Heidi Harkopf

The Power of Real Dairy in your Cooking

There is just something so wonderfully uncomplicated about cow’s milk, cheese and yogurt.

Compared to the alternatives, they often contain fewer ingredients and yet are powerhouses when it comes to nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, and more. Other characteristics of cow’s milk that are hard to match include the protein quality and cost.

There are also benefits that are especially important to consider when choosing which beverage to serve your children. Learn more about this in the blog post, “Non-Dairy Milk: 5 Surprising Facts You Should Know” by childhood nutrition expert Jill Castle, MS, RDN.

The power of real dairy in your cooking

Cultures around the world have been enjoying cows milk for over 8,000 years with some of their most famous dishes centered around dairy as the main ingredient, like Swiss fondue, Greek Tzatziki, or Spanish Crème Catalana. What makes these authentic dishes delicious is that they are made with real dairy, not imitations!

Dairy is central to many cuisines because in addition to its nutritional benefits, it enhances flavor and provides a unique touch to dishes.

Milk Braised Pulled Pork with Mushrooms

Photo and recipe by A Family Feast

For example, cooking meat in milk is a tenderizing and flavor enhancing technique that has been harnessed for centuries across multiple continents. Give it a try in this Milk Braised Pulled Pork with Mushrooms by A Family Feast.

Cheddar and Emmantal Fondue with Roasted Vegetables

Photo and recipe by My Cape Cod Kitchen

Intimidated by the technique of Swiss fondue? This recipe by My Cape Cod Kitchen simplifies it and incorporates easy to find, local cheeses for a dish that will transport you to the snow covered alps.

Crema Catalana

Photo and recipe by Caroline’s Cooking

Countries around the globe have their own cream or milk based custard desserts. Crème Brulee, Flan, crème caramel, and Pots de Crème are just a few traditional ones you’ll find in restaurants. Spanish Crema Catalana is a dessert similar to Crème Brulee with the advantage of being lower in fat and calories as it is based on milk, not cream. Infused with citrus peel and cinnamon, the aroma matches the beauty of the caramelized sugar top.

Whether you are looking for real nutrition, taste, or authenticity in your dishes, you can tap into the power of real dairy!

We’d love to hear about your creative ways to prepare, cook, and bake with dairy! Share your photo’s with us on TwitterFacebook, & Instagram.


Heidi Harkopf

Heidi is a registered dietitian and the Director of Nutrition Programs for New England Dairy & Food Council. During her free time Heidi can be found in the kitchen or driving her 2 teenage children to activities all over her home state of Connecticut! A firm believer that healthy food doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming, Heidi loves how dairy helps her pull meals together in a jiffy. Sound like someone you want to get to know? Contact Heidi at hharkopf@newenglanddairy.com.

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