Sure, the pasta sheets and creamy tomato sauce in lasagna are great, but what’s the Italian staple without a hearty layer of creamy-crumbly ricotta cheese? While the real stuff—which is made up of leftover whey from the cheesemaking process—can trigger a not-so-fun case of inflammation like all dairy products, you can make a totally gut-friendly option using…wait for it…a couple handfuls of almonds.
Nutritionist and Well+Good Council member McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped grew up in the midwest eating and loving ricotta cheese, even as dessert, and that’s exactly why she developed a healthier, vegan version of the comfort-food staple that claims to offer the same great taste and texture. And this plant-based dupe also provides plenty of impressive benefits. One cup of almonds offers 20 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and a host of other nutrients like vitamins B, E, magnesium. And that’s not all: According to Hill, choosing the raw variety will win you extra health bang for your buck: “As with other nuts and seeds, almonds can help combat heart disease in multiple ways, and the skins in almonds contain a natural prebiotic—the food that feeds the good bacteria in our gut,” she writes.
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The ricotta cheese that’s not really ricotta cheese 🧀 Inspored by my ricotta in my lasagna recipe in the NS Cookbook — here’s how to make it for any pasta dish or use as a spread! The star ingredient here is almonds which are a good source of B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, copper, fiber, and a bit of plant-based protein⚡️ — This sounds so odd, but when I was younger I LOVED putting it on bagels, toasting it, and drizzling honey and cinnamon 😋 What’s your favorite way to use ricotta besides pasta? — Check out the link in bio to get the recipe for this Not Really Ricotta, Ricotta Almond Cheese. 🧀
So how can you turn almonds into cheese? The process is actually surprisingly easy. In her Not Really Ricotta, Ricotta Almond Cheese recipe, the transformation only requires a few steps: lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, and some sea salt and pepper. After a little soaking and time pulsing in the food processor, you’ll have a protein-packed nut cheese you can use in everything from pasta dishes to—as Hill loves—a toasted bagel. Talk about yum.
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