Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dairy, Don ‘cha Know? The Scoop on Cottage Cheese.

I had read that you can dehydrate cottage cheese, so I told Mike about it.  He doesn’t eat much cottage cheese, and we rarely cook with it, but I go through phases where I really enjoy it every day.  The problem is, sometimes it goes bad before I can finish a large container.

We decided to buy both large curd and small curd cottage cheese. The large curd was for me to eat and the small curd for dehydrating. We figured the small curd would dehydrate faster.  as soon as I've got a few racks empty, I'm going to try large curd.
Mix Well
The first thing to do is make sure it’s thoroughly stirred to get an even mixture of curds and liquid.

I spread some out on fruit leather trays. Some I made ¼ cup plops from some. I lightly spritzed the trays with unflavored no-stick spray.

This was dried at 115 degrees for about three days.

A Bark

They both dried into a bark.  In the end, I decided that it was easier to store it all together, rather than trying to keep portions separated.  I ate some dry and it was extremely hard. I played around with rehydrating it.

Soaked as-is

First, I took a little just as it is and soaked it in water.

Five Hours Later

It took five hours of soaking, but it rehydrated perfectly. I simply drained the water off and ate it.  I couldn’t tell it had been rehydrated.

Coarse Grind and Powder

While waiting for the first batch to rehydrate, I wondered if smaller bits might rehydrate faster, so I buzzed it in the food processer before soaking it. then I decided to run some through my Magic Bullet to powder it fine.

Whole, coarse grind, and powdered

I found that the coarse grind and the powdered cottage cheese both took about three to four hours.  (Don’t know for sure, I took a nap and it was four hours before I checked it again.)

The result was that the ground cottage cheese did rehydrate faster, but I didn’t care for the texture. It was almost like clumpy milk. I’m thinking it might work in casserole recipes, but for just regular eating, I found the whole dried cottage cheese more palatable.

From this point, I guess it’s up to personal preferences as to what you may like.


  1. might be good to put if u r making lasagna or a cassarole if u can still cook

  2. How long can you store it for?

  3. I imagine you could use a cheese cloth to drain some of the liquid first. I hate having an item in for 3 days.... Some many more things to dehydrate. Lol

    1. I made another post on cottage cheese. Used my salad spinner to get rid of the extra liquid. It was fantastic as a dip!

  4. In a mason jar with an oxygen pack.... 30 years.
    In just a mason jar 3 depending on humidity.

  5. I LOVE cottage cheese! Wish I had known this when I hiked the Appalachian Trail. I dehydrated all my own food and had things like shepherds pie often. I love cottage cheese with meals like that and would have LOVE to have had this. My dehydrator is sitting next to me finishing some apples, next up.. cottage cheese! May I share this on my blog? http://www.nowwhatssheupto.blogspot.com/

    1. Yes, please do, as long as you include a link back to my blogspot!

  6. Your contents are wonderful and advisory.
    sydney spreets

    1. Thanks so much. YOu know, they say necessity is the mother of invention. I am soooo needy! (chuckle)

  7. I go in fits and starts with the dehydrator. I have done a great many things in it over the years. But I think I'll stick to the other stuff seeing as cottage cheese is better off fresh made than from store or dehydrated.

    1. Hi Lizabeth,

      Yes, for most people it is better fresh. It's a personal preference thing.

      However, I am always experimenting with things of this nature because I think in terms of disasters, both short and long-term.

      For people who can't afford the rising prices of dairy products, and they need a steady supply, this is an alternative. Refrigerating or freezing for the long term isn't feasible as you deal with molding and freezer burn, plus the monthly cost of electricity. To say nothing of 40% to 60% of nutrient loss by freezing

      For some of us, as long as the nutrition is fairly stable, then it's worth the effort to dehydrate cottage cheese. Plus, it's ideal for traveling or camping without having to lug an ice chest along.

  8. I am so very glad to have stumbled across your blog. I am now dehydrating things from my freezer 1) to clean out freezer; 2) to make food longer term storage 3) so much easier to store & less space & weight of dehydrated foods 4) I can prepare the food , load the dehydrator, set time & temp and multi task while the dehydrator works. Right now I have 3 dehydrator...sometimes all of them working at one time. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  9. help please !!! hi this is my 1st time on here . i just kinda found you while looking for imfo on dehydrating foods. have never done it and i am looking to buy a dehydrater. would you share which is best . if anyone has any imfo on recipes or the machine itself, how to do it and times i would be interested in your thoughts. anything would help. to anonymous, you have three with which you dehydrate, which do you reccomend, thanks to all

    1. I have used the American Harvester for nearly twenty years. It's a wonderful machine.

      Recently, someone gave me a small Excalibur machine. It is also a good machine.

      Here is a post where you can find comparisons to the machines on the market.


      Basically, all you need is a machine with a blower and a thermostat. You do NOT need a timer, because the drying time has three variables - moisture content of the food, size of the pieces of food, and ambient humidity where you live. In other words, if you are in a humid client or in rainy weather, it will take longer to dry than if you are in an arid climate.

      You need a thermostat because meats need to be dehydrated at 140 degrees and fruits and veggies need to be dehydrated at no higher than 115 degrees. (Dry them too fast and you may develop CASE HARDENING - see my post on case hardening)

      American Harvester can take up to 12 racks - one model can take 30 racks, where as the Excalibur is a boxed unit with a specific number of racks, smaller units only hold four to six racks.

      The American Harvester is significantly less expensive than the Excalibur.

      One nice feature of the Excalibur is that each rack has a flexible removable screen, making it very easy to pour dried foods into a container. The American Harvester's round racks do not do that. However, I over came that problem by dumping my dried food into a large flat plastic container.

      Another minor irritant with the Excalibur is the location of the blower. It is in the back. If you open the front to check on your food, light weight things will blow out all over the place. This can be overcome by simply turning off the machine.

      The Excalibur is considered one of the best. However, My American Harvesters have performed without a hitch for nearly twenty years.

      Why would I spend money on a Cadillac when a Ford does the job just as well?

    2. By the way, keep checking at your local thrift stores. You can often find a perfectly good American Harvester for $5.00. Thanks to foolish people who don't get what you can do with these wonderful machines.

      Over several years, I found enough machines from $5 to $10 (less than the cost to buy two additional racks) to have three complete machines with 12 racks each.