Sweet & Savory Summer Pairings

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Summer is a time for pool parties, barbecues, and delicious in season produce. Whether you’re in the backyard, at a park, or at the beach, celebrate summer with easy, nutritious and delicious sweet & savory food pairings.

No need to fire up the stove, the focus here is cottage cheese! Yes, cottage cheese can be the foundation to a nutrient-rich meal.

One serving of low fat cottage cheese contains 13 grams of protein and only 90 calories! That’s sweet news for muscle and your waistline. Cottage cheese can improve the overall nutrition profile of a recipe by increasing the protein content, decreasing calories and lowering the fat content, especially when substituted for other cheese choices.


Savory Pairings:

  • Red Peppers, Sunflower Seeds + Cottage Cheese
  • Kale and Rosemary Almonds + Cottage Cheese
  • Tomatoes with Cilantro & Avocado + Cottage Cheese
  • Marinated Artichokes & Sun-dried tomatoes + Cottage Cheese
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Hazelnuts + Cottage Cheese


Sweet Pairings:

  • Mandarin Oranges & Toasted Almonds + Cottage Cheese
  • Bananas & Pecans + Cottage Cheese
  • Granny Smith Apples & Cinnamon + Cottage Cheese
  • Grapefruit with Mint & Honey + Cottage Cheese
  • Dried Figs with Pistachios & Cardamom + Cottage Cheese
  • Cranberries + Cottage cheese


Savory Cranberry Cornbread Muffins with a Cheesy Herb Core

These sweet and savory cornbread muffins will be a tasty compliment to a hearty summer salad!

Prep: 10-15 minutes

Bake: 15-20 minutes

Makes: 12 servings


Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup cranberries, roughly chopped

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Cottage Cheese (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (can also substitute canola oil)

Cheesy Core Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely grated cheese (used a mix of parmesan + sharp white cheddar)
  • ½ Tbsp. Herbs de Provence



  1. Preheat oven to 350° First, make your cheesy core. In a bowl, combine finely grated cheese and Herbs de Provence. Grab a bit of the cheese and herbs and roll into a tight ball, repeat until you have 12 cheese balls.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center, add in all wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Fill half way up with muffin batter. Add a herby cheese ball in the center. Cover with the remaining muffin batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are set and muffins feel firm when pressed. Cool for 10 minutes before serving (muffin liner will come off the muffin easily).

Source: The Cranberry Marketing Committee and Kylie Mitchell, MPH, RDN