not possess rennet. So, really, all walks of life can dip a sausage in quark cheese.
Conclusion On Getting More From Quark Cheese
Getting more from quark cheese provides your body with a lot of deficient nutrients, especially calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. You can use it in several recipes, be it cheesecakes, strudels, mashed potatoes, smoothies, granola parfaits, omelets, creamy stews and many more.