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January 22, 2018

Raving about Ricotta

If you grew up in an Italian household, chances are, you're familiar with ricotta. Ricotta (pronounced ree-co-ta, not ree-caw-ta), is a creamy white and mild fresh cheese. The word ricotta translates to "re-cooked", and actually, not only is it re-cooked, it's recycled, too. Ricotta was originally created from the leftover whey from mozzarella and provolone production. 

Talk about making something out of scrap. 

Ricotta is such a versatile soft cheese, with a smooth and sweet consistency. Some people may compare it to a cottage cheese, often interchangeable in recipes, but I respectfully disagree. Cottage cheese is much chunkier with visible curds. 

Nutritionally, they are similar -- ricotta is higher in fat (although you can buy skim versions -- I don't), and lower in salt, as compared to cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is super high in protein, and low in calories; ricotta is low in calories, although it's protein count is also lower, too. (In 1/4 cup ricotta, 100 calories and 7 g of protein)

In my quest to find new and interesting meals that are delicious, I turned to my old-time favourite: ricotta. If you can buy it fresh, do so, otherwise, a tub'll do. One of my favourite ways to use ricotta is as a spread on toast or crackers. Now, I'm not eating crackers or toast, so I settle for a Ryvita cracker, which is low in calories and taste. (It's honestly not that bad if you put some yumminess on top)

Add a beautiful drizzle of Ontario Honey and a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt and this is a breakfast that went from bland to blissful in all of 3 seconds.  

Do you enjoy ricotta? What's your favourite way to eat it?


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