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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dairy....non-fat vs. full-fat

Dairy is a very controversial topic.  There are those who think we shouldn't have any dairy in our diets at all, there are those that only have non-fat dairy, those who can't stomach to drink a glass of milk, and then there are those, like me, who love a nice ice-cold glass of creamy milk.  I am not a nutritionist, and I don't know what the perfect answer is regarding dairy.  I know that I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.  I am a total cheese and milk lover.  

I used to think, like most people, that full-fat dairy was a no-no once you were not in elementary school any more.  So, I started drinking skim milk...or should I say "white water".  I wasn't enjoying milk anymore.  I would also go for non-fat yogurt and sour cream.  Those aren't too enjoyable either.

Just before my senior year in high school, I went on an exchange program to Germany.  I noticed something right away...the only dairy available was full-fat.  If you asked for skim milk, they looked at you like you were asking to buy crack!  I fell in love with dairy again.  All the delicious yogurts, cheeses, and yes, milk!  It was creamy and delicious.  I have heard this is a trend all over Europe....and I didn't see too many overweight people.  They may have eaten foods with a lot of fat in Germany, but they kept the carbs and processed foods at a minimum.

I found a wonderful website that had an article about the topic.  Diagnosis Diet: Are High Fat Dairy Products Better for you?  It is very simple article to read, and it has me convinced that I shouldn't feel bad for enjoying my full fat cheeses and other dairy!

Here are some delicious recipes for dairy:

  • Chia seed yogurt blend:
    • Blend a 6oz container of plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a bowl.  Then add your favorite sweeteners to taste.  I put about 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar, and a pinch of cinnamon.  Let sit overnight and enjoy for breakfast the next morning.  Feel free to top with your favorite fruit.  **Chia seeds are a wonderful food that is considered a "power food".  They are full of fiber and Omega-3's. They are also known to keep you hydrated, fuller longer, and help to control blood sugar.
  • Ricotta Cremes:
    • Mocha Ricotta Creme: Blend 1 cup part-skim or full fat ricotta cheese,21 packets Splenda (or your favorite sugar substitute), 1 heaping tsp cocoa, 1 t instant coffee, 1 T chocolate syrup (I use dark chocolate syrup), 1 T vanilla extract, and 1 T half & half (milk or coconut milk can be used also) in a bowl.  Top with some dark chocolate chips.  Chill for at least an hour.  Makes 2 servings.
    • Lemon Zest Ricotta Creme1 cup part-skim or full fat ricotta cheese, 2 packets Splenda (or your favorite sugar substitute), 1/2 t vanilla extract, and 1/2 t lemon zest in a bowl.  I also like to add a squeeze of lemon juice.  Chill for at least an hour. Makes 2 servings.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and I hope you enjoy the recipes.  I will definitely have more dairy will be hot meals...with plenty of cheese!

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