You’ve surely noticed that the yogurt aisle’s selection has exploded in recent years. The variations of cultured dairy seem to have no end: Greek, skyr, goat, coconut. Quark can now be included in the mix. Do you know what a quark is? Quark is steadily gaining acceptance as a suitable yogurt (or cottage cheese or cream cheese) substitute because it isn’t quite cheese and not quite yogurt.
Quark is a terrific healthy baking option if you’re attempting to stay on top of eating a little bit healthier because it’s low in calories and fat. We couldn’t help ourselves; we had to learn more about this ingredient that appears to be becoming increasingly popular every day. This seemingly magical milk product can be incorporated into many recipes and is said to be healthy.
Quark Nutrition Facts
What is Quark?
Regarding Quark, milk is the primary ingredient, just like yogurt, buttermilk, or cream. The main distinction is that more liquid will be extracted during the process, making Quark a thicker dairy product than the others. Pasteurized skim milk is heated until it curdles—when the solid and liquid components separate—after being combined with lactic acid bacteria and rennet. Quark, a creamy, thick, and faintly sour wonder, are what remains after straining.
Depending on the desired fat content level, the cream may be added in addition to the Quark. In Germany, there is the “basic” skimmed Quark (known as Magerquark), which has less than 10% fat by dry mass, but you can also find Quark with a higher fat level—between 20 and 40% fat by dry mass—which is slightly sweeter than the skimmed version.
Taste of Quark
Quark is similar to yogurt and cottage cheese since it is mild and creamy. We believe it to be a little bit of both. It has the consistency of thick yogurt but is mild and neither sweet nor sour like cottage cheese. The final product will depend on how thoroughly it was strained. However, it can be made extremely smooth and provide a silky final product by being forced through a fine mesh.
How is it Made?
Quark is produced using a bacterial starting culture as a fermented form of dairy.
The cheesemakers adhere to the following procedures, according to the department of food science at the University of Guelph:
- After heating skim milk to a temperature of 62°C, producers add a Lactococcus bacterial starter when the milk cools down to 32°C. Usually, the particular strain of bacteria is Streptococcus lactis or cremoris.
- The milk is left to rest for around five hours until it forms a gel-like consistency.
- At this point, the PH of the cheese is around 4.8, and when the curd is cut, liquid whey leaks out.
- Next, the cheesemakers slowly stir the curd to break it up and gently heat it to a temperature of 52°C.
- Once the curd has a firm consistency, it is taken off the heat, drained, and stored.
No special equipment is necessary to make Quark, so if anyone feels adventurous, you only need the starter culture to make your own.
How Healthy is Quark?
Calcium, found to improve bone strength, is abundant in Quark, which also has a low-calorie count. Quark is popular among sportspeople as a cheap and efficient protein source to promote healthy muscle building. The German proverb “Quark macht stark” (literally, “Quark makes strong”) attests to the popularity of Quark among Germans.
Since it naturally contains less of the substance than most other dairy products and most Quark versions don’t need it for the actual forming process, it’s considered a healthier option than cottage cheese and yogurt. Quark is also vegetarian because it doesn’t include rennet, which some other cheeses do.
Where to Find Quark?
You won’t always be able to find Quark at your local grocery shop, but you can be sure that it is available. Quark is still mostly unknown to most North Americans. While it’s not generally accessible, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s will likely carry it. There are a few internet vendors who will ship quark right to your door if you can’t find it in your city. Quark is frequently acceptable for lactose-intolerant people because it only contains modest levels of lactose (between 2 and 4 grams per 100-gram meal). However, there are also an increasing number of dairy-free, nut-based, and lactose-free quark options.
Substitutes for Quark
Quark can be replaced, but it relies much on the recipe if you still can’t locate it nearby. Quark is a possible replacement because it tastes similar to yogurt; however, yogurt is typically not as thick, so you may need to modify your recipe to consider that. However, you may generally use yogurt or sour cream for Quark in batters or doughs, making adjustments as necessary. Replace it with cream cheese or crème fraîche for making dips.
Best Quark Recipes
Quark recipes are great in that they encompass both sweet and savory ideas. Whether you enjoy it by itself, stirred through savory meals for a creamy addition, or use it to make healthier desserts; the options for using Quark in recipes are endless:
- Quark Cheesecakes Quark cheesecakes are a long-standing favorite from the Quark-loving community. Used in the place of cream cheese, it gives a similarly creamy flavor with the firm texture you need to be able to cut nice, clean slices. Our favorite is Slimming World’s chocolate vanilla cheesecake. Made with a combination of vanilla yogurt, Quark and Bourbon biscuits, it tastes rich and indulgent despite its healthy credentials!
- Quark Dips If you fancy a cooling dip but don’t want to rack up lots of extra calories, you can substitute Quark for sour cream. Season it with salt, pepper and a handful of chopped chives for a cooling nacho-topper or mix through finely chopped cucumber and mint for a healthy twist on tzatziki.
- Quark cakes Quark can be used in place of fat in some cake recipes, helping to hold the ingredients together. The mild flavor is the perfect base for other ingredients, and its texture gives a light finish to baking. Use it combined with a little oil in the place of butter.
- Quark Breads You can make Quark bread using just two ingredients – Quark and flour. Mix around 200g of strong bread flour with 250g Quark and knead together until you have a smooth dough. Roll out into discs, grill, and bake or fry until golden and crisp. You can season this mixture any way you like or flavor it with herbs, spices or condiments. We love ours as wraps for homemade kebabs or to make a per-peri chicken sandwich.
- Quark mousses If you think achieving a light-as-air texture from Quark is impossible, think again. This simple dairy product can be whipped up, just like cream, until it becomes a fluffier version of itself. Stir through half the quantity of melted dark chocolate to your whipped Quark and leave to set for an almost fat-free chocolate mousse dessert.
- Quark curries If you love a korma or a butter chicken but want to cut down on calories, then these could be the Quark recipes for you. Instead of using cream, yogurt or butter, stir through a couple of tablespoons of Quark towards the end of cooking for a creamy and smooth finish.
- Quark pastas If there’s one thing we miss when trying to be good, it’s rich, indulgent pasta dishes made with plenty of cream or cheese. Substituting Quark for these more commonly used dairy ingredients lowers the fat needed and gives a lovely finish. For instance, Slimming World’s mac ‘n’ cheese uses Quark for the bulk of its sauce, and it tastes fantastic. We also love using it instead of a white sauce in lasagne; season well and spread over pasta sheets, between layers of Bolognese sauce, and bake in the oven for a gorgeous rich finish.
How Should you Incorporate Quark into your Diet?
Think of Quark as a cross between Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, so you may eat it any way you like those things, suggests Russell. You can choose between salty and sweet options because the flavor is modest. One of the easiest ways is to eat it with a spoon as a snack, similar to how you would like yogurt, and top it with fruit, granola, or chopped almonds.
But the options are essentially limitless: Use it in muffin batters, stir it into tuna salad in place of mayo, use it as the base for parfaits, blend it into smoothies and dips, spoon dollops on baked potatoes, tacos, pancakes, or even pizza, whisk it into dressings for a creamy salad topping, or spread it on toast or a bagel before adding your favorite sweet or savory toppings, such as sliced pear or smoked salmon.
One of the healthiest dairy products you can buy is Quark, a fantastic source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Thanks to its remarkable adaptability, Quark can be a practical and healthful addition to any diet.
Exploring new foods is exciting, and if yogurt’s acidity doesn’t appeal to your palate, Quark can be a tasty (and nutrient-dense) substitute. However, skipping Quark won’t harm your health and nutrition if you are already happy with the dairy selections on your daily menu and consume many complete foods.
Due to its high protein content, Quark is widely regarded as nutritious, indicating that it is significantly more filling than components like cream without being as fatty. Additionally, it has a lot of Vitamin A, which can benefit eyesight, and B vitamins, which support our neural systems, and this helps maintain our bones, teeth, and hair health.