Monthly Archives: January 2017

What I Learned on My First Visit to a Dairy Farm

Calf Barn

by Lindsay LeBrun, Graduate Student in Clinical Nutrition, Oregon Health & Science University

Lindsay LeBrunAs a nutrition intern for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, I recently had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm outside of Salem, Oregon, during my second week on the job. Since I didn’t grow up on a farm or have a background in dairy, this tour was an opportunity for me to learn about dairy production practices. I was also eager to learn what kinds of questions kids and parents had about milk and dairy.

After the hour-long car ride down I-5 from Portland, I made my final turn into a gravel parking lot and instantly knew I had found the right place. The excited yelps of fourth graders posing for a class picture made me turn my head as I stepped from my car. With cheesy grins they assembled in front of the wooden sign proudly proclaiming our location: “Rickreall Dairy.”

Cows eatingThis class is one of many that get a firsthand look at where their favorite dairy foods come from. At Rickreall Dairy, tour leader Stacy Foster conducts more than a dozen tours of the farm during the spring. The success of the program has allowed her to now expand to offering tours in the fall, and I was joining for the last tour of the season.

Foster, whose father owns the farm, began by acknowledging that she wouldn’t have hurt feelings if the kids (or parents) plug their noses. She admits it’s stinky, but that is to be expected when over 3,500 cows call this place home. Foster then asks the group if they know what milk is good for. Almost every hand goes up, and the chosen student announces, “bones.” “That’s right,” says Foster. “Milk has calcium and vitamin D for strong bones.”

Foster then leads us straight to the where the action happens: the milking parlor. This room operates 24 hours a day to ensure each cow gets two or three daily milking sessions. Foster tells us that each cow produces roughly 10 gallons every day, and overall the dairy produces 16,500 gallons daily! “Can you guys drink all of that milk?” she asks. A few cheeky responders reply with a “yes.” Foster laughs and says, “Well, you could probably eat all of that ice cream!”

We move on to the maternity barn where the sounds of the milking machines can no longer be heard. The children are excited to see two newborn calves beginning to take their first wobbly steps. This gives Foster the chance to explain the life cycle of a cow on the farm. The kids are surprised to hear that cows don’t just grow up and give milk – like humans, they have to have a baby first. As the kids peer over the enclosures to get a closer look, parents begin raising questions for Foster. “Is organic better than conventional milk?” “Can you taste a difference between different brands?” Foster points out that all milk sold in stores is held to the same standards for safety and quality. In fact, there are 27 regulatory agencies that Rickreall Dairy works with to be in compliance.

Calf milk bottlesWe end our tour by moving into the barn that houses the calves. “Who wants to bottle feed a calf?” asks Foster. She is met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from kids and parents alike. The children each grab a bottle and file down the row of calves, who eagerly stick their head out in anticipation of the meal. The children giggle as the calves gobble all of it down, and the bottles are drained within minutes.

For most of these kids, and for me, this is the first time they have seen a dairy farm firsthand. The tours at Rickreall Dairy are a unique opportunity to help kids connect the farm to table concept. Their faces light up when presented with the idea that the cows they met today could be the same ones that made the milk in their fridge. For parents, they enjoy having questions resolved to help them make good choices in what they feed their children. As for myself, I loved gaining insight into food system production and hearing about what the consumers wanted to know. A huge thank you to Rickreall Dairy and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council for making this experience possible!

Beef and Broccoli Stroganoff

Beef and Broccoli Stroganoff
Try this lighter twist on a classic creamy dish.  Make it a meal with fresh fruit and a cold glass of milk.

Serves 4

healthy-recipeentree-recipe

 

 

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
3/4 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced
2 1/2cups broccoli florets
10 large mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup 1% lowfat milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
1 1/2cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups cooked brown rice

Preparation
In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry beef until browned. Add vegetables, onions and garlic.

Stir-fry over medium heat 3-5 minutes.

Add flour and stir to coat all vegetables. Stir in milk and soy sauce; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Add wine or water. Gradually add sour cream and parmesan cheese. Cook over medium heat until just heated through; do not boil.

Serve over rice.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 540 calories, 13 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 400 mg sodium, 72 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 34 g protein, 340 mg calcium

Provided by: Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council

Country Buttermilk Slaw

Country Buttermilk Slaw
This sweet and tangy country slaw adds a refreshing crunch to any meal.

Serves 6

healthy-recipeSide dish recipe

 

 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk, shaken
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 large green onions, thinly sliced
1 pound Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

Preparation
Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved.

Add green onions, cabbage, radishes, and celery; toss to coat with dressing.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 70 calories, 4 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein, 68 mg calcium

Provided by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Pudding
Did someone say guilt-free chocolate? Here’s a dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth for under 200 calories.

Serves 4

dash-recipehealthy-recipeDessert recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Top pudding with sliced bananas or strawberries to add a serving of fruit to your dessert. You can even try sprinkling pudding with ground flaxseed for a slightly nutty flavor and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Use lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups nonfat milk (or lactose-free milk)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
In a medium saucepan, mix cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar and salt until well combined. Whisk in milk. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until thickened and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until chocolate chips are melted and pudding is smooth.

Pour into 4 serving dishes or one large dish and chill until set. To prevent a skin from forming on top place plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 197 calories, 5 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 138 mg sodium, 1 mg potassium, 0 mg magnesium, 125 mg calcium

Recipe from Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council

Tandori Chicken with Rice

Tandori Chicken with Rice
Tandoori chicken is packed with flavor from various spices, but isn’t necessarily hot. The combination of spices will keep you warm on cold days.

Serves 6

dash-recipehealthy-recipeentree-recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Tandoori chicken is spice-filled and offers a lot of flavor. Consider cutting back on the amount of crushed hot red pepper flakes if you’d like to go easy on the heat. Tame the spiciness with a dollop of cool plain lowfat or fat-free yogurt. Serve with steamed brown basmati rice and green peas.

Ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ cup lemon juice
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes (use ½ tsp for milder flavor)
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-2 inch pieces
6 skewers soaked in water for at least 15 minutes

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, yellow curry powder, ginger and red pepper flakes in a blender and process until smooth.

Skewer an equal amount of chicken pieces onto each of the soaked skewers. Place chicken skewers in a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the yogurt mixture, reserving the remainder. Cover and chill for about 15 minutes.

Spray another shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Remove chicken skewers, discard the yogurt marinade, and place chicken skewers in prepared dish. Brush chicken with reserved yogurt mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear when meat is pierced. Serve immediately. For a slightly more authentic preparation grill the chicken skewers over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 165 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 8 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, 101 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Yogurt and Dill Smashed Potatoes

Yogurt and Dill Smashed Potatoes
Smashed potatoes all dressed up with flavors of the Mediterranean.

Serves 4

dash-recipehealthy-recipeSide dish recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and fiber. They also contain almost half your Daily Value of vitamin C. So, keep potatoes on your table with this flavorful, nutrient-rich and easy-to-prepare recipe.

Ingredients:
1 pound small red potatoes, cleaned, unpeeled
½ cup red onion, diced
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to simmer and cook potatoes until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.Leave skin on and smash each potato on a cutting board using the bottom of a glass. Add the smashed potatoes to the yogurt dressing and stir to coat potatoes.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 127 calories, 1 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 25 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 2 g fiber, 196 mg sodium, 120 mg calciumRecipe courtesy of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Breakfast Bread Pudding

Breakfast Bread Pudding
Wake up to warm baked bread pudding with apples and cinnamon.

Serves 4

dash-recipehealthy-recipeentree-recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip:
Make this dish up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake. This bread pudding tastes great with other fruit too. See what’s in season at the farmers market. Instead of apples, try using pears, plums, peaches or berries.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup low fat 1% or fat free milk
4 eggs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups cubed whole wheat bread, about 4 slices
1/2 cup peeled and diced apple
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until well combined.

Add the bread cubes, diced apple and raisins, and mix until all ingredients are combined and the bread has soaked up much of the liquid.

Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray or butter.
Transfer the bread mixture into the baking pan. Cover with foil and bake, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Place the bread pudding into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown, about 20 more minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Nutrition Information:
Per Serving: 250 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 320 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 13 g protein, 170 mg calcium.

Recipe courtesy of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall Reaps Positive Results

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall

Families gathered at a local elementary school in Umatilla last month to learn how to cook healthy recipes that they could make together at home. It was a free class offered by Umatilla School District, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start and Oregon State University Extension Service; and it was precisely the kind of community collaboration that the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council had in mind when it organized the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall.

At the town hall meeting last October, local community leaders from education, school nutrition, extension, public health, health care and agriculture joined together to discuss how nutrition, physical activity, health and education impact student success. Together, the participants are strengthening local networks in Umatilla and Morrow counties and engaging a broad range of stakeholders in supporting the proven link between child health and wellness and education.

“The support for our students from teachers, child nutrition, after school and community programs has a clear and direct impact on their success,” said Heidi Sipe, Superintendent, Umatilla School District.

The town hall highlighted best practices in nutrition and physical activity and put the spotlight on Umatilla School District for their outstanding commitment to child health and success with innovative approaches to ensuring all kids are nourished for learning. Participants walked the new fitness trail at Umatilla High School, which was partially funded by the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and built by committed community members.

Town hall participants were asked to commit to school and community wellness with time and resources in the next school year and beyond. They each identified 90-day goals to keep the connections active and further their shared goal of advancing community health.  Participants will reconvene in one year to share their successes and continue their commitment.

“We need to do everything we can to stay connected and ensure the success of our students, families and community,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall was supported by: Umatilla School District, Umatilla County, OSU Extension SNAP-Ed, Intermountain ESD, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Child Nutrition Program and ODE Office of Teaching and Learning.