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How to Make Homemade Ricotta…Without the Dairy

Superficially, even great recipes can sometimes be underdogs. Like a kind of Clark Kent, they seem innocuous on first glance—boring even—but when needed, they can transform into a superhero and save the day…or in our case, save the dish!

Almond Ricotta is one such recipe. Its inclusion in our wellness book Smart Plants usually goes unnoticed, as it’s surrounded by so many other show-stealing temptations like Berry-Almond Amaranth Porridge, Chimichurri Mushroom Tacos, or Citrus Sweet Potatoes. (Watch the book trailer here!) But make no mistake, this Almond Ricotta is one of the most versatile recipes you can add to your larder. Think of it as an instant gourmet upgrade to your everyday healthy meals!

A soft, salty, creamy cheese, it’s easy to see why ricotta is such a favorite of professional chefs and home cooks alike. But with so many individuals choosing to avoid or reduce dairy to improve health conditions ranging from brain health to even bone health, many wellness experts are putting this culinary delight on the “no” list. Fortunately, we’re able to easily recreate much of the ricotta experience sans dairy by using nuts instead, allowing us to enjoy better health without making any kind of flavor sacrifice.

Even better, creating non-dairy ricotta at home (as opposed to buying it at the store) offers a huge cost savings … and likely you’ll find more culinary applications for it than you ever dreamed of! So don’t pass by this “underdog” how-to recipe: learn how to make this excitingly delicious staple and instantly transform even your plainest meals into something extra special.

Interested in more brain-boosting nutrition? Check out our popular introduction course: Natural Nootropics 101


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To get the best results, practice these pointers while making your Almond Ricotta.

  • Use blanched almonds. Blanched almonds have had their skin removed, and produce a creamier ricotta both in color and in texture. We like to use the pre-slivered variety as it requires a shorter soak time and is easier for the blender to break down.

  • Drain very well. After soaking, be sure to remove as much water as possible from the almonds—this recipe is very moisture-sensitive, and can become too “loose” if extra water hasn’t been drained away properly.

  • Use a high-speed blender. Unfortunately, a regular blender won’t be able to grind down the nuts into a paste efficiently enough. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can also use a food processor, but you’ll need to process the mixture a bit longer until it’s smooth, and frequently stop the machine to scrape down the sides to mix in any stubborn almond morsels.