Fresh Peaches with Topfen and Balsamic + What the heck is topfen

In Snacks by AmandaLeave a Comment

Snacking. It is truly a weakness of mine. Working from home with the kitchen only a few feet away has really made it a bad habit. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think snacking is bad. In fact, I think it’s really important to sustain energy, keep your metabolism running throughout the day and just feel overall satisfied.

The snacking sinkhole.

I’ve noticed I crave a sweet snack in the afternoons, and my usual go-to is something (anything!) with peanut butter or almond butter. Maybe I’ll have a slice of bread, toasted up nicely, slathered with almond butter with some sliced banana on top. Yum! But then an hour later, maybe I’ll have some yogurt with müsli. And then after all the sweet stuff I’m craving something savory, so I’ll have a slice of cheese. But who can really have just one slice? So, okay, it’s like three slices of cheese. See what’s happening here? As a result of this slow downward spiral, I’ve somehow consumed around 450 calories between lunch and dinner, just in snacks (just in the afternoon!). And since I am unashamedly trying to lose a little weight and get in better shape, this snacking pattern will not work.


Lately I’ve been making this: peaches with topfen, thick balsamic vinegar and fresh mint. It is perfectly summery, so healthy, and incredibly satisfying. Wondering what topfen is? Let me tell you about this amazing source of protein.

What the heck is tofen?

Topfen, commonly known as quark in English speaking countries, is a fresh cheese made from cow’s milk, and it’s very popular in German and Austrian cooking. It’s really used for all kinds of dishes, but I most often see it in desserts (strudels, cakes, dumplings, all the good stuff.) It’s bright white and very thick. Not as soft as cream cheese, firmer than greek yogurt, and smoother than cottage cheese.  I had never heard of it or seen it before coming to Austria. The first time I saw it in it’s ‘raw’ state (right out of the package), I was not impressed. I was maybe even on the edge of grossed out. It’s so thick it holds the mold of it’s container when you open it up and try to dump it into your bowl. BUT I have changed my views of good ‘ole topfen, because this stuff is extremely delicious and loaded with protein! And I know what you’re thinking: this sounds a lot like greek yogurt, but it’s not! It’s not. Topfen has a much milder flavor, less calories, less sugar and TWICE the protein of plain greek yogurt. And it’s much, much thicker than standard greek yogurt, which honestly makes it feel very decadent.


Here’s the nutritional breakdown:
Per 100 grams (about ⅓ cup) of low-fat topfen:
Calories: 72   Fat: 0.2g   Carbs: 4.1g   Sugar: 4.1g   Protein: 14g

I know, right!? If you’re lucky enough to find some quark in your grocery store, I suggest giving it a try. Take baby steps if you have to by throwing it into a smoothie or mixing it with some of your favorite yogurt. But soon enough, you will be eating it right out of the container. 😉



Too Long; Didn’t Read

Snacking smart can be tricky. This snack uses fresh peaches and topfen, and is very satisfying and filling. Topfen is a thick fresh cheese that’s naturally high in protien. It’s popular in German speaking countries, but you can find it all over the world. In English it’s called quark. Give this easy summer snack a try!


Serves: 1
Total time: Less than 5 minutes

A simple seasonal snack, great on hot summer days when you’re wanting something sweet and tangy. If you can’t find topfen or quark, you can sub thick greek yogurt.

  • Ingredients

    1 large ripe peach
    ⅓ cup topfen or quark
    ½ Tbsp thick balsamic vinegar*
    3-4 fresh mint leaves

  • Make it

    Slice your peach up anyway you like. I usually do small bit-sized pieces.

    Dollop your topfen/quark right in the center.

    Drizzel with balsamic vinegar

    Sprinkle with mint and enjoy!

*( Note )
You really need a thicker or reduced balsamic so this doesn’t get ‘watery’. If you don’t have that on hand and don’t want to stand over the stove, I’ve done this in the microwave. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar in a large cup or small bowl. Microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes. Watch it cook! It can boil over. Take it out carefully and let it cool for about 1-2 minutes. It will thicken up and the warm balsamic is kind of nice over the peaches and topfen.

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