Cottage Cheese Recipes

Cottage cheese, a staple in many healthy diets, stands out for its creamy texture and mild flavor, making it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. But what exactly is cottage cheese, and how is it made? Let’s dive into the world of cottage cheese, exploring its varieties, nutritional benefits, and tips for selection and storage.

What is Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese originates from the curds of cow’s milk. The process begins with heating the milk, then adding an acidic substance, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to cause the milk to curdle. The curds that form are then separated from the whey, rinsed, and drained. The final step involves adding cream or milk to the curds, which gives cottage cheese its characteristic creamy texture. This simple, gentle process preserves the natural flavor and nutritional value of the milk, resulting in a product that’s as nutritious as it is delicious.

Different Types and Their Uses

Cottage cheese comes in several varieties, catering to different dietary needs and preferences:

  • Full-fat cottage cheese contains the highest amount of milk fat, giving it a rich taste and creamy texture. It’s perfect for those looking for a more indulgent option.
  • Low-fat cottage cheese has reduced fat content, making it a great middle-ground for those who wish to cut down on fat without sacrificing taste.
  • Non-fat cottage cheese eliminates fat content entirely, offering a leaner option for those closely monitoring their fat intake.

Each type of cottage cheese lends itself well to different culinary applications. Full-fat versions are ideal for creamy dishes and desserts, where their richness enhances the overall flavor. Low-fat and non-fat varieties are excellent in salads, smoothies, and as protein-rich snacks, providing a lighter option without compromising on texture or taste.

Nutritional Profile

Cottage cheese is celebrated for its impressive nutritional profile. High in protein yet low in calories, it serves as an excellent source of calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth. It also contains significant amounts of B vitamins, particularly B12, which plays a crucial role in energy metabolism and brain health. The protein in cottage cheese not only supports muscle repair and growth but also contributes to a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management.

Selecting and Storing Tips

When selecting cottage cheese at the store, opt for containers with the latest expiration date to ensure freshness. If possible, choose brands that use minimal additives and are known for their quality. Once you bring your cottage cheese home, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Keep it tightly sealed to prevent it from absorbing flavors from other foods, and always use a clean spoon to serve it, which helps prevent bacterial contamination.

To extend its shelf life, avoid leaving cottage cheese out at room temperature for extended periods. Ideally, consume it within a week of opening to enjoy its best quality and flavor. If you notice any off-smell, taste, or appearance, it’s safest to discard it.

Understanding these aspects of cottage cheese will enhance your culinary experience, allowing you to make informed choices that benefit your health and satisfy your palate.

How to Make Cottage Cheese Recipes?

Cottage Cheese Recipes for Breakfast

Breakfast is the cornerstone of a great day, and incorporating cottage cheese into your morning meal can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Rich in protein and versatile in nature, cottage cheese can elevate your breakfast to a new level of deliciousness and nutrition. Let’s explore three delectable cottage cheese recipes that are sure to start your day off right.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Transform your breakfast with these fluffy cottage cheese pancakes, offering a protein-packed start to your day that doesn’t skimp on flavor. To make these pancakes, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter or oil, for the pan

Simply blend the cottage cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and coat with a little butter or oil. Pour the batter onto the hot pan, forming pancakes of your desired size. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown. Serve these fluffy delights with your favorite toppings, such as fresh fruit, honey, or maple syrup.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait

For a quick and healthy start to the day, nothing beats a cottage cheese and fruit parfait. Layering cottage cheese with fruits and granola offers a balanced breakfast that combines protein, fiber, and natural sweetness. Here’s how to assemble your parfait:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1 cup mixed fresh fruits (such as berries, banana slices, and mango chunks)
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional)

Start with a layer of cottage cheese at the bottom of a glass or bowl. Add a layer of granola, followed by a generous layer of mixed fruits. Repeat the layers until the container is full, finishing with a fruit layer on top. Drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup for added sweetness if desired. This parfait not only looks impressive but is also packed with nutrients to fuel your morning.

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowls

For those who prefer a savory start to the day, savory cottage cheese bowls combine the creamy texture of cottage cheese with the fresh flavors of avocados, cherry tomatoes, and a hint of seasoning. To create this savory breakfast option, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (such as chives or parsley)

In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese with the diced avocado and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs for an extra touch of flavor and color. This bowl is not only a feast for the eyes but also a perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins to kickstart your day.

These cottage cheese breakfast recipes showcase the ingredient’s flexibility and nutritional benefits, making it easier and more delightful to enjoy a healthy, protein-rich start to your day.

Light Meals and Snacks

Elevate your light meals and snacks with the versatility of cottage cheese. From creamy salad dressings to hearty stuffed bell peppers and a delightful dip, cottage cheese proves to be more than just a breakfast staple. Its high protein content and mild flavor make it an excellent ingredient for nutritious and satisfying recipes. Let’s dive into some simple yet flavorful ways to incorporate cottage cheese into your snacks and light meals.

Cottage Cheese Salads

Cottage cheese can transform a simple salad into a creamy, protein-rich meal. Here are two salad ideas:

1. Creamy Cottage Cheese and Cucumber Salad

  • Mix 1 cup of cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, creating a light dressing.
  • Slice cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, then toss them with the cottage cheese dressing.
  • Garnish with fresh dill or parsley for an herbaceous touch.

2. Mixed Greens with Cottage Cheese

  • Place a bed of mixed greens (such as spinach, arugula, and lettuce) in a bowl.
  • Top the greens with dollops of cottage cheese, sliced avocado, toasted nuts, and a sprinkle of seeds.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a simple, yet satisfying salad.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cottage Cheese

Stuffed bell peppers with cottage cheese offer a vegetarian meal that’s both filling and packed with flavors. Here’s how to make them:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Halve bell peppers and remove the seeds. Arrange them in a baking dish.
  • In a bowl, mix 1 cup of cottage cheese with cooked quinoa, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Stuff the bell pepper halves with the cottage cheese mixture, then sprinkle with grated cheese if desired.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
  • Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs on top.

Cottage Cheese Dip

Create a quick and easy cottage cheese dip that’s perfect for veggies, chips, or as a spread for crackers. This dip is not only delicious but also a healthier alternative to store-bought options:

  • In a food processor, blend 1 cup of cottage cheese until smooth.
  • Add in your favorite herbs and spices—such as chives, dill, garlic powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice—for flavor.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • For a spicy kick, mix in a tablespoon of chopped jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Serve the dip in a bowl, garnished with a sprinkle of paprika or fresh herbs.

These recipes showcase the adaptability of cottage cheese in creating light meals and snacks that are not only easy to prepare but also nutritious and flavorful. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying snack or a light meal, these cottage cheese recipes are sure to delight your taste buds and support your health goals.

Main Dishes

Elevate your dinner game with cottage cheese as the star of your main dishes. Not only is it a lighter alternative to heavier ingredients, but its mild flavor and creamy texture also make it an excellent base for a variety of recipes. From a comforting lasagna to a succulent stuffed chicken breast and a vibrant vegetarian curry, here’s how you can transform your meals with cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Lasagna

This lighter version of the classic lasagna uses cottage cheese to create a creamy, satisfying layer without the heaviness of traditional ricotta. Here’s how to make it:

  • Start by sautéing 1 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent. Add 1 pound of ground turkey or lean beef, cooking until browned. Stir in 2 cups of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of cottage cheese with 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and a handful of chopped fresh basil.
  • Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with lasagna noodles, followed by half of the cottage cheese mixture, and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, finishing with mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Cottage Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Create a juicy and flavorful dish with this step-by-step guide to making cottage cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breasts:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Mix 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 cup of chopped spinach, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Make a horizontal cut in the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast with the cottage cheese mixture.
  • Season the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil, and sear the chicken breasts until golden on each side.
  • Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a light salad.

Vegetarian Cottage Cheese Curry

This simple and spicy vegetarian cottage cheese curry is a must-try for lovers of Indian cuisine:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds and cumin seeds, waiting until they start to pop.
  • Add 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, cooking until the onion is translucent.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala, cooking for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of cottage cheese (you can use paneer as a substitute or in addition to cottage cheese for a more traditional approach). Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 cup of frozen peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or naan bread.

These main dishes showcase the versatility of cottage cheese, proving that it can be the centerpiece of hearty and delicious meals. Whether you’re looking for comfort food or a lighter meal option, these recipes with cottage cheese are sure to impress.

Desserts and Baking

Cottage cheese is not only a versatile ingredient for savory dishes but also a secret weapon in creating lighter, protein-packed desserts and baked goods. From a healthier cheesecake to moist muffins and delicate crepes, here’s how you can indulge your sweet tooth while keeping things nutritious.

Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

This healthier cheesecake recipe substitutes traditional cream cheese with cottage cheese, offering a lighter texture without compromising on taste. Here’s the method:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  • Blend 2 cups of cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, blending until combined.
  • Beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time, ensuring the mixture is well combined.
  • Pour the batter into a prepared crust in a springform pan. You can use a graham cracker crust or a crust made from crushed almonds for a gluten-free option.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Serve topped with fresh berries or a berry compote for a delightful finish.

Cottage Cheese Muffins

Bake moist and delicious muffins using cottage cheese as a secret ingredient to add moisture and protein. Here’s how:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and prepare a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  • In another bowl, mix 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 egg until well combined.
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in 1 cup of your choice of add-ins (such as blueberries, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts).
  • Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cottage Cheese and Berry Crepes

Create a dessert or brunch masterpiece with cottage cheese and berry crepes, marrying the sweetness of berries with the creaminess of cottage cheese. Here’s the recipe:

  • Whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 2 eggs, and a pinch of salt to create a thin batter. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and lightly oil it. Pour a small amount of batter into the skillet, tilting it to spread the batter thinly.
  • Cook the crepe until the edges lift from the pan, flip it, and cook for a few more seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • For the filling, mix 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon of honey and a splash of vanilla extract.
  • Spread a layer of the cottage cheese mixture over each crepe, then top with fresh berries.
  • Fold the crepes in quarters and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of honey.

These dessert and baking recipes showcase how cottage cheese can be used to create lighter, protein-rich versions of your favorite treats. Whether you’re craving cheesecake, muffins, or crepes, incorporating cottage cheese is a delicious way to enjoy dessert in a healthier way.


Cottage cheese, with its creamy texture and mild flavor, truly stands as a testament to versatility and nutrition in the culinary world. This humble dairy product not only elevates breakfasts to hearty and nutritious meals but also transforms light snacks, main dishes, and even desserts into healthier versions of themselves. The protein-rich profile of cottage cheese, coupled with its calcium, vitamins, and minerals, supports muscle repair, bone health, and overall well-being, making it an invaluable addition to any diet.

We’ve explored the breadth of cottage cheese’s culinary applications, from fluffy pancakes and savory bowls to comforting lasagnas and delectable cheesecakes. Each recipe demonstrates that cottage cheese is not just a side dish but a star ingredient that can enhance the flavor, texture, and nutritional value of your meals.

Now, it’s your turn to embrace the versatility of cottage cheese. Experiment with it in your cooking and baking. Use it as a base for creamy dressings, a protein boost in smoothies, a filling for pastries, or even as a key ingredient in baking. The possibilities are endless, and the health benefits are substantial.

We invite you to share your experiences and discoveries. Have you found a novel way to incorporate cottage cheese into your meals? Do you have a family recipe that showcases cottage cheese in all its glory? Or perhaps some tips on selecting and storing cottage cheese? Your insights and creativity can inspire others to explore and appreciate the versatility of cottage cheese.

Join the conversation below and share your favorite cottage cheese recipes or tips. Together, we can uncover even more delightful ways to enjoy this nutritious and versatile ingredient.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cottage Cheese Recipes

How to use cottage cheese in recipes?

Using cottage cheese in recipes is a fantastic way to add protein, creaminess, and nutritional value to your meals. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of dishes, from breakfasts and snacks to main courses and desserts. Here are some tips and ideas on how to incorporate cottage cheese into your recipes:

1. Breakfasts and Smoothies

  • Smoothie Booster: Add cottage cheese to smoothies for a protein boost and a creamy texture without altering the taste significantly.
  • Pancakes and Waffles: Mix cottage cheese into your batter to make pancakes or waffles more moist and protein-rich.
  • Omelets and Scrambled Eggs: Stir cottage cheese into eggs before cooking to add creaminess and nutrition.

2. Salads and Dressings

  • Salad Topping: Use cottage cheese as a topping for salads to add a creamy texture and protein.
  • Dressing Base: Blend cottage cheese with herbs, garlic, and a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to create a creamy salad dressing.

3. Dips and Spreads

  • Dips: Puree cottage cheese until smooth and mix with herbs, spices, or even salsa to create a dip for vegetables, chips, or bread.
  • Spreads: Combine cottage cheese with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to make a spread for crackers, toast, or bagels.

4. Main Dishes

  • Stuffed Vegetables: Mix cottage cheese with herbs and spices to stuff into bell peppers, tomatoes, or zucchini before baking.
  • Pasta Fillings: Use cottage cheese as a filling for lasagna, stuffed shells, or ravioli, either on its own or mixed with spinach, meat, or other cheeses.
  • Casserole and Pie Layers: Add a layer of cottage cheese in casseroles or savory pies for extra creaminess and protein.

5. Baking

  • Cheesecakes and Desserts: Substitute cottage cheese for some or all of the cream cheese in cheesecake recipes for a lighter version.
  • Baked Goods: Add cottage cheese to muffins, breads, or cake batters to increase moisture and nutritional content.

6. Toppings and Mix-ins

  • Fruit Parfaits and Bowls: Layer cottage cheese with fruits, nuts, and honey or maple syrup for a quick and healthy snack or dessert.
  • Mix into Grains: Stir cottage cheese into cooked quinoa, rice, or oatmeal to add creaminess and protein.

Tips for Using Cottage Cheese in Recipes:

  • Blending: For a smoother texture, especially in dips, dressings, or when used as a spread, blend cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until creamy.
  • Seasoning: Cottage cheese can be relatively bland, so don’t hesitate to season it well with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices to enhance its flavor in recipes.
  • Draining: If your recipe requires a thicker consistency, consider draining the cottage cheese in a sieve or cheesecloth to remove excess liquid before using.

Cottage cheese is incredibly adaptable, fitting into numerous dietary preferences, including vegetarian and low-carb diets. Experiment with these ideas to discover the many delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy cottage cheese in your daily meals.

What can I substitute for cottage cheese in a recipe?

Substituting for cottage cheese in a recipe depends on the dish’s context and what qualities you’re looking to replicate (e.g., texture, taste, or nutritional content). Here are several alternatives that can work well in various scenarios:

1. Ricotta Cheese

  • Best for: Lasagnas, stuffed pastas, fillings, and some desserts.
  • Why: Ricotta has a similar texture and mild flavor. It’s slightly sweeter and grainier but works well in recipes that call for cottage cheese.

2. Greek Yogurt

  • Best for: Dips, spreads, baking, and smoothies.
  • Why: Greek yogurt offers a creamy texture and a tangy flavor. It’s also high in protein. Opt for full-fat Greek yogurt to better mimic the creaminess of cottage cheese.

3. Sour Cream

  • Best for: Dips, dressings, and baked goods.
  • Why: Sour cream can provide a similar tanginess and creaminess. It’s especially good in recipes where cottage cheese is blended into a smooth texture.

4. Cream Cheese

  • Best for: Spreads, dips, and desserts.
  • Why: Cream cheese is smoother and richer, making it a good substitute in recipes where cottage cheese is used for its creamy consistency, particularly in cheesecakes or frostings.

5. Fromage Blanc or Quark

  • Best for: Desserts and spreads.
  • Why: These fresh cheeses have a similar mild flavor and creamy texture to cottage cheese. They’re especially suitable in recipes where a smooth texture is desired.

6. Tofu (Silken or Soft)

  • Best for: Vegan or dairy-free alternatives in smoothies, dips, and spreads.
  • Why: Blended silken or soft tofu can mimic the texture of cottage cheese in recipes. It’s relatively flavor-neutral and can take on the taste of other ingredients well.

7. Mascarpone Cheese

  • Best for: Desserts and some creamy pasta dishes.
  • Why: Mascarpone is richer and creamier but can work as a substitute in desserts where you need a smooth, creamy texture.

8. Paneer

  • Best for: Indian dishes and curries.
  • Why: Paneer has a firmer texture but can be crumbled to resemble cottage cheese in Indian dishes where its mild flavor and high protein content are desired.

When substituting, consider the role of cottage cheese in your recipe—is it for moisture, binding, creaminess, or flavor? This will guide you in choosing the best alternative and whether you need to adjust the quantity or add extra liquid or thickening agents to achieve a similar result.

What recipes can I make with cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from breakfast to desserts, snacks, and main dishes. Its mild flavor and creamy texture make it a fantastic addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Here are several recipes that showcase the flexibility of cottage cheese:

1. Cottage Cheese Pancakes

  • Whip up a batch of fluffy pancakes by adding cottage cheese to the batter. Blend together 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 eggs, ½ cup of flour, and a pinch of salt for the base. Cook on a hot griddle and serve with fresh berries and maple syrup.

2. Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

  • Mix cottage cheese with your choice of fruits, nuts, honey, or granola for a quick, nutritious breakfast. Try combinations like cottage cheese with pineapple, chopped almonds, and a drizzle of honey.

3. Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

  • Combine cottage cheese with fresh herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper for a delicious spread on crackers or bread. It’s perfect for a healthy snack or appetizer.

4. Cottage Cheese Lasagna

  • Use cottage cheese as a lighter filling in lasagna instead of ricotta. Layer it with lasagna noodles, marinara sauce, sautéed vegetables, and mozzarella cheese for a hearty meal.

5. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cottage Cheese

  • Mix cottage cheese with cooked quinoa, spinach, and your favorite spices. Stuff the mixture into bell peppers and bake until the peppers are tender. Top with shredded cheese and bake until melted.

6. Cottage Cheese Salad

  • Create a refreshing salad by adding cottage cheese to chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

7. Cottage Cheese Alfredo

  • Blend cottage cheese until smooth and use it as a base for a lighter Alfredo sauce. Heat with garlic, a bit of milk or cream, and Parmesan cheese, then toss with your favorite pasta.

8. Cottage Cheese Muffins

  • Make savory or sweet muffins by adding cottage cheese to the batter for extra moisture and protein. For savory muffins, add herbs and cheese; for sweet, mix in fruits like blueberries or apples.

9. Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

  • Substitute some or all of the cream cheese with cottage cheese for a lighter version of your favorite cheesecake recipe. Blend the cottage cheese first to ensure a smooth texture.

10. Cottage Cheese Smoothie

  • Boost the protein content of your smoothies by adding cottage cheese. Blend with fruits, a bit of honey or maple syrup, and some milk or juice for a creamy, nutritious drink.

11. Cottage Cheese Curry

  • Use cottage cheese as a protein source in vegetarian curries. Paneer is traditional, but cottage cheese can be a softer substitute. Cook it gently in a tomato-based curry sauce with spices.

12. Cottage Cheese Tacos

  • For a quick and healthy filling, mix cottage cheese with black beans, corn, and taco seasoning. Serve in taco shells with your favorite toppings like salsa, lettuce, and cheese.

These recipes demonstrate just how versatile cottage cheese can be, fitting into various meals throughout the day. Whether you’re looking to enhance the nutritional content of your dishes or simply enjoy the unique texture and flavor of cottage cheese, there’s no shortage of creative ways to incorporate it into your cooking.

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Last Update: February 14, 2024