What does it take to become a bestseller? Whether we’re talking about a movie, a book, a household item or a food product, it’s never easy to win over the hearts and minds of the general public. So what does it take to become all the rage?
Let’s talk about the rise of a food product and break it down.
First of all, it must taste good, if not great.
Next, it has to be available and affordable.
And finally, it absolutely makes a difference if it happens to healthy, too.
Quark cheese, a lesser-known dairy product, meets all of the above criteria, with the result that it’s poised to become the next best thing.
It has a pleasant taste, an agreeable texture, it’s becoming more available in supermarkets at a good price point and, perhaps most importantly, it’s a nutritional powerhouse.
What is Quark?
Briefly, Quark is a cheese you can eat with a spoon, with a look and consistency similar to that of Greek yogurt. It’s made from soured milk and tastes a bit like yogurt but without the sharp tang.
It comes in plain or multiple flavors and can be eaten on its own or used in a variety of recipes.
Quark has been popular in Northern Europe for some time (in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia and some areas in the Mediterranean). In fact, in these places Quark is often a part of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But the real secret weapon, the reason that it’s poised to become a “bestseller,” is Quark’s nutrition data.
Major benefits of Quark
You just can’t go wrong adding this European superfood to your diet. Quark is naturally:
- Fat free
- Sodium free
- Almost sugar free (a trace amount is normal in all dairy products)
- Low in calories
- High in protein
Quark cheese nutrition
The nutritional value of Quark depends on the type of milk that’s used to make it.
For example, the fat content in milk can range from 1% to 40% depending on what type of milk is used (e.g. buttermilk, whole milk, low-fat milk, skim milk, yogurt, cream or kefir).
The kind of milk used will affect the taste and texture, but most significantly it will impact the calorie count. Obviously, low-fat milk will make a Quark with fewer calories.
Additional Quark cheese benefits
- It’s vegetarian: Quark is made without rennet, which is an animal enzyme used to coagulate milk.
- It’s gluten free.
- It’s all-natural: there are zero synthetic ingredients.
- It’s kosher: Quark is kosher certified by the Orthodox Union.
Quark is probiotic
If you’re discussing health and wellness, there’s a good chance the word “probiotic” will come up.
Probiotics are the good type of bacteria that promotes a healthy immune system, a problem-free gut, and is also believed to reduce depression. Without probiotics, the bad bacteria in your body can run rampant and wreak havoc on your overall health.
One reason yogurt sales are so high is because it’s common knowledge that they’re made with probiotics (otherwise known as “live cultures”). But guess what? Quark is probiotic too!
Quark is low in lactose
Speaking of healthy stomachs, many people are lactose intolerant. This means that they have difficulty digesting lactose, which is an enzyme present in milk.
While Quark isn’t technically lactose free, it does have a significantly lower lactose level than yogurt or other cheeses.
Lactose content in 100 g:
- Quark: 2.7 g
- Yogurt: 3.2 g
- Cottage cheese: 3.3 g
- Low-fat milk: 5.0 g
- Processed cheese: 6.3 g
Because of Quark’s lower lactose levels, some folks who generally steer clear of dairy are able to enjoy small amounts of Quark with no negative reactions.
Quark is clean eating
Since the goal of clean eating is to ingest only whole, unprocessed or “real” foods, there’s no reason you can’t include Quark in your diet. Not only is Quark cheese natural (meaning no synthetics added), it’s low in sugar and high in protein.
Incorporating Quark into a lifestyle that combines a healthy diet and exercise is an all around awesome idea.
More Quark nutrition facts
As you can see, Quark is all-natural and good for your gut, thanks to probiotics and low amounts of lactose. Let’s take a look at other components that make Quark a nutritional superstar.
Amount of protein in a 6 oz. serving:
- Quark: 17 grams
- Yogurt: 6 grams
- Cottage cheese: 21 grams
A word about protein:
We’d be nothing without protein! It’s the nutrient that gives us energy, moves oxygen throughout our bodies, and helps to maintain our immune systems and nerves. We need protein for strong muscles, especially as we age.
Amount of Calories in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 90
- Yogurt: 100
- Cottage cheese: 175
Amount of cholesterol in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 1 mg
- Yogurt: 13 mg
- Cottage cheese: 28 mg
Amount of carbohydrates in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 7 g
- Yogurt: 7.9 g
- Cottage cheese: 5.7 g
Amount of sugar in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 6 g
- Yogurt: 7 g
- Cottage cheese: 8.3 g
A word about sugar:
Quark contains no added sugars, but trace amounts are present (in the form of lactose). This is a natural occurrence in dairy products.
Sodium in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 50 mg
- Yogurt: 61 mg
- Cottage cheese: 616 mg
Calcium in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 20% of daily value
- Yogurt: 18% – 25% of daily value
- Cottage cheese: 15% of daily value
A word about calcium:
Did you know that we don’t produce calcium on our own? However, our bodies need it to build strong muscles and to keep our organs healthy. That’s why calcium rich foods (like Quark) are important!
Potassium in a 6 oz. serving
- Quark: 4% of daily value
- Yogurt: 6% of daily value
- Cottage cheese: 0% of daily value
Vitamins and Quark
There’s even more to Quark than proteins and minerals; it has a good supply of vitamins, too.
How to use Quark
Now that we’ve illustrated Quark’s nutritional value, here are some tips on how to get the most out of this delicious, versatile ingredient.
As a meal
First of all, you can eat plain Quark directly out of the container with a spoon. In this way it’s as convenient as it is tasty! For a more complete morning meal, try it mixed with cereal, granola or fresh fruit.
It also works well as a topping for toast, crackers, biscuits or scones. It can be customized in so many different ways: add anything from honey and fruit to sea salt caramel flavor!
As a sauce or dip
Quark’s creamy texture makes it perfect for creating a specialty sauce (for pasta, fish or salad) or a dip (for chips or vegetables).
As a stuffing
Use Quark instead of ricotta cheese for a lighter (yet no less tasty) lasagna or moussaka. Try it mixed with spinach and herbs for a new twist on stuffed chicken breasts. As a soft cheese, is works great in many recipes!
As a substitute
Switch up your dessert menu by using Quark instead of heavier dairy ingredients like sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta, or mascarpone. We can’t say enough good things about cheesecakes made with Quark!
Lesser-known benefits of Quark
Just when you think Quark can’t get any better, you learn that it has a lot lesser-known benefits, especially outside of the kitchen.
Although it sounds strange, Quark cheese has been used by sports doctors to treat sprains. For example, when an Olympic athlete sustained a knee injury, instead of using ice to reduce swelling, she wrapped her leg in Quark (also called Topfen) cheese, and it’s reported that she healed very quickly!
In addition to helping with injuries, Quark can be used in many unique ways outside the kitchen.
The search for Quark
Now that you know the benefits of Quark cheese, you’re probably eager to get your hands on some.
Although we can’t guarantee that you’ll find it in your local grocery store (it’s more likely to be stocked in a natural food store or specialty shop), there are plenty of places where you can buy it online. One of the most well-known brands to look out for is Elli Quark.
That being said, Quark is surprisingly easy to make from scratch. So if you’re feeling up for an adventure, grab just the few required ingredients and get cooking!
Best on the block
There’s no doubt that Quark cheese nutrition is stellar.
There really isn’t any competition when it comes to healthy, protein-rich, low calorie, all-natural snacks. Plus it’s got the added bonus of being a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes, so now’s a great time to add it to your meal plan.
So go ahead and surprise your family and friends by preparing a meal with this lesser known cheese. In no time at all Quark’s popularity (and yours!) will skyrocket.