Ricotta – what is it?

A Hicotta is one of the oldest types of milk-based soft cheese, appearing long before the usual hard varieties. Although ricotta tastes a bit like cottage cheese, its denser texture allows it to be used in a variety of dishes.

In particular, ricotta is used as a main ingredient in cheesecakes and other desserts (although the amount of sugar used in the recipe may exceed the amount of ricotta). Next, in the material, we will talk about what you can cook with ricotta on the right diet.

 Ricotta – what is it?

Ricotta - what is it?

Ricotta is a type of fresh cheese that does not require fermentation. It is believed that the production of ricotta began on the territory of modern Italy about 4 thousand years ago, heating whole milk in special ceramic containers.

Despite the fact that the technology for making hard cheeses (for example, Parmesan) appeared only a thousand years later, very little attention was paid to ricotta in written sources. The reason was that it has always been a “village” product.

Transporting ricotta over long distances, unlike hard cheeses, is practically impossible: the cheese loses its freshness extremely quickly. Apparently, ricotta was only eaten by shepherds, with city dwellers preferring hard (and significantly fattier) cheeses.

  • originally from Italy, known all over the world
  • contains little fat

Energetic value

The caloric content of ricotta depends mainly on the type of milk used. Sheep’s milk ricotta is about 25% fat, whole cow’s milk – 8%, skim milk – 5% or less. By comparison, regular cheese contains at least 30% fat.

The average protein content in ricotta is comparable to cottage cheese: about 7-10 g per 100 g. The amount of carbohydrates varies depending on the recipe (and the level of sweetness), but is generally in the range of 5-10g per 100g. Most types of ricotta have a low glycemic index, 25 to 35 units.

What is singularity?

Differences between ricotta and cheese.

Compared to cottage cheese, ricotta has a denser structure, making it suitable for roasting and roasting. However, keep in mind that the low fat content prevents the ricotta from melting.

Regarding the nutritional profile, the difference lies in the fact that ricotta is made with whey and not with casein (like the cottage cheese or hard cheeses mentioned above).

Also, since whey contains up to 2-4% milk sugar with  lactose , ricotta has a naturally sweet taste.

Where is it used?

In Italy, ricotta is widely used as an ingredient in sweet desserts (cheesecake, cannoli, etc.). Also, a variety of cookies include ricotta as an ingredient. To sweeten, sugar is added, for the aroma: cinnamon, orange water, strawberries, etc.

Ricotta is also suitable to add to the filling of all kinds of cakes, lasagna, ravioli and pizzas.

Soft ricotta can be spread on slices of bread.

Ricotta in proper nutrition

Ricotta in proper nutrition

In the diet, it is preferable to use ricotta made with skim milk, as it has a low amount of fat (and therefore a low calorie content).

For breakfast, you can use fresh ricotta by spreading it on a slice of whole wheat bread or a whole wheat cracker.

To use in hot dishes, ricotta can be fried in a little vegetable oil (first cut into 1 cm slices).

Ricotta al forno

Another option for using ricotta, even suitable for diabetics, is to bake in the oven. Thanks to cooking, the cheese acquires a crust of pink caramel.

The flavor of the dish is delicate and creamy, with notes of caramel and baked milk. It goes well with tea or coffee.

 

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