Almond Ricotta

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Almond Ricotta is so easy to make and is a great non dairy alternative.  Almond Ricotta can sell for up to $9.00 for a 4 oz package at Whole Foods Market, but you can make it at home for a fraction of the price.  The recipe does require a high speed powerful blender and just a little planning ahead.  To create the creamy, dreamy texture of ricotta, the almonds must be soft, so an overnight soak of raw slivered blanched (skins removed) almonds is ideal. There are quick soak methods, using hot water to soften but I have always done an overnight soak. Once the soaking is done and the almonds are drained and rinsed, the blender does all of the work.  Almond Ricotta may be dotted onto a baked pizza, or used to finish pasta dishes. Once the ricotta is added then place the pizza or pasta back in the oven just to warm the ricotta. Pictured above is a Spaghetti Squash Casserole which was warmed in a sauté pan, placed in a baking dish, topped with the cold Almond Ricotta and heated just to warm in the oven.  I finished the dish with some freshly chopped basil.  Preparing nut cheese requires food safety.  I always keep my almonds in the refrigerator during the soaking process and also refrigerate after the Ricotta is made. The Ricotta is perishable so keep in refrigerated for no more than 3-4 days.

Recipe-Yields approximately 1 cup of Almond Ricotta

Time: 8 hours/overnight soak, plus 5 minutes to blend and

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw blanched slivered almonds
  • Spring Water for soaking and for blending (approximately 1-2 cups)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place blanched slivered almonds in a 1 cup glass measuring cup or other container.  Pour spring water over the almonds until fully submerged with about  1-2 inches of additional water over the top of the almonds. The almonds will slightly expand when soaking.  Cover container with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
  2. ***Very Important Step*** Make sure to drain and rinse the almonds well in a colander or strainer ***Do not use soaking liquid
  3. Place the blanched almonds in the blender with a few pinches of salt and pepper and blend on high speed with 1/4 cup of water to start and then drizzle in more water while blending until you get the consistency of ricotta. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

***Blender note: a narrow base blender jar works better than a wide base jar due to the small volume of ricotta made in this recipe. I have used a wide base jar, but just have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get the consistency I am looking for.

 

 

“Celebrations” by Danielle Walker

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Danielle Walker’s, Against all Grain, “Celebrations” covers a year of gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo recipes for every occasion.  All the major holidays are covered including: New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Summer Showers, Halloween, Autumn Dinner, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  What I love about this book are the great photos which accompany each recipe, the hints and suggestions (tidbits) for ingredient substitution or make ahead suggestions, and the wide variety of foods that will find any home cook satisfied and able to find multiple recipes that will be of interest.  I will admit, I don’t have arrowroot powder in my pantry just yet, nor do I commit to a paleo, grain free, or dairy free  diet.  Even so, there are many recipes I would make from this book such as Carnitas on Tostones, BLTA Burger with Special Sauce, Blackened Salmon with Stone-Fruit Salsa,  Ginger Ale,  Whipped Coconut Cream. I imagine this book would be a life saver for someone who is on a strict grain free, paleo, or dairy free diet.  I am also looking forward to sharing this book with a friend who is on a plant based diet.  I received this book for an honest review through Blogging for Books.

 More Info: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/532608/danielle-walkers-against-all-grain-celebrations-by-danielle-walker/

Author Bio:  http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/32283/danielle-walker/