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Home Magazine 2011 Winter Page 8 - Baked ricotta dessert

Page 8 2011 Winter

Baked ricotta dessert
by naturopath Sandra Villella

Cold winter nights often make us feel like warm comfort food. This dessert is quick and easy and has all the satisfaction of eating a warm pudding without the extra fat or sugar.

Ricotta is a lower fat cheese (the fat content varies around 4-10% amongst different brands and low fat ricotta is of course the lowest) and while it is not as high in calcium as hard cheese, ½ cup of ricotta can provide up to 300mg of calcium. (I use fresh buffalo ricotta, which has an extremely creamy texture and contains about 7% fat.) This recipe has no added sugar but the blueberries and cinnamon add sufficient sweetness. When in season, 1-2 fresh sliced figs could be used in addition to the blueberries (figs are naturally high in sugar and will appeal to those with a sweet tooth). Alternatively, drizzle with some maple syrup before serving.

ricotta desertIngredients

250g ricotta
½ cup of blueberries
2 dessertspoons of desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

Place ricotta in a medium size bowl and stir slightly for a smooth consistency. Add coconut and cinnamon and mix through. Add egg and stir to combine. Fold through blueberries. Place in 4 small individual ramekins or 2 larger ones. Bake in oven 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes until set and firm to touch. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If doubling the quantity, one egg is usually sufficient to bind the mixture together.

Heart-healthy variation

I have also provided a heart-healthy alternative, which includes almonds and soy protein, two foods which are useful in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Ingredients

227g tub of Tofutti*
2 egg whites slightly beaten
125 g (1 punnet) of blueberries
2 dessertspoons of freshly finely
ground almonds (or hazelnuts)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Method

Stir tofutti for a minute to soften. Add cinnamon and ground almonds and combine. Fold through blueberries. Place in individual ramekins. Bake in oven 180 degrees for 20 minutes (the surface should be firm). Allow to cool slightly for a few minutes before serving

*Tofutti is a dairy free and cholesterol free cream cheese alternative made from soy protein isolate and available in major supermarkets.

Content updated June 2011

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