Good Morning and Happy Saturday,
I cannot believe April begins on Monday! April is the heart of spring. It’s when we observe the most change outside. The leaves make their way back onto trees, flowers start sprouting through the soil, and the grass is the greenest we see it all year.
The fresh, spring grass is not only the greenest of the year, but it also contains the highest amount of nutrients. Grass-fed dairy cows use those nutrients from the grass to create extremely healthy milk and cream.
The butter from grass-fed dairy during the late spring months tends to be more yellow because of the higher levels of beta-carotene in the spring grass. Dairy cows can store the beta-carotene in their milk fat, which changes the color. Sheep, goat, and water buffalo butter however is white because they don’t store the beta-carotene like cows. Instead, they convert it to vitamin A, which is colorless. Nevertheless, the spring cream is richer in vitamin A.
Grass-fed dairy cows provide milk significantly higher in beneficial omega-3’s and lower in omega-6’s. Consuming too much omega-6 (which is typical in the American diet) increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Grass-fed dairy also contains higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2.
Grass-fed dairy is a better choice for your health, the health of the animal, and the health of the environment! We have so much to choose from whether it is milk, butter, or cheese. Here are some of my favorite and unique grass-fed dairy products we sell.
Crème fraîche is cultured milk and cream that thickens into a custard-like consistency with a slightly tangy flavor. It reminds me of both sour cream and yogurt, although it has a much higher fat content than either, so its flavor is much richer, and its texture is much creamier.
Because of its higher fat content, it can be heated to a higher temperature without curdling. This makes it a great choice for enriching sauces or soups. It also works great as a topping for baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, rolled into crêpes with fruit spreads, or slightly sweetened with honey as a dip for fruit.
Here is a snack my kids created the other day that was absolutely amazing!
Strawberries + Crème Fraîche + Local Honey: Wash and dry strawberries. Dip the ends in crème fraîche then arrange on a platter. Drizzle honey over the top and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip
In November, I posted a recipe from one of my favorite Instagram accounts @therealfoodrds. They posted a recipe for peanut butter yogurt fruit dip and it was so good! It’s simple, healthy, and quite tasty. The dip is a unique combination of flavors that work great together and pair well with cut fruit for a perfect afternoon snack.
LaClare Family Creamery is a new vendor of ours from Wisconsin. They are one of the most awarded goat cheese producers in the country! We are selling three of their goat cheese logs. Original, Blueberry Vanilla, and Everything Bagel Spice.
One of our favorite ways to incorporate goat cheese into our meals is by crumbling it into our eggs. Whether they are scrambled, an omelet, or over-easy, the addition of goat cheese elevates the dish and adds a burst of flavor. The Original and the Everything Bagel Spice both work well in eggs. And, the Blueberry Vanilla—well, we just slice and eat. It is tastes just like dessert!
Carr Valley butters:
We just added gourmet butters from Carr Valley Cheese Company. They use milk from cows, goats, and sheep that are raised in Wisconsin. They are raised on pasture and eating their natural diet which makes their milk and cream healthy and delicious. All three varieties—cow, goat, and menage (which is a combination of cow, goat, and sheep cream) have such bold, unique flavors. They are best used as a spread on pretzel crisps, crackers or artisanal bread.
I have a deep love for Hartzler’s butter and since I have been eating it daily for several years now, I can see, smell, and taste a difference in their butter as the spring grass nourishes their cows. When I get a 2-pound roll of butter from Hartzler’s, I cut it in half and use one half for cooking and eating as butter and the other half gets turned into ghee.
Ghee is pure butter fat that originated in India. It’s an excellent choice when cooking/baking at high temperatures because the water and milk proteins found in butter are removed which gives it a high smoke point. The finished product is a beautiful, golden liquid that is lactose free, casein free, incredibly nourishing, and has a delicious and slightly nutty flavor.
Check out my Facebook post on how to make ghee! It’s quick and easy and saves you a ton of money on store bought ghee.
Honey Ghee Spread
If you decide to make ghee, you must try this honey ghee spread! We dip fruit into it, spread it on rice cakes, eat it with a spoon, and I like to drop it into my coffee and tea. It is nutrient dense, satisfying, and makes a perfect snack.
Using a mixer, whip together
• 1 cup of ghee
• 4 tablespoons of local honey (I like to use raw honey)
• ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
…and a pinch of sea salt until it is light and fluffy. Spoon into a glass jar and enjoy! The honey ghee spread can be stored at room temperature for three months or in the fridge for a year.