The Wonder That is Quark

quark (kwôrk, kwärk) quarc,  from Lower Sorbian twarog,  from Old Church Slavonic tvarog?, German,  from Middle High German].

n. A soft creamy acid-cured cheese of central Europe made from whole milk.

The photograph that you can see above is a genuine snapshot of my own fridge. My fridge will look like this at any given time. The term ‘diet staple’, fails to convey the sheer magnitude of the role that this wonderous foodstuff plays in my daily nutrition plan.

The dieters’-dream nutritional profile of fat-free cottage cheese, meets the subtle, creamy taste of Greek yoghurt. These are married in a thick, sumptious texture, akin to that of full-fat cream cheese.

It lends it self to sweet and savoury dishes alike; a perfect, versatile protein source that adds decadent creaminess wherever desired. Delicious as both the basis of a meal, or simply as an ingredient, there is little that quark can’t do in terms of diversifying and enhancing your meal plan.

Allow me to provide you with just a few examples of how to include this wondercheese in your diet.

For a chocolatey, cheesecake-style treat, take your quark, add a tablespoon of cocoa, a tablespoon of peanut butter, sweetener to taste, a dash of cinnamon and a hearty smattering of dark chocolate chips. This, in itself, is pretty damned delicious, but throw in a mashed banana and you have Heaven-in-a-bowl.

Stewed fruit and quark are a match made in heaven. I would especially recommend rhubarb, pears, apples and plums, as these all stew up a treat. Simply select your fruit, peel if necessary, and cook in a small amount of boiling wate, adding sweetener (I use Splenda or Stevia) and cinnamon to taste (if you’re anything like me, cinnamon ‘to taste’ is the best part of a container). And voila, stewed fruit of choice is ready to roll. All that required now is a bowl, a spoon and the all important quark. Combine, mix and consume immediately.

For all you savoury lovers out there, try combining quark with some online slots fat-free yoghurt, a chopped onion, garlic, fresh parsley, dill and mint, a dash of cumin and a touch of lemon juice, for a very tasty dip. Add salt and prepper to taste, then attack with some raw veggie crudités for a supremely tasty snack.

Quark is a fantastic substitute for cream, in pasta sauces. It also works wonders for a lower-calorie, yet deceptively creamy mashed potato, that in turn can be used as a topping for family favourites, such as shepherd’s pie.

It can also be sweetened, and used as a cream-like side or topping for cake and other desserts (it”s excellent with Banana & Rhubarb Loaf!).

There are a myriad of quark-friendly recipes out there- not only those that already feature the miracle cheese, but a world of others, that would seriously benefit from a quark-style health makeover.

And here’s the best news: Each 100g of quark contains a mere 69 calories, a fabulous 12g protein, a virtuous 0g fat, and just 4g carbs.

I could wax lyrical about the magnificent taste-sensation that is quark, but I feel that I have sung it’s much-deserved praises quite enough for one day. All that is left now is for you to scour your shops, supermarkets and shelves for your very own tub (or twelve) of the wonderstuff. May it bring as much joy and satisfaction to your diet plan, as it has mine.

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