Saturday, June 2, 2012

Probiotic Rich Margarita "Ricotta" Gelato

Happy Saturday!

I'm so sorry that my posts have been so infrequent lately . . . I had a bit of a family crisis, which bled right into my niece Sarah's graduation from dental college and a fantastic visit with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, sister, as well as my son Michael and his girlfriend Sarah, which bled into non-stop packing to prepare for my move from Dallas to San Diego!  

But this morning I am sitting in my daughter Angela's back yard in Austin enjoying the pleasant early morning weather and taking a relaxing break from a few emotionally intense weeks!

I'm taking a rather indirect route to San Diego, stopping first in Austin for a week to visit Angela and 2 of my good friends who live here.  Friday I'll be traveling to Albuquerque, NM where I have the pleasure of doing 2 book signings on Saturday (June 9th) at 2  La Montanita Food Coop locations, then on Sunday I'll be at their Santa Fe location!  The deli departments in all 3 locations will be featuring items from my cookbook!  This is a great natural foods company with 5 locations and they have been wonderfully supportive.  So if you are near either Albuquerque or Santa Fe next weekend please stop by and say hello!

Now on to the subject for the day . . . a recipe for a fantastic probiotic-rich dessert!  I created this for an impromptu dinner I put together for Sarah's graduation and it is so wonderful I had to share it!

Tantalizingly Tart, Decadently Delicious, Margarita "Ricotta" Gelato

If you enjoy the tart flavors of limes, lemons, a touch of sweetness from oranges and honey, combined with the cool and creamy texture of a frozen treat . . . then this is the summer dessert for you!

In my cookbook - OMG! That's Allergy Free? - I have recipes  that help you turn ordinary goat or sheep's milk yogurt into sour creme, creme cheese, and decadently healthy ricotta!  For this recipe I took a super short cut on the ricotta because of time constraints, but it still turned out fantastic!

The great thing about using yogurt is that it is a great source of probiotics to begin with and the process of turning it into a ricotta style substitute allows a few more cultures to grow.

Begin by lining a mesh strainer with a triple layer of coffee filters or a lint free kitchen towel and placing it over a bowl deep enough to allow the whey to drain from the yogurt.  Stir the contents of 1 probiotic capsule into the yogurt, then transfer into the strainer and add a few strips of lime zest.

Cover with an additional coffee filter or kitchen towel and drain on the kitchen counter until very thick - about 10 hours - I only had time for 5 and it still turned out great - but longer is better.

Be sure to save the probiotic rich whey to use in your next batch of biscuits, scones or even a smoothie!  Just pour it into a jar and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Once you have created your quick ricotta substitute, remove the lime zest.  It's now ready to use!

Margarita Ricotta Gelato

This is a decadently healthy dessert!  Packed with healthy probiotics, loaded with antioxidants and sweetened with both honey and stevia the glycemic index is quite low while the taste and sophistication level of this simple dessert are chart toppers!
The texture of the super thick ricotta substitute creates a smooth and creamy dessert that most of us who avoid cream may be missing!  The flavor is intensely tart and has the citrus blend that reminds you of a delicious margarita.  You will find my own delicious (and sugar-less) Lime Curd recipe in my cookbook or feel free to use your own.
Yield – 1 quart

3 cups Ricotta Substitute
1 cup Lime Curd
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Guar Gum
1 teaspoon each, lemon, lime and orange zest
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder or 10 drops stevia extract
1/4 cup tequila (optional)

Mix the juices and Guar Gum together until fully dissolved.  Blend together until smooth, add to the bowl of your ice cream freezer and process according to manufacturer’s directions.  I use a Cuisinart ice cream freezer and it takes only 15-20 minutes until it’s perfectly frozen.

I froze my bowls and then rimmed the top with lime juice and dipped into coarsely ground sea salt, filled with 2 small scoops of gelato and served with a piece of salted lime.

It's the weekend so kick back, make some homemade gelato and see just how wonderful your probiotics can taste!


Dr. P

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