Macadamia ‘Ricotta’

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Macadamia 'Ricotta'

Macadamia ‘Ricotta’

I’ll be honest. If given the choice between a full cream cows milk ricotta and this nut ‘cheese’, I’m taking the real dairy version every time. But when soft cheese is off the table (hello pregnancy!), I’m very glad to have this as an alternative.

The first time I made this it was a bit ‘grainy’ but after getting my food processor blade sharpened, the second batch was much more creamy and lovely.

makes about a cup
takes 15 minutes + soaking time

200g (7oz) macadamias
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt

1. Place macadamias in a ceramic or glass bowl or jug and cover generously with water – about 2 cups but no need to measure.

2. Soak nuts for at least 6 hours (and less than 48).

3. Drain, discarding soaking water. Place nuts in a food processor. Add lemon juice, a good pinch of sea salt flakes and 1/2 cup water and whizz until as smooth as you can get it. Scraping down the sides a few times.

4. Taste and add more salt and/or lemon as needed.

Variations

different nuts – best to use raw (unroasted) nuts. Cashews are good but you could also use almonds. I probably wouldn’t try pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts because the flavour would be a bit weird. If money is no object, pinenuts are another possibility.

sweet cream – skip the lemon juice and add a little of your favourite sweetener such as maple syrup, honey or stevia.

extra ‘cheesey’ – add a teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast.

thicker – add less water to the food processor.

more runny / thinner – add more water. Once refrigerated, it does thicken up a little.

macadamia ‘yoghurt’ – add an extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice and the powder from 2 probiotic capsules. Stand at room temp to help the culture ferment for 8-12 hours before refrigerating.

nut-free – use regular ricotta! Or you could try sunflower seeds… not sure how they’ll go but worth a shot.

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