High Protein Strawberry Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Bars!
If you’ve been curious about that viral TikTok trend, you MUST make these high protein strawberry cottage cheese ice cream bars!
do you jump on viral food trends?
I don’t know about you but I am a SUCKER for new and especially viral food trends. Dalgona candy? Check. Sprite Pie? Check. Oreo Cake? Well, you get the picture.
That said, when I kept seeing videos for cottage cheese ice cream, I didn’t leap at the chance to make it myself. While I’ve tried the one-ingredient banana nice cream recipe, I could at least get on board because I like bananas in general. But cottage cheese? Yes, I know it’s healthy, yes I know it’s high in protein, but I’ve got a major texture issue that made this a pass.
But this trend was NOT going away – so when the nice folks at Naked Nutrition asked me to use their newest protein powder in a recipe I thought, “challenge accepted”!
Ella is the protein powder you need for glowing skin, strong hair and healthy nails!
I was already a fan of Naked Nutrition’s Protein Banana Bread mix (remember those doughnuts I made a while back?). We love it in smoothies, pancakes and banana bread for Noah. Ella is part of their new women’s wellness line, and I was excited to try it. It’s got all the things you want in a blend for beautiful skin, hair and nails – collagen, hyaluronic acid, zinc and biotin – and it is very high in protein too! One serving contains a whopping 20 grams of protein, which is something I’m always trying to take in more of.
Ella was a perfect match for the cottage cheese ice cream trend!
Initially I was going to use Ella in a protein bar, but I couldn’t resist trying out that cottage cheese ice cream – I had to see if it was worth the hype, and if I could make it work as an actual dessert that tasted good too!
I did a LOT of research on this trend!
So I got to work – and as is the case with many viral trends there were a LOT of reviews, some good and some awful. Here were the takeaways:
- much like banana ice cream, the main ingredient’s flavor – in this case, cottage cheese – was very noticeable
- though a run in the food processor resulted in a creamy texture, once frozen the texture tended to turn icy
- because of the icy texture the ice cream was hard to scoop straight from the freezer, and needed a few minutes on the counter to soften up
I decided to “lean in” to these challenges!
I learned with the banana ice cream that no amount of flavor additions or mix ins would make it taste less “banana-y”. So I decided to work with the “cheese” in the cottage cheese and immediately thought of cheesecake. I knew that the tangy flavor would be very similar, and chose my flavorings to complement – in this case, strawberries and graham crackers!
More research revealed that sticking the mixture in the freezer would definitely result in an icier texture. I knew from making sorbets and granitas that frequent stirring during the freezing process is key to a smooth texture so I did just that. And it worked like a charm!
And rather than serve the ice cream up in scoops I opted to layer it with the strawberry puree and graham cracker crust to make ice cream bars. As the bars were sliced instead of scooped this made for easier serving too!
what ingredients do you need to make high protein strawberry cottage cheese ice cream bars?
You need very few ingredients to make this treat:
- whole milk full fat cottage cheese
- Ella vanilla flavored protein powder
- fresh strawberries
- graham crackers
- granulated sugar (optional)
how do you make this cottage cheese ice cream recipe?
You’ll start by making the cottage cheese ice cream. Using a high-speed blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend the cottage cheese, honey and protein powder till very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for 90 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes.
Clean out the processor and add your strawberries and honey, blending till smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Clean out the processor once more and add the graham crackers. Process into crumbs and place in a parchment-lined loaf pan, along with melted butter and sugar (if using). Blend well with a fork and press evenly into the pan. Keep in the freezer till ready to use.
Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture into the pan and smooth into an even layer. Top with half the strawberry puree and repeat the layering once more. Use a thin knife to swirl the puree into the ice cream and return to the freezer for a minimum of 3 – 4 hours.
Let sit on the counter for a few minutes, slice and serve!
frequently asked questions!
what does strawberry cheesecake cottage cheese ice cream taste like?
I was THRILLED to discover that this cottage cheese ice cream tastes like a slice of strawberry cheesecake! Definitely not like traditional ice cream BUT a healthier alternative, using simple ingredients that you can find at the grocery store!
what other mix-ins can you use?
Sky's the limit here! Chocolate chips, peanut butter, espresso powder, your favorite fruits, you name it! Top with sprinkles, whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate or all of the above. I didn't do it here because I wanted a true strawberry cheesecake experience, but I also read that adding a frozen banana helps create a creamier texture, along with the frequent stirring I referenced above.how do you store the ice cream?I'd store it in an airtight container, and eat within a week for the best texture.
can you use a sweetener other than honey?
Absolutely! You can go with your choice of sweetener, I know that maple syrup and agave syrup are popular options.
Will you try it? At the end of the day this high-protein dessert definitely satisfies that ice cream craving, and is a good alternative if you’re looking for a simple summer recipe. It takes just a couple of minutes, doesn’t require an ice cream maker and is a truly yummy sweet treat.
Is it the same as regular ice cream? No. There’s no mistaking it for the real deal, but this TikTok hack definitely has its place in my kitchen – and is especially appreciated as a high protein treat that actually tastes good!
I look forward to trying different variations and would love to hear how you make this viral recipe your own!
High Protein Strawberry Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Bars!
- 15 - 16 ounce container whole milk cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey, divided
- 2 scoops Ella vanilla flavored protein powder
- 10 graham crackers, to yield 1 1/4 cups crumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- Using a high-speed blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend the cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of the honey and the protein powder till very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for 90 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Clean out the processor and add the strawberries and the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey, blending till smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Clean out the processor once more and add the graham crackers. Process into crumbs and place in a parchment-lined loaf pan, along with the melted butter and sugar (if using). Blend well with a fork and press evenly into the pan. Keep in the freezer till ready to use.
- Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture into the pan and smooth into an even layer. Top with half the strawberry puree and repeat the layering once more. Use a thin knife to swirl the puree into the ice cream and return to the freezer for a minimum of 3 - 4 hours.
- Let sit on the counter for 5 - 10 minutes, slice and serve.