Valley Bounty: June 21, 2014: Dairy

One of the many delicious ways to boost your natural Vitamin D intake this time of year is by enjoying a glass of milk, strawberry smoothie, or yogurt parfait. Dairy farms are an important part of our Massachusetts land base, and those in the Pioneer Valley make up 41% of the Commonwealth’s remaining dairy operations. Find recipes for this local treat–plus sources and more information below!

Web extras

Sources

Find our list of Pioneer Valley milk producers here.  You can also use this page to search for farms offering dairy products like yogurt, cream, ice cream or butter.

Local Dairy

Interested in more information about local dairy farms and where the milk you drink comes from? See our page on dairy farms here, and our list of ice cream stands here

Among the many interesting facts on the dairy page is this: A recent study found that roughly 18% of the milk consumed in our state is produced by Massachusetts farms, so supporting local dairy farms is easier than you think!

Recipes

CISA’s Special Projects Director, Margaret Christie, loves strawberry smoothies. Here is her recipe for a basic strawberry smoothie:

  • Put fresh or frozen strawberries in the blender (frozen, the berries will thicken the smoothie and act like ice cubes).  Then fill the blender half way up with milk, add two generous dollops of yogurt, a teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, and maple syrup or honey to taste, and blend well.
  • For variations as the berry season progresses, try a blueberry basil smoothie, raspberry mint smoothie, and peach smoothie with fresh ginger.  You can add greens as well – The Kitchen Garden suggests this recipe for a green smoothie: Combine 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 cup of your favorite milk, a really good handful of spinach, a tablespoon of honey and some frozen fruit.

Alana Chernila from Eating From the Ground Up blog shares a kid friendly vanilla pudding recipe here, as well as Alice Waters’ strawberry ice cream recipe. Yum!

Yogurt

On the Happy Valley Locavore page, Meggin Thwing Eastman shares recipes on how to make your own yogurt, frozen yogurt, and herbed yogurts here.

It’s incredibly easy to make yogurt at home, and it requires no special equipment. All you need is milk and a tiny amount of already-made yogurt! There are good, simple instructions here. Upinngil Farm offers detailed yogurt-making instructions here.  Another simple set of instructions is here.

CISA staffer Abby Getman loves a good parfait for the occasional last-minute breakfast. Usually made in a mason jar, with one foot out the door:

  • Layer 1 cup yogurt (her favorite is SideHill Plain), 1/2 cup granola, and frozen berries. Add a teaspoon of maple syrup if desired.