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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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