Ricotta cheese is a base in many dishes, such as cannoli and lasagna. If you’re on a ketogenic diet, you might wonder whether this dairy product benefits you. And if you’ve been on the ketogenic diet for a while, you may have had to choose ricotta as an alternative to other dairy products with many carbs. But is ricotta cheese keto-friendly?
Ricotta cheese is keto-friendly if eaten in small quantities. It encourages ketosis, which is what the ketogenic lifestyle aims to achieve because it is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Ricotta contains more carbohydrates. While occasionally it may be a good option, you must watch how much you consume.
The best ricotta substitutes for the keto diet are Organic Valley cottage cheese and Galbani Mascarpone. According to the keto diet, eating a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates will help you lose weight and have other health benefits.
What Is The Nutritional Composition Of Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is a good protein, vitamin A, calcium, and vitamin B12 source. The USDA estimates that a half-cup whole milk ricotta cheese serving has 204 calories. Although ricotta cheese made from whole milk has a relatively high content of saturated fats and cholesterol, you can purchase lower-fat varieties to keep your intake in check.
The majority of the calories in ricotta are made up of fat (61%), followed by protein (20%) and carbohydrates (19%). However, it’s important to consider portion size and daily carbohydrate intake when incorporating ricotta cheese into a ketogenic diet. Ricotta cheese still counts toward your daily carbohydrate limit, so keep an eye on your intake and stick to your goal.
Ricotta cheese is delicious and versatile, and it can be added to a diet in various ways, such as as a sweet treat when combined with berries or as a topping for low-carb pancakes. It can also be a base for creamy dips or sauces, a filling for keto-friendly pastries and desserts, or both.
How Much Ricotta Should Be Consumed?
The American Heart Association suggests limiting your daily intake of dairy products to three servings, with one serving equal to 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yoghurt, or 1.5 ounces of cheese. In a serving of ricotta cheese that is typically 1/2 cup in size, there are roughly 140 calories, 10 grammes of protein, and 10 grammes of fat.
A well-balanced diet can benefit from adding ricotta cheese because it is a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Your personal dietary needs, goals, and any health issues or restrictions will all affect how much ricotta cheese you should eat.
Compared to other dairy products like skim milk or low-fat yoghurt, ricotta cheese has a higher-than-average calorie and fat content. Reduce your intake of ricotta cheese or opt for low-fat or part-skim varieties if you’re trying to lose weight or have high cholesterol.
Keto-Friendly Recipes That Include Ricotta Cheese As An Ingredient
With a low carb count, high protein, and healthy fat content, ricotta cheese is a fantastic ingredient for keto-friendly recipes. Ricotta cheese can be used instead of cream cheese and cottage cheese in sweet and savoury dishes when consuming a ketogenic diet. Below are a few recipes that use ricotta cheese and are keto-friendly.
- Ricotta Strawberry Cake
- Ricotta Pancakes
- Chocolate Ricotta Mousse
- Scrambled Eggs With Ricotta and Spinach
- Ricotta Lemon Mousse
- Ricotta and Zucchini with Keto Noodles
- Lemon Ricotta Low-Carb Cake
What are the Alternatives to Ricotta Cheese?
Whether you have a dietary restriction or simply don’t enjoy the taste or texture of ricotta cheese, plenty of alternatives can be used in your favourite recipes.
1. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is one of the most popular substitutes for ricotta cheese. It has a similar texture and consistency but with a slightly tangy taste. Like ricotta, it is also high in protein, making it a great addition to savoury dishes or as a snack. Cottage cheese can be used in recipes such as lasagna, stuffed shells, or cheesecake.
2. Cream cheese
Cream cheese is a soft, spreadable cheese that can be used instead of ricotta cheese in many recipes. It has a smooth and creamy texture with a slightly sweet and tangy flavour. Cream cheese can be used in sweet dishes such as cannoli and cheesecake or savoury dishes like pasta sauces.
Tofu is a vegan-friendly alternative to ricotta cheese made from soybeans. It has a similar texture to ricotta but a neutral flavour that can easily be seasoned. Tofu can be used in dishes such as stuffed shells and lasagna or as a substitute for scrambled eggs in breakfast dishes.
4. Greek yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is a creamy and tangy alternative to ricotta cheese. It is high in protein and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. Greek yoghurt can be used in recipes such as dips, spreads, and sauces.
5. Cashew cheese
Cashew cheese is a vegan-friendly alternative to ricotta cheese made from cashews. It has a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour that can be seasoned to your liking. Cashew cheese can be used in dishes such as lasagna or as a spread for crackers or bread.
Hummus is a chickpea-based spread that can substitute ricotta cheese in some dishes. It has a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour that pairs well with savoury dishes. Hummus can be used in recipes such as stuffed peppers, pasta sauces, or even as a dip for vegetables or pita chips.
7. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly alternative to ricotta cheese made from deactivated yeast. It has a slightly cheesy flavour and can be used as a substitute for ricotta in savoury dishes. Nutritional yeast can be used in recipes such as lasagna or as a seasoning for popcorn or roasted vegetables.
8. Feta cheese
Feta cheese is a tangy and salty cheese that can substitute for ricotta in some recipes. It has a crumbly texture and a distinct flavour that pairs well with salads or pasta dishes. Feta cheese can be used in recipes such as stuffed peppers or pizza toppings.
Keto Ricotta Cheese Recipe
- 1 gallon of whole milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- In a large pot, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a temperature of 180°F.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the white vinegar, stirring gently until the mixture begins to curdle. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the curds to form.
- Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the colander, allowing the liquid to drain out. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Once the mixture has drained, transfer the ricotta cheese to a container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. The ricotta cheese can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, such as lasagna, stuffed shells, or as a topping for salads or vegetables.
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 16g
- Protein: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 6g
Ricotta with all the fat may be acceptable on the ketogenic diet in moderation. However, you won’t be able to enjoy a large bowl of it due to its macros. Ricotta contains more carbohydrates.
Despite occasionally being a good choice, you must watch portions. Ricotta has 204 calories per serving, with a whopping 14 g of fat, 9 g of carbohydrates, and 10 g of protein.