Rise and shine, it’s berry picking time! If there’s anything that goes well with dairy, it’s a freshly-picked, red, ripe strawberry. In honor of strawberry season, we’ve decided to highlight our favorite strawberry and dairy combinations. Check out more delicious dairy recipes at gonnaneedmilk.com and strawberry recipes from our friends at Oregon Strawberries.
With warm weather and re-opened trails beckoning to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, packing up nutritious snacks and meals to take along is important. Cheese is the perfect high-protein food to throw in your backpack. With the array of hike-friendly cheeses available, even the most discerning hiker will have options to choose from.
What kind of cheese should I bring on my hike?
The next time you pack your backpack for a hike, avoid taking soft cheeses (brie, goat cheese or cream cheeses) and go for hard and dry cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda. Avoid shredding your cheese or cutting it into chunks before hiking as it speeds up the aging process and provides more chance of getting contaminated by bacteria.
How should I store my cheese?
Store your cheese in parchment paper while traveling, the porous surface allows cheese to breathe and helps in retaining it’s flavor. Replace your wrap frequently to reduce “sweating” (the process of butterfat separating from the cheese). And don’t forget to store cheese away from hot locations in your backpack and direct sun exposure.
Here’s a list of some popular dry and hard cheeses you can take with you in your backpack:
How do I keep cheese fresh?
A good habit to get into at home and on the trail, is to write down the date you initially stored your cheese on it’s storage container. This helps you to measure when your cheese may be past it’s prime. And if you’re backpacking for several days – keep your cheese in one block. Cutting it into pieces increases the surface area that can get contaminated by mold and bacteria.
How can you tell if your cheese is past it’s prime?
Always adhere to the 2 Hour Rule for leaving perishables out: After being in room temperature for 2 hours, always re-refrigerate hard cheeses and throw out soft cheeses.
Welcome to the first-ever, virtual culinary experience with Chef Jessica! Sponsored byODEand ODNC, school and child nutrition professionals across Oregon are invited to watch or cook along with Jessica as she prepares easy, tasty and fun recipes that meet Child Nutrition Program guidelines.
Participants receive tips for shaking up old recipes with new flavors and ideas to keep kids coming back for more.
While supplies last, all participants who complete the evaluation survey will receive an “Undeniably Dairy” apron, as worn by Chef Jessica (with three front pockets) and a handy portable milk cooler for your organization.
Statewide culinary trainings and this event are sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services. Questions? Please contact Crista Hawkins: email@example.com
Sustainable Communities Dairy contributes to strong, thriving communities and is accessible to all.
Dairy farmers are proud members of America’s essential workforce.
The dairy community is working hard to ensure every child has access to nutrient-rich foods, including dairy foods, to help them grow, learn and thrive. Read about school breakfast and child nutrition programs in Oregon.
Each year, farmers and dairy companies work with local food banks to deliver nutritious dairy foods to those in need, providing 469 million pounds of dairy- including milk, cheese and yogurt – to Feeding America in 2020 alone. Find out more about how farmers fight Hunger.
Looking for more information on how dairy nourishes people while responsibly caring for our planet and animals?Join the Dairy Nourishes Network.
Members of the network receive the latest dairy research, resources and recipes, as well as opportunities for free continuing education.
The 2020 – 2025 DGA provide suggestions for healthy eating patterns throughout all stages of life, including specific recommendations for women during pregnancy and lactation, and for infants from birth to 23 months.
The dietary guidelines have four main points:
1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
2. Customize and enjoy nutrient dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.
3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
4. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
The USDA MyPlate and MyPlate website guide all Americans to discover a healthy eating routine that is just right for their individual needs. MyPlate highlights five food groups (dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein, and grains) and suggests ways you can add more foods packed with vitamins and minerals, called “nutrient-dense foods,” to your diet. Examples of nutrient-dense foods are low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Nutrient-dense dairy foods are low fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
One healthy tip to help you meet your food group needs is to include two to three food groups with each meal and, watch your portion size to stay within calorie limits. To learn more about portion size and how much you need from each food group, go to MyPlate.gov.
Healthy eating should be enjoyable! Picking foods that sound good to you will also help make changes easier to stick with long term. Try to swap healthier foods into your diet, like low fat yogurt and fruit instead of a donut or Danish, or simply choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
It is recognized in the DGAs that milk, cheese and yogurt are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, iodine, and vitamin B12. These nutrients provided by dairy products are important throughout your entire life.
Starting at 6 months old, dairy foods like cheese and yogurt are important first foods that help form the foundation for healthy eating.
At 12 months, toddlers can drink whole milk instead of breastmilk or formula as a t critically important source of 13 essential nutrients important for healthy growth and development.
From pre-school to teenage years, dairy foods provide high-quality nutrients that help kids grow, thrive and stay healthy.
Adolescence is a critical time for good nutrition. Teen girls especially fall short of Vit. B12 and bone-building nutrients. Dairy foods have more bone building nutrients per calorie than any other food group.
For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, dairy foods provide vitamin B12 as well as iodine which are important to brain health.
Older adults benefit from protein and minerals in dairy to support bone health and maintain muscle.
Healthy eating is important throughout all stages of life for growth, prevention of disease, and overall wellness. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate are helpful guides to help you make every bite and sip count.
Makenna Stafford, is currently a Master’s student in the Dietetic Nutrition Program at Oregon State University. She recently worked as a Dietetic Intern for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council in 2021.
MyPlate is a guide for Americans on healthful eating that includes five major food groups, fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. MyPlate has recently been updated to reflect the newest edition of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Each person needs different amounts from each food group based on their height, weight, gender, and age. It doesn’t have to be complicated, because MyPlate has an app for that! Easily calculate your daily dietary needs in less time than it takes you to catch up on TikTok. Find the new app by searching for “Start Simple with MyPlate” in your app store.
What to explore on MyPlate.gov
Myplate.gov helps you eat healthier by including specific nutrition guidance for all stages of life! This includes nutrition for pregnancy and lactation, infancy, toddlers, preschools, kids, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults.
Another new aspect on the MyPlate website is a quiz to help you make sure you’re getting in all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. The quiz will ask you about your regular food intake, what your goals are, and what aspects of healthy eating you want to learn more about. Once the quiz is complete, you can find out if you should increase your intake for certain food groups. You will also be provided links to resources on topics you indicated you wanted to know more about.
Once you know what food groups may be lacking in your diet, the app also helps you create goals and holds you accountable. And, it even goes one step further to generate ideas to complete these goals. There are tips on easy ways to add the food groups based on your goals, and it will link you directly to recipes that include the food groups you need.
On #NationalPizzaDay, take your pizza to the next level with these quick hacks that are sure to spice up your pie, no matter if it comes from a box or straight from your own oven!
Sure, you can always add more cheese to take it to the next level, but you might be surprised how trying different types of cheese can improve an otherwise boring pizza. While some scientists claim that mozzarella and cheddar are the best mix, there’s also provolone, Gouda, Colby, Edam, Asiago, Gruyère, Emmental, bleu, ricotta, burrata – and, of course, Parmesan. And don’t forget to try local cheeses from your local creamery! Check out Oregon Cheese Guild to find a cheesemaker near you.
You can feel good about kicking back and binge watching your favorite show when you add seriously delicious veggies to your pie. Beyond popular favorites like garlic, peppers, onions, olives and mushrooms- have you tried zucchini, corn, cauliflower, kale, quinoa, squash, broccoli or spinach?
Pizza for Breakfast
There’s a reason that pizza is the breakfast of champions for college students. Complement your pie with a tasty egg for added protein that will give you a boost at your next class or zoom meeting.
Take a Dip
They say that the secret’s in the sauce. Rev up your pie by drizzling ranch dressing, pesto, BBQ, buffalo or hummus on top.
Some even dip their pizza in milk! We’re not making this up … it’s a thing.
Spice Is Nice
For those who like their pizza hot and spicy, you don’t have to settle for that packet of dried red peppers. There’s Tabasco, Sriracha, Cholula – and if that’s not enough, you can add peppers ranging from hot to “where’s-the-milk?!”
Promote your small time pizza to the big leagues by cooking it on a pizza stone or in your air fryer – you’ll never go back! Cooking tools like these give you an incredibly crisp crust while melting the cheese perfectly. Brushing a thin layer of olive oil on a cast-iron skillet will also give you a crispy crust in no time. Don’t forget to rub the crust with olive oil or melted butter before baking. You can also mix garlic powder, onion powder, crushed garlic, oregano, or some grated parmesan cheese into the dough to add a seasoned and flavorful boost to any pre-made pizza.
Rock and Roll Your Dough
Play with your food and switch up the shape of your pizza dough to make crescents, pinwheels, rolls, dippers and puffs.
You can also ditch the dough completely and use French or artisanal bread. Or use wonton wrappers to create the perfect package for your cheese and toppings!
Don’t forget about the sweet stuff! Break away from pineapple and make a dessert pizza with fruits like peaches, pears, apples, bananas and figs. Drizzle chocolate or caramel sauce on top for a sweet treat.
Walk on the Wild Side
Want to try something really different? Try adding some new combos like peaches and prosciutto, blackberries and basil, even shrimp and lobster. There’s plenty of inspiration online … alongside pizzas with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, spaghetti and ramen noodles!
Win Round Two
Don’t let leftovers hold you back from pie-in-the-sky creativity. Put a pizza upside down on another pizza with cheese in the middle and – Voila! Pizza grilled cheese! Or go a stack higher for pizza lasagna. Roll a mozzarella stick inside slices or cut strips of ‘pizza fries.’ Kids like slices cooked on a stick like a Popsicle or heated in a waffle iron.
When reheating slices, the oven is your friend. Preheat to 375 degrees and put it on a hot baking tray, cookie sheet or foil for 10 minutes. When using the microwave – just place a cup of water next to the pizza when you cook it to keep the crust from getting rubbery.
Hopefully these pizza hacks will help you elevate your next pie from disappointing to delectable. If you’re still not impressed, try getting the ingredients to make your own pizza the next time you’re at the grocery store and try your hand at making something from scratch. Grazie!
Imagine picking up your milk in glass bottles directly from the dairy farm as the cows are mooing in the background – or having your milk delivered right to your door. Although this may sound like a treasured memory from your grandmother’s past, four dairy farms in Oregon are bringing forward these time-honored traditions with some delicious options.
Whole, pasteurized milk that is not homogenized is commonly called “creamline milk.” When the milk is homogenized, the healthy fats that occur naturally in milk are broken down to distribute evenly throughout the gallon. In non-homogenized milk, that healthy fat rises to the top to create a line of cream. Before homogenization was invented in 1899 milk drinkers would shake their milk to distribute the cream.
Milk’s nutrition benefits also come in many tasty flavors! Like “Schocolate” Milk from Schoch Dairy & Creamery, Vanilla Latte Milk from Royal Riverside Farm, or Banana Milk from Lady Lane Farm. You can even get seasonal flavors like Blackberry Milk from Rising Sun Dairy.
Although some grocery stores carry creamline and small batch flavored milk, you can also buy your favorite dairy products and more right at the farm! Check out the list below for an option near you.
In closing, here are some quick tips. When visiting a farm, watch for signage, and park in designated areas. Avoid wandering into other parts of the farm without permission. Practice social distancing and bring a mask to ensure safety. Lastly, some farms take cash only, and if you aren’t going straight home from the farm, be sure to bring a cooler with some ice for safe storage.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of an Oregon success story that made national and international news.
On October 18, 2019, Rogue Creamery from Central Point, Oregon, earned the title of “best cheese in the world” for their Rogue River Blue Cheese at the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy. It was the first time in the history of the competition that an American cheese was selected as grand champion.
Similar to the “Judgement of Paris” in 1976, when American wines triumphed over the best French vintners in a blind taste test, this was a statement win and a landmark moment for American artisanal and farmstead cheeses.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council President, Tom Vilsack said, “This is more than a win for Rogue Creamery of Central Point, Oregon, The ‘Best Cheese’ title creates a halo effect that will cause global customers to look at all U.S. cheeses in a brighter light.”
This was no small feat. An international panel of 260 judges selected Rogue River Blue out of more than 3,800 cheeses from 42 countries.
The judges experienced the signature Rogue Valley terroir captured within each taste of the organic, cave-aged blue cheese wrapped in Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear spirits, with flavors of sweet pine, wild ripened berries, hazelnuts, morels and pears. It earned their high praise and respect.
This special cheese is the product of many years of hard work and refinement by President David Gremmels with support from his dedicated team at Rogue Creamery and their organic herd of Brown Swiss and Holstein cows. Rogue Creamery is a certified B-Corporation that serves as a model for sustainability in dairy, committed to leaving a positive impact on people, animals, and the planet.
“I am humbled and filled with gratitude. This is the greatest distinction a cheese can receive,” said Rogue Creamery President, David Gremmels. “What extraordinary validation of our commitment to quality, of the place that inspires our cheese – Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley – and of the excellence of the growing American artisan cheese industry.”
Since the 2020 World Cheese Awards were postponed to 2021, Rogue River Blue will have the rare distinction of continuing its reign as “best in the world” for two years running.
This is just one example of Oregon’s dairy producers and processors who bring our state’s great agricultural bounty to our tables.