Hi, Bakers. My name’s Evan and I run the blog Food Makes Fun Fuel, all about my all-natural diet, baking, and running as a college student. I’ve been reading Heather Bakes for as long as I’ve had a blog and can’t imagine how excited Brian and Heather are for Jack’s arrival if I’m this excited for them! Congratulation to the proud parents!
For this guest post, I thought I’d investigate into a subject to educate myself and then educate ya’ll on what I learned. In the end, I chose one of my favorites: dairy. I don’t drink straight milk very often but I’ve gone vegan-for-a-day twice now and couldn’t imagine going another day without my beloved friend; milk and milk byproducts are in more than I’d ever have guessed, so it’s take a rather important place in my heart(and stomach). But I’ve found that, when choosing your milk, there are some “dairy dos” and “dairy don’ts.”
Dairy Don’t: Gulp Hormones
This should be your first concern when picking out your milk. Some farmers choose to give their cows rBGH to make them produce more milk. This is a foreign, artificial chemical for the cow, and goes to show how demented our animal product consumption has become. Would your grandparents ever have had to worry about this? No, but unfortunately today we do. Cows treated like this have had higher rates of udder infection, and it’s debated whether or not an extra growth factor stimulated by rBGH might cause cancer in humans drinking excessive amounts of their milk. The simplest thing to do: just say no to rBGH.
Dairy Don’t: Keep It Creamy
Cream. It’s pure human nature to have a predisposition towards this fat. That doesn’t, however, give us license to be pouring it into our coffee day after day. A tablespoon of the stuff has 20 calories, mostly comprised of saturated fats, and something tells me nobody’s measuring out just a tablespoon in their morning cup o’ joe. It may seem harmless, but it’s such a simple thing to ditch for your health, and (just stick with me) I’ll pose some alternatives.
Dairy Don’t: Skim The Fat
Milk is such a great source of Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. You want those vitamins, don’t you? Well skip the skim. Vitamin D and, to an extent, Vitamin A are fat-soluble vitamins. They might be present in skim milk but that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting them. Plus (and let’s face it), fat free milk might as well be water in flavor.
Dairy Do: Score A 98%
Enough of the dairy don’ts. Let’s get some dairy do’s. So what should we be drinking? Either a good 2% or 1% is the perfect combination of flavor and nutrition. The fat present will let you get all those vitamins and add a bit of flavor. 2% is one great option to add to coffee with hardly any difference from cream.
Dairy Do: Culture Yourself
Confession: I don’t drink much milk. On its own, I can’t help but think what’s the point? What I do love is yogurt and kefir. Both of these are forms of milk that have had bacterial strands added to them. Unlike mold, these bacteriae are good for the digestive system and its healthy to replenish them from time to time. There’s more variety here than I have time to mention, but you can find yogurt in pretty much every variety: fat free, low-fat, full fat, greek non-fat, greek full fat. And with PLENTY of fun flavors so that you’ll never be disappointed. Kefir and buttermilk are a drink much like milk, except a touch thicker. Buttermilk and yogurt are great to bake with because they’re thicker and can substitute for cream, butter, and most other of their fattier counterparts.
Dairy Do: Drink Like A Vegan
Just because you can drink milk doesn’t mean you have to–cow’s milk that is; there are tons of vegan options out there to explore. Most notable is soy milk, made from pressed soy beans. Like milk, this is a balanced protein with a little bit of carbs and fat. If 2% isn’t doing it for you in that morning coffee, Silk makes a great line of creamers. A little more obscure, there’s also almond, rice, hemp, and coconut milk to explore. Of these I’ve had almond and coconut; almond is thin but with a great nuttiness and good, healthy fat content. Coconut milk is much thicker and very close to real milk in fluidity; it has a good dose of saturated fats but a strand that humans process differently than the same from animal sources, and coconut milk is naturally low carb. My two favorite vegan alternatives would be Silk Nog and So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir. The former you’d never guess was vegan or cholesterol free and has that rich, nutmegy flavor that suits this time of year. The latter is deliciously thick, almost like a smoothie and probiotic to boot.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my dairy dos and don’ts. Once again, congratulations to Heather and Brian (though I think Heather might insert here that he wasn’t the one carrying Jack for the past 9 months) and I hope you check out my blog where you’ll certainly find some dairy being done.