Dairy, dairy quite contrary...
In a previous blog I made a comment about making sure we choose proper butter but hubby wasn't too happy because apparently the comment wasn't clear enough. And you know the saying, "happy husband, happy ???" Hmm, anyway, here goes...
1. Organic and/or Biodynamic
3. Full fat
4. What to look for in specific dairy foods
1. Organic or Biodynamic. Choosing these means there are limits on the medications, hormones and types of feed the animals can be given so that as few as possible toxins enter the animal's milk and therefore the dairy product you buy.
2. Unhomogenised. Choose unhomogenised and shake the bottle of milk yourself or remove the cream at the top. This disperses the fat particles in a much gentler way for your digestive and lymphatic systems. Local South Australia brands include Paris Creek, Tweedvale & Fleurieu Milk.
3. Full fat. Normal milk is only about 3.5% fat which is 2/3 teaspoon of fat per 100mL milk or 1 2/3 teaspoon of fat in a 250mL glass of milk (medium coffee). There is more natural sugar (lactose) in milk at 5.2% than there is fat. In my opinion, generally speaking, the less we tamper with foods the better. So choose full fat dairy products unless you have a specific issue with fat digestion such as having your gall bladder removed. As adults, we do not need to be consuming a lot of milk so the fat content of milk should not have a great effect in the overall context of our daily food intake.
4. Specific dairy foods
Butter: Choose proper butter where the ingredients are only cream, salt and maybe water. Avoid added oils, colourings, preservatives. Favourites (note I'm in South Australia) are Paris Creek for hard butter and Mainland Buttersoft for soft, spreadable butter.
Ghee: This is clarified butter and is traditionally used in India. Normal butter is approximately 80% butterfat, 15% water, 3% salt, 1-2% milk solids. When butter is turned into ghee the milk solids becomes curds which are easily removed and the ghee is much more stable and less prone to becoming rancid when not refrigerated. Easier for people with dairy sensitivities too as the milk proteins and sugars have been removed. You can buy ghee in some supermarkets often in the international section or from Indian or Ayurvedic shops.
Yoghurt: Choose plain yoghurt and add your own fruit and honey/maple syrup to flavour it. I haven't yet seen any fruit yoghurt that doesn't also add sugar and it's not going to be the nice unrefined sugar so it's best to do your own sweetening :)
Cream: The only ingredient should be cream! I know that sounds logical but many have added gums and thickeners so do check the ingredients.
Ice-cream: The ingredients should be cream, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla or equivalent flavouring. I haven't found an ice-cream in the supermarket that resembles this as yet, if you have let me know! So if you can make your own go for it! And of course use unrefined sugar (e.g. rapadura) or honey instead of white sugar.
Chocolate: Ahhh, my favourite...I prefer dark chocolate 70% or more cacao so these should be dairy free. Milk chocolate will also contain milk powder most likely. Avoid soy lecithin unless stated non-GM, flavouring, natural flavouring or any other additive.