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How to Make and Freeze Homemade Ricotta Cheese

How to Make and Freeze Homemade Ricotta Cheese

A lot of people are fond of Ricotta cheese. From cannoli to lasagne, this is one of the key delicious ingredients in most Italian dishes and other delicious recipes too. As we all know, it can be quite expensive – but it’s a healthy food (and it’s delicious) so you probably cannot afford not to buy it. Do you know that you can make ricotta cheese in your kitchen? Yes, you can. With just a few simple ingredients and a short amount of time, you can make a fresher, lighter ricotta cheese than you would get in any store.

How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Here are some useful tips and steps to help you make simple homemade ricotta cheese in your own kitchen and save money.

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This is so simple that you need only three ingredients and 30 minutes and you are done!

The 3 ingredients you need to make the Ricotta Cheese:

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  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Milk

Equipment:

  • Saucepan
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine-mesh strainer

Here is the simple procedure you need to follow to make your own homemade Ricotta cheese:

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  • In your saucepan, place the milk, lemon juice and salt.
  • Set the stove to medium high heat and place the mixture to heat.
  • Allow the mixture to boil and when it is hot enough, lower the heat and let it simmer.
  • While it’s simmering, stir the mixture to prevent it from scorching on the bottom. Keep stirring until a creamy curd starts to form from the mixture.
  • When the curd is separated from the liquid, this means that your Ricotta Cheese is done.
  • Place cheesecloth of about 5 layers or more on a strainer, then start straining the curd from the Ricotta Cheese. Be mindful that the infiltration process would be better if you use more layers of cheesecloth.
  • Wait for a period of time to make sure that your Ricotta Cheese has been properly strained. You should never press down on the curd while straining the mixture (doing this will harden up the cheese and you don’t want that).
  • When it is completely drained, you now have your homemade Ricotta Cheese, which is ready to use. You can use it in your cooking, serve it as it is or store it in the freezer.

How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese

Now you have your Ricotta cheese and you are wondering if storing it in the freezer is a good ways to store it

A few people sometimes wonder if Ricotta cheese can be frozen, especially in situations where you have more than you need or have leftover Ricotta you intend to save. It’s only natural that you would inquire about how to preserve it. Well, yes, you can freeze your Ricotta cheese. Although you can freeze it for a period of time (3 months), it is unfortunately not the best way to preserve it because the taste may change after such extended period of freezing. Although you can still use it after thawing, it can be watery and soggy when compared to its original state before you froze it.

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However, there is a way you can still salvage the situation. You can blend the cheese to make its components come together, then drain it.

Sometimes, freezing Ricotta cheese is not the best option, but if you decide to freeze you Ricotta cheese, you should complete the following checklist:

  • Seal the cheese tightly in a plastic container or bag and put it the freezer.
  • If you intend to freeze the cheese for a long time, seal the cheese in a package, then place in a freezer bag too.
  • When you want to thaw it, you can do this in a cooked dish or by placing it in the fridge.

Featured photo credit: Anita Peeples via unsplash.com

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Kyra Taylor

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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