Now that we’ve passed National Cannoli Day, it’s time to review adding healthy ricotta cheese to your diet. Ricotta without the sugar and chocolate chippers goes a long way in a healthy diet. It could be pre-made organic ricotta, plant-based ricotta, or even homemade ricotta cheese.
Organic Grass-Based Ricotta Cheese
It’s 5:15 in the afternoon when you get the gumption to dress your ziti with smooth,
dreamy creamy dairy to bake in the oven. Your first reach should be a classic organic and grass-based dairy product with a clean bill of health. After all, who wants this, that, and the other gum that national brands so often use to thicken their end product?
Natural By Nature Ricotta Cheese is just the right choice. Hailing the USDA organic certification and the Verified NonGMO Project Seal – it’s as pure as pure can be. Made with only 3 ingredients, organic milk, organic vinegar and salt, this one won’t disappoint. One-quarter cup provides 7 grams of protein with less than 2 grams naturally occurring sugar. You’ll get the full-fat experience from the cleanest of dairy cows.
Dairy-Free Plant-Based Ricotta
Close your eyes. No peeking! Spoon Kite Hill Ricotta alternative, made with almond milk, onto your tastebuds and you will be seduced. The plant-based artisans have crafted creaminess that will fool everyone who tries your pizza, lasagna, or other savory recipes. This cholesterol-free version has the following claims to fame:
- dairy free
- soy free
- gluten free
- NonGMO Project Verified
- no artificial so-called “natural” flavors
- made from live almond cultures
Smear almond milk ricotta onto your English muffins, waffles, or whatever you like. Taste the buttery finish with a pinch of sweetness.
Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese
It’s not too hard to make homemade ricotta cheese. With just 4 wholesome ingredients you’ll have it done and can start bragging. Here’s how:
1-quart whole organic milk
1/2 pint heavy cream (Seven Stars organic heavy whipping cream is an outstanding local cream: unhomogenized, thickener-free, lowest temp pasteurized)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium organic lemons, and not Meyer lemons)
- Pour the milk, cream, and salt into a saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer, approximately 180 F. Turn off heat, pour in lemon juice, and stir gently. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Line a colander or sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Ladle the mixture into the colander and let drain for 30-45 minutes. The longer the ricotta drains, the crumblier it will be. If you find your ricotta is too dry, add in a little bit of the whey or add a touch of milk until you reach the consistency you desire. Season to taste with salt.
- Discard liquid and enjoy fresh ricotta right away or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps up to a week.
When you’ve tried your hand at homemade ricotta, you may never go back to the prepared options. Whether you go pre-made organic ricotta, almond milk ricotta, or homemade ricotta, go ahead and make the cannolis for Father’s Day. We won’t tell. Or keep it savory: spread ricotta on toast and add a dash of dried oregano.