Not Ricotta Tastes Like Ricotta Cheese | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Sep. 18. 2018
Condiments

Not Really Ricotta, Ricotta Almond Cheese

Sep. 18. 2018
Condiments
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

If you’re looking for a ricotta almond cheese that’s not really ricotta, then you’re in for a treat.

Say hello to this dairy-free ricotta almond cheese recipe that’s going to be a crowd pleaser for you if you live dairy-free, but also for your friends and family who may really love cheese. Trust me, we’ve tested this on friends, family, and the team, it’s a winner!

What Is Ricotta Cheese?

Most of us are familiar with ricotta cheese used in our favorite Italian dishes from lasagna to stuffed pasta shells. Ricotta, like most cheeses, is made from the whey of milk (from cow, goat, sheep) which is coagulated by the whey mixture fermenting for a couple days. The proteins break down which creates the famous ricotta fine texture of the curd, which is white in color, slightly sweet, and crumbly yet finer in texture than a cottage cheese.

If dairy is part of your lifestyle, then be sure to get your cheeses and dairy from reputable sources — i.e. get to know your farmer, how the animals were treated, and what they ate, this impacts the nutrition and our environment greatly — otherwise, if you’re looking for something that tastes like ricotta without the dairy, then give this dairy-free ricotta almond cheese recipe a try.

I first debuted this recipe in the Nutrition Stripped cookbook, which turns 2 this fall, I can’t believe it! If you’ve tried the recipe in the cookbook on page 183-184 which is the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Lemon Raw-Cotta, then you’re very familiar with this recipe (p.s. if you have the cookbook, I really appreciate you leaving an Amazon review, it helps our community grow and educates people on the power of whole foods and living well). I really wanted to share this ricotta recipe with you on the website, even if you don’t have the cookbook yet, so you can enjoy it with pasta dishes, as a condiment for vegetables, to dollop on salad or proteins, and even dessert!

This raw almond cheese ricotta is so simple to make I hesitate to call it a recipe, but you’ll be so happy when you first try it out for yourself and see how simple it is to make and how delicious it is to eat with all your favorite meals.

A Makeover Attempt: Dairy-free Ricotta Almond Cheese

This sounds even weirder typing out, but we used to make the most *interesting* snacks growing up in the Midwest, including cottage cheese and ricotta. I remember my mother dipped her toe in the South Beach Diet when I was around 12-13 years old, old enough to remember that this is the weirdest dessert I’ve ever seen but I was kinda into it too. She took ricotta cheese (low fat of course, haha), mixed with cocoa powder and some Splenda — I swear I couldn’t make this up!

Another snack involving ricotta cheese was, we used to take plain bagels, toast them, slather them with butter, then add a heaping dollop or two of ricotta cheese on top, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey then pop them into the oven on broil for about 4 minutes until warm, gooey, and tasty. To this day, that’s one of the most memorable snacks I had growing up as a kid in Ohio and it’s memories like this that make food so beautiful — food isn’t just about hyper-focusing on eating the most nutrient-dense foods, it’s also about the pleasure, enjoyment, and connections that food has made in your life, along the way.

So, in an attempt to merge two worlds — one being a kid eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) growing up with the adult I am now highly conscious and mindful of the food we purchase and eat — I made a spin on this classic recipe in order to enjoy with anything and I hope you enjoy it too! Toasted bagel and all…

Stripped

Almonds

Almonds are a good source of B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, molybdenum, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and plant-based protein. In a nutshell (food pun intended), is the nutrient breakdown of about 1 cup of almonds, which is roughly 4 servings:

  • 125% DV of Vitamin E
  • 109% DV of manganese
  • 64% DV of magnesium
  • 57% DV of riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • 47% DV of copper
  • 46% DV of phosphorus
  • 25% DV of calcium
  • 20% DV of iron
  • 20g protein
  • 11g fiber
  • 47g total fat, which breaks down to about 29g monounsaturated fat, 11g polyunsaturated fat, 3g saturated fat, and total omega-3 fatty acids 5.7 mg (omega-6 is 11462 mg)

Optimizer Option

Special tip: purchase almonds raw to give you more variety with culinary use and decrease the chances of the fatty acids going rancid. As with other nuts and seeds, almonds can help combat heart disease in multiple ways, and the skins in almonds contain a natural prebiotic, the food that feeds the good bacteria in our gut.

The Recipe

Serves 6-8

Print

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almonds, soaked for at least an hour

1 cup filtered water

Juice of 1 lemons (about 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of sea salt

Ground black pepper

1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, this is optional*

*I’ve actually noticed this recipe is delicious without nutritional yeast as well so if you don’t have it stocked in your pantry you can still make this recipe well.

Instructions

Note: for optimal results, the final product takes about 8 hours to “make” before you can eat it.

Step 1

After you’ve soaked the blanched almonds in water for at least an hour, discard the water. This process is to make sure the almonds are very soft so try not to skip it, but if you’re in a time crunch you can still make this recipe without soaking the almonds first.

Step 2

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles ricotta cheese. Always do a taste test for salt and pepper, adjust as you need to, otherwise it’s technically done and can be enjoyed right now.

Step 3

For optimal results, using a cheesecloth-lined bowl, pour the mixture on the cheesecloth allowing the bowl to catch any additional liquid that comes off the almond ricotta. Discard any liquid that pours off during this initial pour, otherwise store the almond ricotta wrapped up in the cheesecloth, in a fine mesh strainer, in a bowl with enough space for drainage, in the fridge for 8 hours then you’re ready to enjoy!

Voila!

Serve with your favorite pasta dishes, with proteins like grilled fish, with grain bowls, Nourish Bowls, etc.

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop for up to one week in the fridge.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

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