Lately, the wifey and I have been trying as much as possible to make our favourite foods at home. You see… Lea and I are among the foodie population, but the broke foodie population. Heh heh. Being part of that population pushes you to think outside of the box. So we came up with this awesome recipe for you : 3 Ingredient Organic Ricotta
(food·ie / ˈfo͞odē/ noun: foodie ~ a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet)
Foodie & budget, however, are not two themes that often harmonize, especially in this day and age, where the price of everything has shot up, but our salaries have not gotten the memo. We find ways here and there to live lavishly on a dime.
From the new year until now, we had been rationing on cheese. We would buy a 300g of blue or brie every 6 weeks or so, and try to make it last as long as possible (yeah – did not work too well). Whether it is our health kick of the month (we’ve been known to eat vegan for a month) or just a budgetary matter, we have not had much cheese. Until now…
We have been experimenting with making our favourite comfort foods, and making them as healthy as possible.
From sushi, to pizza & pasta, to fries and now… cheese, we have been saving money by making these best-loved classics ourselves. Our fool-proof pizza dough recipe and fries are on the blog already. Home made sushi and pasta are pending your interest and requests, but without further ado, we present to you :
our 3 ingredient ricotta
that we have for you today (with ingredients you probably already have at home – yay~!)
Let’s do this
You will need 1 L of organic unpasteurized whole milk*, 1 big lemon (or 2 small ones), and salt
*We used 3.8% organic milk ; pink himalayan salt ; organic lemons ; and fresh organic homegrown rosemary
You will need
– cheese cloth or clean “old” white t-shirt*
– 1 large lemon (should produce around 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp of juice)
– 1 L organic unpasteurized* whole milk
– pink himalayan salt (or sea salt)
– large saucepan
– whisk, fork or chopstick, and spoon
*Cheesecloth is ideal, but we used a white cotton t-shirt since cotton has very small holes (how to tell if your t-shirt will work? stretch the fabric! Can you see through it? Are the holes big?)
*Unpasteurized and raw is better, but if you have pasteurized on hand or can’t find raw, aim for the best quality milk your wallet can afford
*The sieve can have either large or small holes, it is only to drain the liquid as a second step between the cheese and the cheesecloth/fabric
*rope : or a shoelace, or an elastic that you can tie the fabric tightly with
Did you know?
The pasteurization process came about in the 1860s, and involves cooking the milk to a certain temperature to remove bacteria and possible disease from contamination. This practice came about after outbreaks of listeria made the population sick from drinking milk. At the time, pasteurization was useful to milk manufacturers to allow for mass production at a (then) unprecedented scale to accommodate the growing population and increased demand for milk, while not bothering to improve hygiene practices. It is the equivalent of a doctor giving you antibiotics when you come for a procedure because they had not sterilized the equipment and people were known to get sick after visiting the doctor. It was necessary at the time to ease a worried population, but it’s safe to say now that we went way over board with it.
Pasteurisation removes vitamins, and now companies add some vitamins back into the milk artificially to sell it as a “good source of vitamin D” and “other important minerals” when it hardly compares to the health benefits of raw milk. Raw milk was not possible at the time because of reckless farming and manufacturing practices. Pasteurization came about as a quick fix and to increase the life of the milk, instead of taking a second look at farming practices and improving hygiene.
Milk is not the only food that gets pasteurised. Orange juice, including your 100% pure and not from concentrate (yeah you know who I’m talking about) is also a pasteurized product, which also means the vitamin C is added and not naturally occurring anymore. There isn’t any need to pasteurize it, however it does make it last longer. Side effect though? No more naturally occurring vitamins, which to your body, is essentially like consuming non-fizzy soda with added vitamin C. Not ideal.
Why use unpasteurized milk?
Unpasteurised is a healthier alternative (if you can get your hands on it from a source you trust)
Why is it better than pasteurised milk? Because unpasteurised is raw. It contains all the vitamins and nutrients naturally available in the milk (zinc, b-complex vitamins, calcium, enzymes – among others). If the cattle is healthy, and the farmer is responsible aka awesome, then it is safe and far superior in nutrition and health to opt for raw milk.
In France, almost all the cheeses produced are made from raw milk. The French are not afraid of unpasteurized milk because of their meticulous hygiene and high standards for food production.
Compare this to the U.S., where the majority of cheeses are made from the leftover fats from producing skim milk and “less fat” milk from the non-fat craze, and you get pasteurized leftover fatty cheese with no nutritional content. Yippee.
Buy unpasteurized milk from a source you trust (I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, if you have your doubts about the product you’re buying stick with pasteurized), and it is always preferable to buy grass-fed dairy and meat products in general.
Continue reading to learn how to make your own homemade cheese…
Pour 1L (4 cups, 32 oz, 1000 ml) of organic raw whole milk into a medium saucepan at medium heat – pay attention to the milk while you…
Juice 1 large lemon (should produce around 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp of juice) – we kept a second lemon on hand just in case
Keep watching that milk
Prepare your cheesecloth or cotton fabric – if you are using an old shirt, make sure it is CLEAN and was preferably not washed in fabric softener and chemical-laden products.
[We use a green and concentrated detergent and NO fabric softener]
Cut the sleeves off and cut the fabric into a rectangle or square, preferably about the length of your forearm both sides. Place into sieve and put aside.
Once the milk reaches boiling point (bubbles are newly apparent) remove from the heat and the add lemon juice, whisking extremely slowly and delicately together for 30 seconds to 1 minute until curd-like chunks form in the milk mixture
Holding the fabric (cheesecloth or shirt), pour your milk mixture inside carefully, making sure the sides of the cloth do not fall inside the mixture or along the sides of the sieve
Once you have poured all the milk mixture inside the cloth, bring the sides of the cloth together slowly above the mixture, let some of the liquid separate, and then press they outside of the cloth lightly where the mixture falls so that it forms into a ball, squeezing out excess liquid. What you will be left with is the milk curds
Let your mixture sit for a minute while you prepare your flavours.
We chopped up and added fresh homegrown rosemary (optional) and 1 tbsp of pink Himalayan salts
Next you’ll want to mix gently with a spoon and then squeeze the cloth gently into a ball another time
Taste if you wish to see if you want to add more salt, and some pepper if you like
The mixture should taste slightly over salted (will not be overly salty when the cheese is ready)
Uncover your delicious homemade cheese and enjoy !
We paired our cheese with a drizzle of olive oil and sourdough bread – though the mixture was over salted, the final result was perfectly salted, silky, smooth, lightly flavoured and deeply perfumed by the rosemary
Other flavour combinations you can try are :
– thyme and lemon (add lemon zest)
– dried cranberry
– rosemary & lavender
Or what ever your imagination and taste buds crave. That is one reason why this recipe is such a staple – you can modify however you like, and it takes virtually no time to prepare !
We hope you enjoyed our recipe, we would love to hear from you. Don’t be shy! Take care, foodies
3 Ingredient Organic Ricotta
- 1 large lemon should produce around 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp of juice
- 1 L organic grass-fed whole milk pasteurized is okay for the recipe too if you can’t find unpasteurized
- pink himalayan salt or sea salt
- herbes de provence optional
- Pour 1L (4 cups, 32 oz, 1000 ml) of organic raw whole milk into a medium saucepan at medium heat
- Juice 1 large lemon (should produce around 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp of juice)
- Prepare your cheesecloth or shirt and place into a sieve. Set aside.
- Once the milk reaches boiling point (bubbles are newly apparent) remove from the heat and the add lemon juice, whisking extremely slowly and delicately together for 30 seconds to 1 minute until curd-like chunks form in the milk mixture - if curds do not form sufficiently, add more lemon juice
- Holding the fabric (cheesecloth or shirt), pour your milk mixture inside carefully, making sure the sides of the cloth do not fall inside the mixture or along the sides of the sieve
Once you have poured all the milk mixture inside the cloth, bring the sides of the cloth together slowly above the mixture, let some of the liquid separate, and then press they outside of the cloth lightly where the mixture falls so that it forms into a ball, squeezing out excess liquid. What you will be left with is delicious ricotta.
Let your mixture sit for a minute while you prepare any herbs or oils you like to have. Taste if you wish to see if you want to add more salt, and some pepper if you like
- The mixture should taste slightly over salted (will not be overly salty when the cheese is ready)
You like what you read? Pin this and make it later!