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Homemade Cranberry Herb Ricotta

Serves 6.


    This colourful appetizer highlights the season and can be included on a cheese platter as a lighter choice. It’s also a great way to use up milk that’s close to its best-before date.


    Don’t toss the whey!

    This quality protein can be used in smoothies or baked goods in place of water.

    An everyday cheese

    Use ricotta to top pasta and pizza. Homemade ricotta is a better choice than some store-bought versions that contain modified milk ingredients, binders, and/or preservatives.


    Homemade Cranberry Herb Ricotta


    • 8 cups (2 L) whole milk
    • 3 lemons, juiced
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) diced dried cranberries
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary leaves


    Per serving:

    • calories182
    • protein9g
    • fat13g
      • saturated fat7g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates8g
      • sugars4g
      • fibre0g
    • sodium167mg



    Line strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Cheesecloth usually comes in a quadruple layer in the package, so open and refold into 3 layers. Place over bowl or pitcher so you can save the whey.


    Put milk in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring regularly and watching closely to keep from scorching, until milk bubbles up sides of pot and temperature reaches 165 F (74 C), about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let it boil.


    Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir gently to combine and watch for the white curds to separate from the yellowish whey. It should start separating into curds and wheyu2014if this doesnu2019t happen and thereu2019s a lot of unseparated milk, add an additional 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice or white vinegar, and stir gently.


    Once milk is fully separated, gently pour it through cheesecloth, allowing whey to drain into bowl while capturing curds. You may need to stir it, scraping it gently from the cloth to allow more whey to get through. Add salt, stirring gently to avoid breaking the curds.


    Let sit for 10 minutes to drain until it reaches desired consistencyu2014some people prefer ricotta more dry and some more moist. Scoop it out of cheesecloth into medium bowl and add olive oil, lemon zest, cranberries, and herbs. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to allow flavours to combine, or refrigerate until ready to serve.


    Serve with fresh bread, crackers, and/or chopped veggies.



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    Going Pro

    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.