Ricotta cheese is a mild, creamy white, and fresh cheese that has a soft texture and it tastes a little sweet. It is a commonly used cheese for lasagna filling and stuffed shells. It can also be used for a lot of other recipes as well. Because of its delicious flavor, a lot of people are now questioning if this type of cheese is gluten free.
If you like ricotta cheese, you might ask this question: Is ricotta cheese gluten free? In this post, we are going to discuss its main ingredients, some of its uses, and its health benefits. I hope that after you read this post, you will be well informed about ricotta cheese so you can put them to good use.
Is Ricotta Cheese Gluten Free?
Nowadays, more and more people are becoming health conscious and some of us are now curious about foods that contain gluten. As we learn about the harmful effects of gluten to our health, our awareness increases on what food items are safe. In this post, I am going to shed some enlightenment on one specific question: Is ricotta cheese gluten free?”
Gluten refers to the protein that can be found in cereal grain’s endosperm, which is a type of tissue that is produced in seeds. It is interesting to know that gluten nourishes plant embryos in the germination stage and it affects the dough’s elasticity. This is the main ingredient that makes baked products very chewy.
Gluten is only harmful to gluten-intolerant people. This would mean that their bodies have the ability to produce an irregular immune response while consuming gluten. Some examples of gluten intolerance diseases are celiac disease, wheat allergy, and irritable bowel syndrome. Those who have it must stay away from food items that contain gluten.
Majorities of ricotta cheese are gluten free. They are made of salt, milk, lemon juice or vinegar. However, you should not be alarmed about the vinegar component because only malt vinegar contains gluten. This type of vinegar is not used in making ricotta cheese, therefore, will make this a gluten containing food item.
With this, it is important to check the label first before buying ricotta cheese. You will find information in the ingredients section about what type of vinegar was used in making the cheese. Being informed will go a long way, especially if you are gluten intolerant. Checking the label will also give you information on what and what not to consume.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Ricotta Cheese?
Apart from being gluten free, ricotta cheese also has a lot of health benefits. It is ideal that you include ricotta cheese in your diet because of the vitamins and minerals it contains. However, it should be taken in moderation because of the calorie content and it can be a little fattening as well, especially if you are watching your weight.
First off, ricotta cheese has good protein content. A serving can provide you at least 27.7g of protein and 7.5g of carbohydrates. This would significantly increase your energy level that will also provide you strength that you require to complete your workout. However, you are going to have to sacrifice the amount of protein if you choose fat-free varieties.
Vitamins and minerals being present in ricotta cheese are the main reason why a lot of people have it in their diets. You can get about 51% of your daily-recommended calcium intake just from one serving of ricotta cheese. In addition, it has around 28% of riboflavin, 19% zinc, 39% phosphorous, 14% of vitamin B-12 and 22% of vitamin A.
Many people might think that ricotta cheese is bad for the health because of its calorie content. You can get around 428 calories from whole milk ricotta cheese. To add, it has around 31.9g of fat, which can lead to cardiovascular concerns when taken irresponsibly. With this, you have to opt to consume fat-free ricotta cheese instead.
Ricotta cheese has high cholesterol content, just like calories. You have to remember that this may cause coronary problems when ricotta cheese is taken in high amounts. A cup will likely give you 125.5mg of cholesterol and it is known that you must not consume more than 300 in a day.
Another reason to choose fat-free ricotta cheese is because of the sodium content. A serving can provide you around 206.6mg of sodium and you should not consume more than 1,500mg of sodium per day to maintain your health. These are just some of the reason why consuming ricotta cheese is good for you.
If you are in need of a very delicious recipe using ricotta cheese, you might want to check the video below:
What Are The Other Uses Of Ricotta Cheese?
Aside from being a healthy product, it is noteworthy that ricotta cheese can be used for a lot of healthy recipes. I am going to discuss some of the healthier alternatives that you might want to consider for cooking using ricotta cheese. You should be aware to always watch the amount of cheese because of harmful effects overconsumption can result in.
Ricotta cheese can be used to make green calzones, stuffed cannoli French toast, and baked manicotti. Another healthy alternative is using ricotta cheese to make kale and ricotta omelet. If you love pasta, you will be able to make pesto and sausage baked ziti, which also surprisingly very delicious.
For desserts, you might want to consider using your ricotta cheese to make the following: orange ricotta cheese chocolate chip pancakes, blueberry pizza with whipped ricotta, honey ricotta ice cream and crepes with whipped lemon ricotta. Lastly, you can use your ricotta cheese to make lasagna-grilled cheese.
Is ricotta cheese gluten free? Yes, it is. Here are some of the important points discussed above:
- Ricotta cheese is gluten free. You should not be alarmed if the label says that a main ingredient is vinegar because it does not use malt vinegar, which contains gluten.
- People are consuming ricotta cheese because of the health benefits one can get from it. Aside from being gluten free, it also has carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories.
- You can use ricotta cheese to prepare lots of different types of foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.