Valley Bounty, June 22: Milk and Yogurt
While the neighborhood milkman is a rare sight these days, sources of farm-fresh milk still abound. Massachusetts dairy farms steward almost a fifth of our farmland, and supply almost a fifth of our milk. With the start of berry season, try making strawberry smoothies with local milk and yogurt, adding vanilla, cardamom and maple syrup to taste. Then try variations – raspberries and blueberries are just around the corner and pair well with mint or basil.
A list of Pioneer Valley milk producers is here. You can also use this page to search for farms offering dairy products like yogurt, cream, ice cream or butter.
Interested in more information about local dairy farms and where the milk you drink comes from? See our new page on dairy farms 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!
The possibilities for summer smoothies are endless. 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.
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.
If you make your own yogurt, share a photo with us and join the Local Hero Challenge! You can learn more and join the challenge here.