Category Archives: taste and health

Dairy and Strawberry Summer Dishes

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.

This delicious Strawberry Ricotta Cake has us longing for brunches outside in the summer breeze.

Need to spice up your chicken dinner? Check out this Strawberry Balsamic Mozzarella Chicken – tart strawberries are the perfect combination for balsamic with bite and creamy mozzarella cheese.

We can see this Doughnut Strawberry Shortcake with Bourbon Whipped Cream as the perfect campfire treat after a long hike on the trail.

After this year, we’ve realized that we need more Feta in our lives. For a fresh take, try this Whipped Feta Dip with Strawberry-Basil Relish. Delish!

Looking for more recipes with fresh, local Oregon foods and healthy dairy products? Check out these sites for more inspiration:

GonnaNeedMilk.com

US Dairy Recipes

Oregon Berries

Oregon Strawberries

Oregon Blueberries

Take A Hike – But Don’t Forget the Cheese!

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:

  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Gouda cheese
  • Cojita
  • Gruyère cheese
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Colby
  • Colby-Jack
  • Manchego
  • Monterey Jack
  • Edam
  • Emmental
  • Comté cheese

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.

Where can I hike with my cheese?

Anywhere! Check out Tillamook County Wellness and Travel Oregon for more ideas on hiking trails, beaches and scenic areas to visit.

Child Nutrition Culinary Workshop

Welcome to the first-ever, virtual culinary experience with Chef Jessica!  Sponsored by ODE and 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.


After viewing the webinar, please complete the evaluation survey to help us meet your needs with future trainings:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y288PZ2

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. 


The links referenced in the recording are:

https://www.foodhero.org/kids-taste

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework of wellness

https://theicn.org/icn-resources-a-z/usda-standardized-recipes

https://foodhero.org/recipes/recipe-categories/cooking-crowd

https://healthyschoolrecipes.com/

https://odncouncil.org/schools


For more information on culinary trainings, check out Nourish Myself…Thyme for Me Webinar recording with Dayle Hayes and Chef Brenda Wattles (Certificate of Completion available).

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: chawkins@odncouncil.org

RELATED LINKS:

STUDENTS CONNECT WITH SCHOOL NUTRITION PROFESSIONALS (VIDEO)

SCORE BIG WITH SCHOOL BREAKFAST!

WHAT WILL THE SCHOOL LUNCH OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

Dairy Plays an Essential Role in Sustainable Food Systems

From farm-to-table, in Oregon and across the U.S., the dairy community is committed to nourishing people while minimizing impacts to the environment and preserving natural resources.

Sustainable Wellness
Dairy is a nutritious and affordable choice that fuels overall wellness. 

  • Dairy foods are linked to health benefits like reduced inflammation, improved digestive health and healthy immune systems.  Read more about the Health Benefits of Dairy.
  • Milk is a nutrient powerhouse with 13 essential nutrients. Check out more Milk Facts.

Sustainable Planet
Dairy is committed to being an environmental solution – raising the bar on social and environmental responsibility. 

  • In 2020, U.S. dairy set aggressive new environmental sustainability goals to achieve carbon neutrality or better, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050.  
  • Everyday 306 million pounds of food by-products are kept out of landfills thanks to dairy cows’ unique ability to upcyle. Find out why we think cows are nutrition superheros
  • Two Oregon dairy farms and one dairy co-op have received national recognition for their sustainability. Learn about award winning dairy in Oregon.

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.

Make Every Bite and Sip Count, New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Make every bite and sip count! This is the call to action in the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).  Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update the DGAs, which are a framework for healthy eating patterns throughout life, aimed to promote health, prevent disease, and meet nutrient needs.  

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. 

Learn more about the DGA here

Investigate How Dairy Helps People Thrive Across the Lifespan (Download Here)

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.

Resources:

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DAIRY

HEALTHY DAIRY PRODUCTS AND THEIR NUTRITIONAL POWER

EATING CHEESE MAY PROVIDE HEART HEALTH BENEFITS

IMPROVING NUTRITION, HEALTHCARE OUTCOMES IN OLDER ADULTS

Learn more about healthy eating at MyPlate.gov

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.

Click for a video on the new USDA 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.

Besides these updates, there is a lot more to explore on the MyPlate website. If you are looking for more recipe ideas, the website has a robust recipe section where you can search by type of cuisine, kitchen equipment, food groups and more. It even has tips for eating on a budget and printable nutrition education materials in Spanish and English.

All about the MyPlate App

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. 

If your goal is one more serving of dairy in your day, the app could suggest you “start your day with dairy.” Tips include mixing sliced bananas with yogurt, preparing a fruit smoothie, or cooking oatmeal in low-fat milk. Goals for increasing vegetable intake could be “snack on vegetables” with recipes like Caprese veggie skewers to keep mealtime fun or have veggies with a bean dip or hummus. Recipes have also been gathered for SNAP recipients, featuring an array of healthy options.

If you are motivated by a friendly competition, the app could encourage you to keep up with your goals when you join challenges or earn different badges. Get the whole family involved!  

You’ll eat healthier when you let MyPlate help you implement new and fun foods into your day. And it doesn’t cost a thing, so what are you waiting for? Check out MyPlate and start today!

Liz Davitt, MS is currently a Dietetic Intern at Oregon State University. She completed her community rotation with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council in 2021.

Resources:

MYPLATE.GOV

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES 2020 – 2025

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY

DASH DIET EATING PLAN

Hack Your Pizza With These Quick Tips

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!

Stay Cheesy

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.

Vegging Out

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?!”

Crispy Crusts

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!

Just Desserts

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!

RELATED LINKS:

NINE EASY WAYS TO HACK YOUR PIZZA

DOMINO’S AND DAIRY: A PARTNERSHIP POWERED BY PIZZA

6 WAYS CHEESE CAN HELP YOUR BODY

Which Flavor Do You Favor? Four Oregon Dairies Selling Milk at the Source

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. 

Lady Lane Farm (Garry’s Meadow Fresh)

Mulino, Oregon 

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter

Address: 13025 Mulino Rd., Mulino

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized “Brown Cow Delight” chocolate milk in glass bottles 
  • Whole, pasteurized cappuccino milk in glass bottles
  • Reduced Fat pasteurized milk in glass bottles     
  • Skim pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Unsalted, Salted, Garlic and Honey Farm Fresh Butter
  • Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Farm Fresh Beef 
  • Farm Fresh Pork
  • Artisan Cheese curds and a variety of wedges
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Butter Pecan, Cookies and Cream, Banana Cream Pie, Mint    
  • Chocolate Chip (and many more) Old Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream 

Rising Sun Dairy

Turner, Oregon

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Address: 12092 Parrish Gap Rd, SE, Turner

  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 milk in glass bottles
  • Skim, pasteurized A2A2 milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 chocolate milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 strawberry milk in glass bottles
  •  30% Whip Cream

Royal Riverside Farm

Albany, Oregon

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment

Address: 36042 Riverside Dr. SW, Albany 

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized chocolate milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized strawberry milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized vanilla latte milk in glass bottles
  • Soft Serve Ice Cream
  • Fresh Eggs
  • Farm fresh pork
  • Farm fresh ground beef

Schoch’s Dairy and Creamery

Hillsboro, Oregon

Hours: Seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Address: 24335 NW Union Rd, Hillsboro 

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized “Schocolate” milk in glass bottles
  • Eggs
  • Artisan Swiss cheese from Helvetia Creamery


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. 

RELATED LINKS:

MILK DELIVERY RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS

THE MAGIC OF MILK: HOW TO KEEP YOUR MILK FRESH

NINE REASONS TO ENJOY REAL MILK IN YOUR HANDCRAFTED COFFEE DRINK

“blue cheese day” celebrates america’s first grand champion cheese

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.

In honor of Rogue River Blue’s historic win, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a proclamation designating October 18 as Blue Cheese Day.

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. 

RELATED LINKS

Going Rogue: Oregon Cheese Makes a Big Statement

Rogue Creamery

Oregon Cheese Guild

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