Quark, The Perfect Sour Cream Substitute | Healthy Food of the Day

[ 8 ] March 21, 2008 |



Quark cheese is a healthy substitute for sour cream that’s low in fat, high in protein and tastes great! 

Love sour cream heaped on baked potatoes, nachos or even in your favorite veggie dip but hate the high fat and high calories?

It’s time for you to discover the wonders of Quark, a thick yogurt-type cheese. Quark is a great, healthy substitute for sour cream in terms of both flavor and consistency, and blows it out of the water on the nutritional front. 

Okay, so it has a funny name. But once you get past that, Quark dPicture of Appel Farms Quark from German Deli.comeserves a spot in the refrigerator of anyone who is interested in healthy eating.

So what is Quark and why should I make it a regular part of my daily diet?

Traditional Quark is a fresh cheese from Central Europe.  It can be solid (but soft), or thick and creamy (like sour cream.) Historically, it’s been made with whole milk, which of course means it has full-fat as well. However, a number of companies have recently introduced Quark made from low-fat or fat-free milk, which makes it a very healthy alternative to things like sour cream and even cream cheese.  It’s similar to yogurt cheese or Greek strained yogurt, but a bit thicker and richer in taste. This makes it perfect as a sour cream substitute.



The primary manufacturer of Quark for sale in grocery stores is Appel Farms in Ferndale, WA.  They offer it in three varieties: a full-fat version, low-fat version and fat-free version. The full-fat you’ll want to pass on, but the other two are outstanding additions to a healthy diet. If your local grocer doesn’t carry it, consider asking them to. It’s worth the trouble. Or you can buy it online at German Deli.

How Healthy Is It?

Aside from the fantastic taste and consistency, Quark is great, low-fat, high protein substitute for sour cream.  Let’s take a look at it from a nuritional standpoint. A cup of fat-free Appel Farms Quark has:

Calories: 70 calories
Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 70 mg
Carbs:  4 g
Protein: 13 g

Now let’s compare that to an equal amount of  low fat sour cream :

Calories: 128
Fat: 7.3 g
Cholesterol: 18 mg
Sodium: 73 mg
Carbs:  11 g
Protein: 3.7 g

I won’t even freak you out with a comparison to full-fat sour cream. Let’s just say that in all respects, the Quark beats sour cream and low-fat sour cream hands-down.

How Do You Use Quark? 

Quark can be used anywhere that you would normally use sour cream or cream cheese. You can spread it on whole-grain bagels;  pile it on top of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes; whip it up into Ranch-style or creamy dressings for salads or greens;  use it on tacos, burritos or taco salads;  and even make an amazing low-fat veggie dip.  It can also be used in baking to make healthier versions of dishes like lasagna and … yes … even cheesecake.

If you’ve ever tried substituting plain fat-free yogurt for sour cream but just found the flavor a bit off, you’ll want to try quark. It’s much closer in flavor and texture to sour cream than most yogurts (including greek-style yogurts.)

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Category: Healthy Eating

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Comments (8)

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  1. Helga Bayley (1 comments) says:

    This is all very well. I know Qurk from Germany and love it, Question: WHER CAN I BUY IT IN USAi would buy it 10- 20 pounds and keep it in the freezer if I know a reliable sourcePLEASE HELP

  2. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Helga, thanks for stopping by.

    Quark is becoming much more available in grocery stores these days, although it’s still hit or miss. I buy mine from Appel Farms. However, it comes in small containers.

    I would recommend contacting Appel Farms directly and finding out whether you can purchase it in larger quantities. You can reach them from their website:

    http://www.appel-farms.com/pages/quark.html

    If you have a Whole Foods market nearby, you might also check there. They seem to carry it at most locations as well.

    Best of luck and thanks for stopping by.

  3. BMI Calculator (1 comments) says:

    Good point, I haven’t spent too much time looking for Quark but it seems like a product that I should give a try.

  4. James (8 comments) says:

    I’m having trouble with the search function on here. I’m looking for a post from a few weeks ago, but I’m not finding what I’m looking for. Is it accurate? The entry was really something I’d enjoy reading again.

  5. Jane (3 comments) says:

    Quark is one of my favorites (especially on Mexican!!) Just surfing round your blog – very interesting – thanks

  6. Friederike (1 comments) says:

    I also love Quark, but have never seen it in an American store sold( except a german specialty store, but there it was really expensive and had preservative in it. My favorite recipe to sue it in is German cheese cake.I used to substitute it w/ cottage cheese, but it is so different. But what i do now, I make yogurt( easy and fast from milk and yogurt) and put it in a colander w/ a thin dishtowel and let the whey leak out. i let it sit for a few hours. It is close to Quark. I hope they sell it soon here is Southern California. it is so good. And well I love it best 40% fat,not fat free, sorry.

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