Cottage Cheese with Fruit Great Snack for Athletes

Cottage Cheese with Fruit – Great Snack for Athletes

Cottage Cheese with Fruit – Great Snack for Athletes

Athletes looking for a high-protein snack to add to their day should consider trying cottage cheese with fruit. 

By mixing different types of fruits into your cottage cheese there are an abundance of ways this snack can be enjoyed.

Nutrition Benefits of Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Before looking at cottage cheese with fruit combinations, let’s take a look at the nutritional benefits of including cottage cheese and fruit in your sports nutrition meal plan.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, providing ~28 grams of protein per 1 cup serving serving (1). It also contains riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and calcium.

Adding cottage cheese to meals and snacks can support athletes with meeting their daily protein needs.

Protein in Cottage Cheese

The process of making cottage cheese involves adding acid to milk. The acid causes the casein protein in the milk to coagulate and form curds. 

The whey protein in the milk does not coagulate and remains a liquid. The liquid whey protein is separated from the curds. The curds are further processed and used to produce cottage cheese (2).

Based on the process for making cottage cheese, the majority of protein in cottage cheese is casein protein. 

Casein protein is more slowly absorbed by the body compared to other types of protein, including whey whey protein (3). Due to the slower absorption, casein protein is often recommended as an ideal protein source to consume prior to bed. 

This makes cottage cheese an excellent, high-protein snack for athletes to enjoy as an evening snack.

Cottage Cheese Contains Casein Protein

Is Cottage Cheese Lactose Free?

Traditional cottage cheese made with cow’s milk is not lactose free.  

However, there are lactose-free products on the market. Lactaid® and Good Culture® both offer lactose-free cottage cheese products that are good options for those with lactose intolerance.

Is Cottage Cheese Gluten-Free?

Many brands of cottage cheese are gluten-free. However, some cottage cheese manufacturers may include gluten-containing ingredients or thickeners in their products (4).

It is important for athletes following a gluten-free diet to read the ingredient label carefully on any product they are consider purchasing.

Carefully selecting a cottage cheese that is labeled as gluten-free can be a good, high-protein snack option for athletes.

If unsure about a product, athletes should consult with their physician or a sports dietitian nutritionist before adding it to their meal plan.


When you add fruit to cottage cheese you boost the carbohydrate content of your snack. Carbohydrates are important in the diet of athletes, as they provide the body with the energy needed to perform at its best. 

When planning healthy snacks, I encourage athletes to pair a food containing a good source of carbohydrates with a food rich in protein. Cottage cheese with fruit is a great example of this type of snack combination.

In addition to carbohydrates, fruit provides athletes with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. 

Different types of fruit provide different nutritional benefits, thus choosing a variety of fruit options to mix into your cottage cheese is best.

Cottage Cheese with Fruit Combos

Now that we have looked at the nutritional benefits of cottage cheese and fruit, let’s explore ideas for adding fresh, dried, canned, and frozen fruit to your cottage cheese.

Fresh Fruit

When purchasing fresh fruit, it is best to buy fruit that is in-season. Fruit that is in-season will be less expensive and more flavorful than out-of-season produce. 

The USDA has a Seasonal Produce Guide available to help you determine which fruits and vegetables are currently in season.

Consider the following fresh fruits that will make delicious additions to your cottage cheese.

  • Bananas
  • Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, acai berries
  • Melon – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
  • Stone Fruit – Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries
  • Tropical and Exotic Fruits – Pineapple, mango, papaya, guava, pomegranate, kiwi
  • Citrus Fruits – Grapefruit, orange, mandarin, tangerine
  • Pome Fruits – Apples and pears (leave the skin on when slicing to enjoy with your cottage cheese for added fiber)

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit provides a condensed source of carbohydrates with ~15 grams of carbohydrates per ¼ cup serving. 

In addition to carbohydrates, dried fruit contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Dried fruits also contain phytochemicals, which have antioxidant effects in the body (5).

Try mixing a variety of dried fruits into your cottage cheese, such as: raisins, prunes, dates, figs, cranberries, apricots, apples, pineapple, and mango.

Dried Fruit Contains Carbohydrates, Fiber, Vitamins, Minerals, Phytochemicals

Canned Fruit

For convenience, canned fruit can easily be mixed into cottage cheese for a quick and balanced snack option

When purchasing canned fruit, select fruits that are packed in natural juices rather than in heavy-syrups to limit the amount of added sugar. 

Fruits such as diced peaches, pears, pineapples, and mandarin oranges all make great additions to cottage cheese. 

When you need am easy snack on-the-go, combining cottage cheese with canned fruit can be a great choice.

Frozen Fruit

Frozen fruit is flash-frozen at the peak of ripeness so it maintains a high nutrient content. 

Easily thawed, frozen mixed berries, pineapple chunks, or sliced peaches can make for a delicious addition to your cottage cheese. 

Other Cottage Cheese with Fruit Mix-In Ideas

In addition to fruit, seeds and nuts can be another great way to boost the nutrient content of your cottage cheese. 

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sliced almonds, walnuts, or pistachios are all great additions. 

If you want to further increase the carbohydrate content of your cottage cheese with fruit, consider stirring in a whole-grain breakfast cereal. 

Kashi Go® Honey Almond Flax Crunch is one of my favorites options. It is made with whole grains, flax seeds, and sliced almonds, making it a delicious addition to your cottage cheese with fruit snack.

Cottage Cheese with Fruit Mix In Ideas: Seeds and nuts can be another great way to boost the nutrient content of your cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese with Berries and Chia Seeds

Cottage cheese mixed with blueberries, chia seeds, and cinnamon is one of my favorite, nutrient-rich combinations.

Blueberries are recognized as being an abundant source of antioxidant compounds, which have anti-inflammatory effects in the body (6). In addition, blueberries provide fiber, Vitamins A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus (7).

Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds, making them a nutritious addition to an athlete’s meal plan (8).

This tasty combination can make a great addition to an athlete’s breakfast or be enjoyed as a high-protein afternoon snack.

Cottage Cheese with Fruit Smoothies or Protein Shakes

If you are not a fan of the texture of cottage cheese, try using it as an ingredient in a protein shake or fruit smoothie

Since cottage cheese has a mild flavor, it will not alter the taste of your smoothie, but it will give the drink a creamy texture. 

Blending cottage cheese into a smoothie allows you to enjoy all of the nutritional benefits of cottage cheese without having to worry about the texture.

Protein Shake or Smoothie with Cottage Cheese

Time to Enjoy Cottage Cheese with Fruit!

You are now set with a variety of ways to enjoy cottage cheese with fruit. This snack is a great way to add protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and mineral to your sports nutrition meal plan. 

Whether you enjoy cottage cheese with fruit at breakfast, in a smoothie, or as an evening snack it can help you meet your sports nutrition needs.

If you are looking for additional sports nutrition snack ideas to fuel performance, check out my blog: Planning the Best Halftime Snacks for Athletes.

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About the Author

Mandy Tyler is a Sports Dietitian Nutritionist in the San Antonio, TX area. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Licensed Athletic Trainer, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine.  Mandy has experience working with athletes at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She believes the key to reaching one’s full potential, both in everyday life and in sports performance, relies on a healthy nutritional foundation. 

Sports Nutrition Game Day Guide EBook for Athletes

If you are looking to take your performance to the next level, make sure to check out my new Sports Nutrition Game Day Guide. This downloadable guide is written to help athletes develop an individualized plan to achieve peak performance on game day.

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