Who else is following the Intermittent Fasting Diet?
I do and I feel great about it! I stop eating at 6:00PM which gives my body ample time to recover and burn fat. This diet was a trial and error at the beginning until I followed three golden rules:
- Breaking down three meals into smaller five meals during the day
- Drinking two cups of warm water in the morning, sweetened with honey and spiked with lemon juice.
- Retiring to bed before 11:00PM. No more late iPhone scrolling.
Admittedly the harder rule to follow was the first— five small meals. Simply I didn’t have the time to make five different stops in the kitchen on my busy, crazy days, to make and eat those extra meals.
That said, like everything else in life, batching and planning ahead typically render the challenging doable.
I make these mini cheese balls once a week now out of skimmed milk. I use them for one small meal out of the five. They are inspired by a scrumptious white cheese and tomato spicy dip that my mom used to serve as an appetizer.
On one hand, this recipe uses up all the leftover of milk in the fridge as well as the fresh herbs, so nothing goes to waste. On the other hand, I fix a healthy snack/meal to munch on so I don’t starve myself and end up binging on pasta and ice cream before going to bed.
The beauty of these cheese balls is that while the base is one, the coating options are endless. They also look sophisticated and vibrant unlike miserable diet food void of flavor and styling.
Start to finish, these mini cheese balls probably take one hour to make, but they can last more than a week in the fridge, if you are the only person aware of their existence.
Making Ricotta cheese out of milk is as easy as filling a bottle with water. Follow the recipes below and success is your friend.
These mini balls are also cocktails-worthy! Serve them on crackers and you will watch them disappear in no time.
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Mini Cheese Balls in Four Different Flavors
Makes 20 to 30 cheese balls.
- 4 cups skimmed milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or white vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil, add more or less if you wish
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, chopped (optional)
- Handful of dill
- ½ cup mixed herbs (parsley, dill and mint), finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Paprika or chipotle pepper
- Za’atar mix
- Black sesame
- Make the ricotta cheese: Add the milk to a heavy bottom pan, and heat over medium-low heat until its gets foamy. Don’t let it boil. Add the lemon or vinegar. Let it simmer for not more than 3 more minutes on very low heat until the liquid separates from the solids. Empty the pan into another clean and heat-resistant container topped with a fine mesh-sieve that is lined with a double layer of cheese cloth. Wrap the cheese cloth around the cheese and squeeze to discard any excess liquid. When the cheese is at room temperature and completely dry, add the olive oil, tomatoes, herbs, spring onions, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and leave in the fridge for an hour.
- Shape the cheese balls: With gloved hands shape the cheese into mini balls the size of walnuts. If the balls seem too dry to shape, add a drizzle of olive oil. Place the balls in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add the coating: Scoop the paprika or chipotle pepper, za’atar, walnuts, and black sesame seeds into separate dishes. Divide the balls among the flavorings. Roll each ball in just one coating.
- Store the cheese balls covered in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- Serve them with low-carb crackers or toasted whole wheat pita bread for snacks or cocktails.
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