Can you use sour cream instead of ricotta? (3 alternatives)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you use sour cream instead of ricotta? We will talk briefly about sour cream and give you 3 alternatives for ricotta in any dish.

Can you use sour cream instead of ricotta?

You can use sour cream instead of ricotta as it has a similar component and taste and is great for dips. The sour cream is obtained from the layer of fat that was left on top of the homogenized milk. 

For starters, raw cow’s or buffalo’s milk is left to cool in a cool, damp place. The fat, which is less dense, will rise to the surface in a few days and can then be separated from the milk. In the industrial production of cream, the duration of this process is accelerated by the use of centrifuges called separators.

How do I choose and prepare sour cream?

Sour cream can be found at any supermarket, but can also be prepared at home using the procedure described above. A fact worth mentioning is that industrially produced cream may contain thickeners or stabilizers (sodium alginate, carrageenan, gelatin, baking soda, or alginic acid). The cream is not sold as fresh cream because it increases in a few days but as pasteurized, UHT, or sterilized cream.

Sour cream can be eaten as such, on bread and used in many dishes, especially in the composition of desserts, cakes, pies, ice cream, or cake creams. It can also be a suitable addition to salads (vegetables or fruits) and perfectly fulfills the aroma of cream soups prepared from various vegetables. Sauces for pasta or meat are also prepared from cream, along with mixtures of spices such as garam masala or curry. In America, it is added in small quantities to coffee as a milk substitute.

Should you use sour cream with a lower or higher level of fat?

It has long been recommended to choose low-fat or fat-free dairy options. However, recent research suggests that high-fat dairy products should not be avoided for health reasons.

For example, a 2017 report (1) conducted an analysis using 29 studies on the impact of milk and dairy products on all causes of mortality, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found no association between total dairy consumption and the risk for all causes of mortality, coronary heart disease, or cardiovascular disease.

In fact, there was an inverse association between fermented dairy products and all causes of mortality and cardiovascular disease. Fermented dairy products include sour milk products, cheese, or yogurt.

This report and other studies, but not all, suggest consuming high-fat dairy as part of a balanced diet may not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality.

What about the risk of weight gain when it comes to high-fat dairy products? The research is somewhat mixed. Some evidence suggests that high-fat dairy products in a balanced diet are inversely associated with the risk of obesity.

So, does it matter if you choose low-fat or full-fat cream or other dairy products?

According to these research studies, you may not need to switch to lower fat dairy options compared to full fat.

A larger impact can have the size of the portion of dairy products with complete fats and what the rest of the diet looks like. Full-fat dairy products can be fuller, which means they can make you feel fuller after eating.

Other substitutes for ricotta

Ricotta cheese is a typical ingredient in many Italian dishes and even desserts. This delicious cheese has a mild and neutral flavor so it can be used in fillings for ravioli, lasagna, and sweet cakes, among other recipes. In case it is not available in the supermarket or warehouse, there are some substitutes that you could use to obtain similar results.

Cottage cheese – Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese are often confused as they are both white, moist, and similar in appearance. However, cottage cheese is made from cow’s milk (whole, partially skim, or skim) and is slightly waterier than ricotta, which is made from the whey that is drained when mozzarella and provolone cheeses are made. When using cottage cheese in your recipes to replace ricotta, try to drain it before using it.

Paneer – The Paneer is a curdled, acidic, and uncured Indian cheese, made with lemon or lime juice and cow or buffalo milk. During the production process, the milk is first boiled and then lemon juice is added to it so that it coagulates and the liquids are separated from the solids.

 Likewise, during this process, the Paneer is heated to 95º C, while the ricotta cheese reaches 85º C. However, it should be noted that they are very similar in terms of flavor and textures.

Silken tofu – Silken tofu is firm tofu that is often used in vegetarian recipes. It is made with soy milk and is often different from conventional tofu due to its production process. Silken tofu is low in calories and has a flavor and texture similar to ricotta cheese. However, it is advisable to mix the Silken tofu with a little lemon juice in a blender so that it is much more assimilated to the ricotta.

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Can you use sour cream instead of ricotta? We talked briefly about sour cream and gave you 3 alternatives for ricotta in any dish.

Sour cream can be used instead of ricotta and can be eaten as such, on bread and used in many dishes, especially in the composition of desserts, cakes, pies, ice cream, or cake creams. It can also be a suitable addition to salads (vegetables or fruits) and perfectly fulfills the aroma of cream soups prepared from various vegetables. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References  

Guo, J., Astrup, A., Lovegrove, J. A., Gijsbers, L., Givens, D. I., & Soedamah-Muthu, S. S. (2017). Milk and dairy consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. European journal of epidemiology, 32(4), 269–287. 

Saljooghi, S., Mansouri-Najand, L., Ebrahimnejad, H., Doostan, F., & Askari, N. (2017). Microbiological, biochemical and organoleptic properties of fermented-probiotic drink produced from camel milk. Veterinary research forum : an international quarterly journal, 8(4), 313–317.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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