Farmer Cheese: What It Is and How To Eat It - Erin's Inside Job

Farmer Cheese: What It Is and How To Eat It

I love farmer cheese, but not may people know what it is. See how this protein-packed snack can fit into your eating lifestyle!

This Farmer Cheese post is sponsored by Lifeway.

You may or may not know about my obsession with farmer cheese. There was a period when I was eating it every day and then for some reason, as happens with almost every product that I love, my local grocery store stopped carrying it. WHYYYYYYY.

I’ve gotten back into it and have been wanting to write this post for some time. I begged the people at Lifeway (actually since last year) to help me spread my love for farmer cheese and HERE WE ARE. A quick, nitty gritty about what it is and how to eat it. Simple as that. Enjoy!

What is farmer cheese?

According to Lifeway, farmer cheese is

a low-fat, low-calorie cultured soft cheese made with our Old World recipe. With its distinctive, tangy flavor, it adds richness to all of your favorite dishes. Packed with probiotics, it’s nutritious and delicious.

Lifeway Farmer Cheese

I feel like that description could use a few more details, so what I tell most people is that the consistency is a drier, denser form of cottage cheese. It doesn’t have the distinct flavor of cottage cheese, which I prefer because I think it makes it more versatile. The taste is milder and a little tangier than cottage cheese.

What I like about foods like kefir and farmer’s cheese is that they are 99% lactose free. I’m somewhat sensitive to lactose, so a lot of it doesn’t make me feel great (but tastes delicious). Having either product doesn’t hurt my stomach or cause me to experience bloating like full-on dairy does. If you have an actual dairy allergy, this probably isn’t for you, but if you’re mildly sensitive to it then this may be a good choice.

The biggest thing I like about farmer cheese is its protein content. In one of the 5 oz containers, there are 14 grams of protein. I prefer high protein snacks like Greek yogurt, turkey bacon, and even protein bars throughout the day because my body responds better to them and they keep me fuller longer, so this fits perfectly.

To recap, here are some of the top health benefits of farmer cheese:

  • high in protein and calcium
  • 12 probiotic cultures
  • 99% lactose-free
  • gluten-free

How do you eat it?

Farmer cheese has actually been around for a very long time, although most of its popularity was abroad in Eastern European cooking. It seems to be less known in the U.S., but slowly, and thanks to brands like Lifeway, it’s making a comeback.

There are easy as well as more complex ways to incorporate farmer cheese into your diet, which goes to show you its versatility. My preferred method is something quick, whether that means eating one of the single-serving cups or spreading the plain flavor on a sandwich or piece of toast. Here is a list of other potential ways to use farmer cheese:

  • plain
  • plain + add-ins like fruit, honey, jam, etc.
  • mixed with herbs for a savory spread on bagels or toast
  • pan fried
  • filling for blintzes or pierogies
  • salad topping
  • ricotta substitute in lasagna*
  • blended with yogurt or mayo for a veggie dip
  • baked pudding or casserole (kugel)

*this recipe, as well as tons of kefir recipes, can be found in the recently released The Kefir Cookbook, which you can check out here.

Let me know your thoughts about farmer cheese — have you had it? Do you love it? How do you eat it? I’d love to know in the comments!

21 comments on “Farmer Cheese: What It Is and How To Eat It

  1. I am also lactose-intolerant. But I have mild osteoporosis, instead of taking too many calcium supplements I added plain Kefir and farmer cheese from Lifeway to my diet. Usually, I spread the farmer cheese on my sprouted toasts as breakfast. And Kefir in between meals as snacks. My stomach is happy and I am happy.
    P.S. I also always keep the Lactase Fast Act tablets from Costco in hand just in case I like to have some ice cream or desserts with dairy products once in a while. I usually chew the tablet with my first bite of dairy products. And my stomach is also very happy with that.

  2. I can’t find Lifeway farmer cheese anywhere in Oregon now. Whole Foods stopped carrying it and on Amazon you have to buy 8 and pay $67 extra shipping. Im on SCD diet and I need it!!!

    1. Tracy, try to find any Russian grocery store in Oregon, they are carrying the Lifeway farmer is traditional Russian breakfast

    2. Tracy– farmer’s cheese (or quark) is actually very easy to make and most people have most of the ingredients required in their kitchen already. Basically people use a mixture of buttermilk/milk/vinegar/lemon juice and heat in order to tease out the quark from the dairy. You’ll just want to pick up cheese cloth.

      If you do look around in Eastern European groceries, the name in Polish is twaróg and in Russian is творог. It is pronounced tfa-roog in both.

    3. It’s extremely way to make. You just need a half gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized), 1/4 cup real lemon juice or Apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt. That’s all. Slowly bring the milk to a temp of 185-195 over a medium heat. Do not let it boil. You must constantly stir. Once you hit the temp, immediately remove from heat and slowly add the lemon juice or vinegar while gently stirring in an up down motion for 1 minute. You’ll start to see the curds separate from the whey. After 1 minute, cover and leave it alone for 15-20 minutes, until it’s been fully separated. Are this point line a colander with cheese cloth or butter muslin and gently ladle the curds into the chess cloth. Tie the corners and have m hang for 2 hours, until it’s stopped dripping. Moved to a bowl and add salt to taste. Makes about a pound and lasts in the fridge for 1.5-2 weeks.

  3. It is actually extremely easy to make farmers cheese at home, all you need is milk and an acid like lemon or vinegar. And salt, if you want it. You need 1/2 cup of lemon juice/vinegar to a gallon of milk and you will end up with about 21 oz of farmers cheese. There are plenty of recipes online to give you the exact instructions.

  4. I make my own now and do not know how i did without it. Growing up in a polish family and moving away, It was a staple and I have missed it so!

  5. My grandparents and my great grandparents all came from eastern Europe. There was a dish that my grandmother would make for me when we would visit. It was her idea and her cultures idea of Mack and cheese. They would make potato noodles which made look like small penne. And they would put a cheese into it and pour hot melted butter over it and mix it all together. Cholesterol nightmare but absolutely delicious. I never knew what the cheese was that they used. I’ve To learn it was farmers cheese or the Kroger. A new international grocery store open here in Sarasota. And I found farmers cheese. I am planning for New Year’s Day to make the old-fashioned European Mack and cheese. I am hoping it taste wonderful and replaces the high fat and other things of cheddar cheese which people have used instead of the farmers cheese.

  6. Is it supposed to taste sour and slightly fermented? I’ve had mine in my fridge for a while and it may have gone bad. It’s about five days past the sell by date.

    1. It tastes a little bit sour, yes, but not too much. If you aren’t sure, I’d err on the side of caution and maybe toss it!

  7. I adore farmer’s cheese! We lived in Switzerland for 2 years and when we traveled through Germany and Austria, many dishes were cooked with farmer’s cheese. There’s a regional specialty called “Rosti” which is hash browned potatoes with eggs and farmers cheese and any vegetables you might wish to add. I really miss farmer’s cheese, farm fresh milks and yogurts and homemade potato noodles.

  8. I literally purchased farmer cheese just today! I’m so excited to try the plethora of recipes from the link to Lifeway you provided. In the meantime, this afternoon, I toasted a piece of sesame bread, added chicken, farmer cheese, avocado, and “tomato jam” WOW, that was delicious! Thank you for this article, I wish more people knew about farmer cheese. I’ll be “spreading” the word, (and the cheese)! I was recently introduced to it and it took several calls to find it in my area. (Lifeway Kiefer is
    Just amazing as well, and so many health benefits too). Thanks again! Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.