These are my healthy, delicious, ready-to-go breakfast jars for the work week. Making your own cottage cheese saves you a bit of money and a lot of sodium intake, and it tastes much better than store bought. Paired with fruit, nuts, and chia seeds, this protein, omega-3, and fiber-rich breakfast will keep you sustained for hours for under 300 calories & 30 grams of protein.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients & Tools
Ingredients for 5 servings:
- 2 gallons of skim milk
- 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons of chia seeds
- fruit, amount varies by preference but I like quite a bit. the best fruits I've tried are apples and black cherries
- half and half (to taste)
- nuts of your choice
- candy thermometer
- large pot
- plastic or metal strainer, or cheese cloth (of the three of these I like plastic netting strainers the best by far)
- cutting board & knife
- 5 16oz mason jars
- container for storing diced fruit
Step 2: Heat the Milk
Heat the milk to 120 degrees (F) over medium heat, stirring and checking frequently
Step 3: Dice Your Fruit
While the milk is heating, dice the fruit. You can get creative here and mix fruits or keep them separate. Apples are great because they're crunchy and sweet. I usually use about 1/2 an apple for each jar. Peaches and other very soft fruits don't work quite as well. Cover the container and put it in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Pour Vinegar & Stir
Once the milk has reached 120 degrees (F), remove it from the heat and pour in the vinegar. Stir for 1-2 minutes then set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse the Curds
Pour the pot's contents into the strainer and rinse and stir the curds with cool water for about two minutes to remove any residual vinegar taste.
Step 6: Jar Time...
Divide the contents into 5 mason jars. The yield should be about 1 cup per jar, but may be a bit less. You can now add a splash of half and half to each jar.
Step 7: Add Fruit, Chia Seeds, and Nuts
Add the fresh fruit first. Next add one taplespoon of chia seeds to each jar. Finally, top with a few nuts of your choice. I don't recommend stirring until you're ready to eat.
Step 8: Cap & Store
Cap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (the wetter the fruit, the sooner you should eat it). You're all done!
1. This is an awesome post-exercise meal because of its high concentration of slow-releasing casein protein. However, you'll be in a world of hurt if you eat this as a pre-exercise meal.
2. Even if you're dead tired when you finish making this, take a few minutes to rinse out your strainer and pot. If you don't, the curds will dry to a cement-like consistency and will be almost impossible to remove from both the strainer and the pot.
3. Here are some links to the products I use:
Mason Jars: http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Wide-Mouth-Quart-Bands/dp/B005T6FBOK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375720353&sr=8-1&keywords=wide+mouth+mason+jars