Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ricotta!

Ricotta is a staple cheese found in many Italian dishes such as lasagna, cheesecakes and the famous cannoli! It's also not technically a cheese, rather the cooked whey that's leftover from other cheese such as mozzarella or provolone.  Thick in texture, low in fat, sodium and calories, this rich and satisfying style of "cheese" is versatile and delicious.  If you are so inclined, you can also make your very own ricotta at home - with ease! Here's how.
While you may not think of it as something you can add into your diet every day, think again - here are some simple ways to enjoy it!

A Quick Breakfast
1/2 cup ricotta
5 strawberries, hulled and slices
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Place ricotta in a bowl, top with berries, honey and pepper!


Lemon-Dill Ricotta Muffins
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 Tbsp chopped chives
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Method
Preheat oven to 350
  1. Combine flours, salt, baking powder and soda, sugar, herbs and lemon zest in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, add ricotta and then beat in buttermilk and eggs.
  3. Pour ricotta mixture into the flour, along with the melted butter.
  4. Use a spoon or spatula to fold the ingredients together, don't over mix, a few lumps are ok.
  5. Place Large liners in a muffin tray
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to fill liner to the top.
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Serve with butter, red pepper jelly or alone!

Tip:  You can flavour ricotta to be sweet or savoury, use in place of cream cheese on bagels.

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