I’ve been reading a lot lately about the benefits of eating cottage cheese before bed. Here’s a brief recap. There are loads of sources out there that claim cheese, of the cottage variety, is great for building lean muscle…something I’ve been focusing on for the past couple of months. I don’t necessarily want to bulk up…
Well, hello, Arnie!
…but I’d like to achieve a little more definition in my arms and abs. I’m not quite ready to go the whole protein powder route so I figured I’d give this whole cottage cheese thang a try. I’m not a scientist or nutritionist or doctor of any kind, and I don’t know how true these claims might be, but what’s the worst that could happen? If anything, I’ll get some added calcium, right? 🙂
Anywho, while I love cottage cheese as is…
An early birthday gift from my Work Wife…true story.
…I’m always looking for ways to
spice sweeten things up. So, inspired by Sara and Lindsay, I decided to do a little protein experiment. A protein experiment that, I have to say, went terribly, terribly…RIGHT!
Pumped Up Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup diced strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Pop all of the above into your food processor of choice. I took this experiment as an excuse to use a variety of recently purchased kitchen gadgets, such as…
Shiny and new 🙂
…which worked pretty well on its first go-around (you’ll see the results below) but I’m reserving real judgement until I try a few more things (hummus, salsa, mixed beverages of various kinds). I’m pretty sure about one thing, though: I don’t think this contraption is going to fully live up to its claims.
The Magic Bullet is confident of its abilities.
Does this mean it will clean my bathroom? Give my car an oil change? Fix the broken utility drawer in my kitchen? Cause I could use help with all of the above. Just sayin’…
Anywho, back to the task at hand.
Looks good just as is, hmm?
Process cheese, strawbs, zest, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. You might have to add a teaspoon or so of milk (cow, soy, almond, rice…I’m sure any variety would work) depending on how runny your cottage cheese is to start. It should end up being the consistency of slightly water-y pudding.
Now, you could just stop here and eat this deliciousness with a spoon – I’m also thinkin’ that this would make a delightful fruit dip – but I had other plans… and more new kitchen gadgets to try.
My new loves.
Full disclosure: I love me a good Tupperware Party and I’m crazy for Pampered Chef.
I used this baby to produce that gorgeous lemon zest pictured above.
No, I am not a middle-aged housewife sporting mom jeans, living in Minnesota with 5 kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But the ice-cube trays pictured above do make me insanely happy. Since they come with a cover they worked perfectly in the next stage of my experiment: Operation Freeze the Cheese.
I added a few cut up strawberries on top and then popped the bites in the freezer for an overnight chill.
Right next to the frozen bananas and below the vodka.
I gotta tell ya guys, these things are pretty darn good. I let a couple of ’em thaw a little bit before diggin’ in – probably a good idea if you don’t want to chip a tooth – and patted myself on the back as I enjoyed their cool and creamy tangy-ness. Personally, I like the subtle salty-ness that the cheese imparts but you might want to add a teaspoon or two of a sweetener (stevia, agave, honey, etc.) if you like your frozen treats more on the sweet side.
All in all, my experiment was a success – I’ve discovered a delightful new way to Pump MYSELF Up!
Any of you have suggestions on other ways I can increase lean muscle mass – aside from protein powder?
What kinds of culinary experiments have turned out well for you? Any epic fails?