Archive for the 'Milk' Category

Raw Milk-Why Mess With Udder Perfection?

This article is Cross Posted on DrCate.com

Milk may be the single most historically important food to human health. Not just any milk, mind you, but raw milk from healthy, free-to-roam, grass-fed cows. The difference between the milk you buy in the store, and the milk your great-great grandparents enjoyed is, unfortunately, enormous. If we lived in a country where raw milk from healthy, pastured cows were still a legal product and available as readily as, say, soda or a handgun, we’d all be taller and healthier, and I’d see fewer elderly patients with hunched backs and broken hips. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where raw milk is available in stores and you don’t buy it, you are passing up a huge opportunity to improve your health immediately. If you have kids, raw milk will not only help them grow, but will also boost their immune systems so they get sick less often. And, since the cream in raw milk is an important source of brain-building fats, whole milk and other raw dairy products will also help them to learn.

What’s for Breakfast?

This entry is cross-posted at http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com .

I am pretty excited this morning, because today’s the day that the grounds manager from a small local college is coming over to spend a few hours helping me salvage a row of overgrown, antique quince bushes and convert a small corner of my yard into an edible garden.  I expect that we’ll be working pretty hard, so before he gets here I need to eat breakfast, and that’s what we’ll be discussing today.

Parmesan Cheese Now Available From Sugar River Cheese Co.

Sugar River Cheese, a kosher cheese company, has just announced that they now have parmesan cheese!  It took over two years to develop this cheese, with the characteristic flavor and  texture that makes parmesan so unique.

Going to the Source: A Look at Sustainable Dairy through the Eyes of a Dairy Farmer

By Rachel Gelman, Hazon Food Area Intern

There’s no doubt that including dairy in your diet can have a wide array of health benefits. Dairy staples such as yogurt, milk, and cheese offer a healthy dose of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Consumption of low-fat dairy has been proven to help lower blood pressure, and the calcium that comes from dairy can increase bone density and has even been linked to weight loss. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious! But there are also some considerable reasons to choose organic dairy products over their non-organic counterparts.

Yid.Dish: Homemade Yogurt and Buttermilk

“That’s disgusting.”

“But how can you be sure it’s safe”

“I guess I won’t be eating that from now on.”

I’ve received all of these reactions and more from friends when they’ve heard me explain that my wife and I make our own sourdough bread, yogurt and buttermilk. The products aren’t so distressing, but the processes, which are fundamentally the same, go against some deeply ingrained habits of thought: if germs are so bad, who in their right mind would deliberately cultivate germs and then eat the culturing medium?

Yid.Dish: In Search of the Perfect Cheesecake




As Shavuot approaches, I’m sure many people are contemplating cheesecake recipes. Chocolate with an Oreo crust; pumpkin with a caramel swirl; lemon or key lime; peanut butter chip; or just pure, unadulterated cheesecake.

It’s not so much the dilemma over recipe that irks me every Shavuot, it’s the huge crack (or 3) down the middle of the cheesecake when all I want is a smooth, beautiful top I don’t have to cover with fruit to hide the imperfections.

After doing some reading on the chemistry of baking cheesecake (and lots of failed experiments [in appearance, not taste :) ]), I found the perfect technique for making a smooth, creamy cheesecake. It freaked me out the first time I did it, but it was the most amazing cheesecake I’ve ever made.

Jonathan Safran Foer at B’nai Jeshurun

I just got home from seeing Jonathan Safran Foer speak at B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan. Foer spoke for a short while and read from his new book, Eating Animals, but a large portion of the event was devoted to Q&A.

Foer noted from the onset that the synagogue was a fitting venue to have a discussion about the ethical issues related to eating animals. He said that religion strives to lessen violence and suffering in the world and that it affects our relationship with the Earth and nature. He said that while he does not consider himself particularly observant, the Judaism passed down to him from his parents and grandparents “informed” Eating Animals.

He read a sample of the book’s opening chapter, which also appeared in The New York Times Magazine last fall. The concluding line “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” was a great “thesis” to shape the conversation that followed.

YID.DISH: Homemade Pizza

Pizza!

I’m sure that like me, many of you cannot get Hanukah cooking and baking out of your minds!  I will be making potato leek latkes, homemade apple sauce and some chewy ginger cookies tonight.  As you can tell, I’m in full holiday mode!  Anyway, if you are looking for a break from the holiday food maddness I have a great recipe for you!

My birthday was about a month and a half ago.  As much as I enjoy eating out I really wanted to cook my birthday dinner at home with my boyfriend this year.  We decided our main course would be homemade pizza – something neither of us had ever made.  I had heard it was very easy to make but having never made any type of yeast-based bread, I was a bit nervous!

I looked into a few recipes and ended up using one based on a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers.  I will say that this recipe didn’t make quite enough dough for me.  I think next time I will try this recipe.  The most fun thing about making your own pizza is that you can put anything you want on it (and it can be as healthy or unhealthy as you’d like)!  We were especially proud of our pizzas since the vast majority of the ingredients were local and organic.  I hope you enjoy making your own pizza.  Feel free to leave comments with your favorite topping combination!

Battle of The Milk Alternatives

 

food

It’s sort of funny when two worlds collide unexpectedly, especially when one comes to the aid of the other. Take for example my recent search for the perfect milk alternative. I don’t dislike good ol’ cow’s milk, nor am I allergic to it. But as an observant Jew, I often find myself at odds with the fridge staple, usually after I’ve just enjoyed a delicious turkey sandwich.  I am what some would call a Fleish-a-phobe: I rarely eat meat if I can avoid it out of dread for the five hours and one minute to follow, when I will be barred from my favorite treats: ice-cream, chocolate, cheese, milk-based pie, the list goes on.

And so I’ve spent some time searching for that perfect alternative, that wondrous, dairy-free concoction that will replace milk in my cookie recipe and help me whip up the perfect pareve pumpkin pie.  Recently, my best friend and I (with both health and Halacha in mind) unofficially took it upon ourselves to taste-test every non-milk available to us, from various brands of soymilk to the less orthodox (and rarely Kosher) hemp milk, with varying results.

Yid.Dish: Tahina Ice Cream

Icecream

The last time I went to Melo Hatene to stock up on tahina, I ran into my friend and fellow kibbutz member, David Leishman. David was there for tahina, too: He occasionally makes tahina ice cream for Melo Hatene’s restaurant in exchange for raw tahina and other yummy things from the shop.

Intrigued by the idea of tahina ice cream, I asked David for his recipe. (David has been making wonderful homemade ice cream since before he came to Kibbutz Gezer, over 30 years ago.) What I got from David was not really a recipe, but vague amounts for a restaurant quantity. 

Yid. Dish: Corn and Zucchini Risotto

Corn Zucchini Risotto

I know we are in the season of fasts for many Jews but here is a simple (yet a bit time consuming) recipe that tastes great!  We have been getting quite a bit of zucchini in our CSA box.  I even made a healthier version of this (the one without the pineapple) zucchini bread using this recipe.  If you’d like the modified version please post in the comments section and I will get back to you.

Now, I do like zucchini but when it is cooked and mushy it grosses me out a little bit (I have some food texture issues which involve a real dislike of baked/mushy fruits and vegetables).  So, in this reciped I added the veggies at almost the very end of cooking.  If you’d like them cooked a bit more you can add them earlier.

As I mentioned in a previous post, risotto has been a long-time family meal and holds a special place in my heart.  One of the reasons I love risotto is that it is so versatile.  I know many people are intimidated by risotto but this is totally unfounded.  The trick to good risotto is making sure there is always enough liquid in the pan.  You never want the risotto to be so dry that it sticks to the bottom of the pan.  So really the trick might just be attentiveness.

Like my previous risotto post, this recipe isn’t Kosher the way I made it.  However, it is very easy to make it Kosher.  You can use vegetable broth or some sort of chicken-flavored boullion for the depth of flavor that chicken broth gives you.  I would not eliminate the dairy in this recipe.  You just can’t have good risotto without parmesan cheese.  I hope you enjoy this summer risotto!

Yid.Dish: Nasturtium Butter, A Gardener Cooks

Nasturtium Butter
Nasturtium Butter

Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought flowers were for vases – not plates.

Oh, sure, I read the articles showing a cheerful chef tossing a nasturtium blossom on a pile of lettuce. Surely a tasteless bid for attention, I sniffed.

A recent web search for organic pest riddance has given me a new taste for ripe nasturtium blossoms, leaves and seed pods.

Gardeners have long loved nasturtiums as companion plants to keep insects off of collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, fruit trees and radishes. Nasturtiums themselves are as edible as the vegetables and fruits they protect.

The flavors are not dramatic. Blossoms, tossed whole or torn into salads, taste like mild radishes. Sautéed nasturtium leaves processed into a cold vichyssoise are peppery. Bined or pickled seedpods make a poor gourmet’s capers.

Here is one of my favorite recipes: nasturtium butter.  The petals give the butter a wonderful gold color.  This is excellent on freshly steamed vegetables or fish.

Ask the Shmethicist: WWMPD? (What Would Michael Pollan Do?)

MeatLoaf2outta3

Oh dear readers, the Shmethicist has been AWOL for a while.  But now I’m back and better than ever (not unlike that pea soup that was even more delicious when we reheated the leftovers!).

Dear Shmethicist,

I am currently feeding a family of four (two adults, two toddlers) on a very small food budget ($150 a week).  A couple of years ago, my husband and I were able to buy all organic dairy and produce, and free range meats and eggs.  Now, it is a rarity.  Our costs are so tight, that even at $150 a week, we only cook nice dinners on Shabbat.

We have noticed a difference in how we feel and would absolutely love to do this again. We do not have our own yard in which to garden, which I would love to do someday.  There are several farms near here, but they are not open to the public (instead, they drive their goods to the farmers markets in the large city, which is over an hour away and which we cannot afford to drive to regularly, at $20 gas for the trip and $10 parking for the day).

Yid. Dish: Onion and Gruyere Tart

onion-tart

First, let me apologize for the poor quality of the picture!  It doesn’t do justice to the tart or the camera’s abilities… better luck next time!  Now onto to the food itself…

I’ve always been a huge fan of onions – red, white, yellow, green – I don’t discriminate.  I like them raw and cooked, on bagels with cream cheese, on pizza, in salad, etc.   I find that most things I cook begin with my gorgeous Sur Le Table sautee pan (Hannukah present from my Dad), some olive oil, chopped garlic, and of course, some onion.   They just seem to add necessary flavor to everything.  Now I know there are people who hate onions and while I can respect that, I just can’t understand it.  However, as my friends and family will tell you, I have some weird issues with food textures that many cannot understand.  Fortunately my little sister has many of the same issues so I have an ally.  Let me also add, if you do not like onions, this recipe isn’t for you… but it’s really really good.