Product: Kite Hill Ricotta – $9.99+
Color me charmed. For real. A couple of weeks ago, I took a chance and tried a new product I discovered (exclusively) at my local Whole Foods. In fact, all of the products from this particular brand are only available at Whole Foods…currently. They are a little pricey, but as I’ve been discovering…they are totally worth it.
Kite Hill was started due to a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we love in the best artisan dairy cheeses. Using simple ingredients and using traditional methods, Kite Hill has created artisan cheeses, yogurts, and cream cheeses that can all be incorporated into entrées and desserts. Created by a dedicated team with deep culinary, cheese-making, and scientific expertise, including Tal Ronnen, Monte Casino, Jean Prevot, Pat Brown, and Matthew Sade, Kite Hill has stepped up to the challenge to create a non-dairy cheese that met their high standards for quality. So often, vegan cheese tastes fake or plastic-like. After years of recipe testing and countless trials and errors to develop the perfect nut milk, cultures, and enzymes needed to create a worthy product, Kite Hill emerged on the market place.
You will recall that I have already given a raving review for the Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread. Well, I had pasta on my mind this past week. Really. And I had gluten free lasagna noodles in my pantry. And ramekin dishes in my cupboard. See where this is headed? Yep…individual mini lasagnas…all made possible by the introduction of Kite Hill’s Ricotta – which is completely soy free, vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
Let me tell you, I was beyond blown away by this product. It surprised me. It really, really did. The Kite Hill Ricotta is light and fluffy right off the bat. It looked just like real ricotta…the stuff I am incapable of consuming anymore. Damn lactose intolerance. But let me say this, if Kite Hill continues to produce their version of ricotta cheese, then I will never miss it again. I know that tofu can be substituted in pasta dishes for ricotta…as can Tofutti’s Better Than Ricotta…and I have actually used both in successful recipes. But…it wasn’t the same. The texture was different. The flavor was different.
Not with Kite Hill. My roommate and I both tried some of the Kite Hill Ricotta on its own before I blended it with some herbs for the actual meal. Oh. My. God. I probably could have eaten the entire tub on my own, with just a spoon. There is that much amazing flavor in this cheese. The texture is light, but with a bit of heft to it. So, it mimics that of real ricotta. Oh…this was already looking good for my mini lasagnas. I just had to keep myself from eating all the cheese out of the container and to use it, instead, in the actual recipe.
No easy task.
But I did end up blending it with my herbs and some Daiya Mozzerella Shreds to complete the cheesy filling of the lasagna, which would also include sautéed onion and kale with some garlic. YUMMY!! The noodles were cooked, cooled, and put into the dishes. The ricotta & cheese filling was added, and layered with the vegetables…and of course an amazing sauce from Rao to top it all off. Into the oven for 40 minutes and…viola…we’re in business! The mini-lasagnas came out of the oven bubbling hot with cheese and sauce and a whole lot of goodness. I eased them out of the ramekins and dinner was served.
Oh. My. God. This was the best ricotta cheese substitute I have tried yet. Not only was this flavorful, mimicing both ricotta and/or mascarpone cheese, but it didn’t make the dish heavy at all. The ricotta has a slight tanginess to it, making it a nice addition not just to pastas, but also to desserts. This product is ridiculously tasty. I want to make ricotta pancakes now. And I think I might just do that…maybe tomorrow. We’ll see. I have some left over to do just that. And I have all these fresh local blueberries to use as well. Oh yes…I sense an epic gluten-free and dairy free pancake breakfast. It’s the best ricotta substitute I have ever stumbled upon. It’s made from almond milk, so if you have a nut allergy, it’s not for you, but it’s nice to have a soy-free alternative.
So, now let’s talk about the ingredients. Nothing beats real, wholesome ingredients. What’s even better, the Kite Hill Ricotta only has 5 ingredients in it. Yep. Just five! These include: almond milk (water, almonds), salt, enzyme, tartaric acid, and cultures. This product, as mentioned before, is gluten-free, soy free, dairy free and vegan. It also contains no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and no trans fats!
And with that in mind, this is the best time to discuss Kite Hill Roctta nutritional facts, yes? A serving of the Kite Hill Ricotta is 1 ounce (28 grams…or about 2 tablespoons). This serving will provide you with 70 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 2 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams dietary fiber, 0 grams sugars, and 3 grams of protein. Are you loving it? I’m loving it!
Seriously, you won’t find anything better than Kite Hill Ricotta. It’s so versatile. Pastas, pizza toppings, desserts, or even in hot chocolate, this will do it all. And the taste, oh my God, the taste is fantastic. I am hooked. I’ll pay the price to have a good tasting, good quality product. And Kite Hill totally makes it worth it. If you live near a Whole Foods, I encourage you and highly recommend that you check out the Kite Hill lineup of vegan artisan cheese.