Eat Local! Grass Fed Dairy
May 30, 2015
Growing consumer interest in grass-fed beef products has raised a number of questions with regard to differences in nutritional quality between grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid composition and antioxidant content of beef and beef products such as milk. They have been found to be higher in conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), CLA precursors and omega-3 fatty acids. CLAs are known to modulate body composition by reducing the accumulation of body fat while omega-3s are potent anti-inflammatories. While the overall concentration of saturated fats is not different between feeding regimens, grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol-neutral stearic acid and less cholesterol-elevating saturated fatty acids such as myristic and palmitic fatty acids. Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase activity as compared to grain-fed counterparts. This is why grass-finished beef fat (in addition to their milk products) may have a yellowish appearance – from the elevated carotenoid content (precursor to Vitamin A). (1)
(1) Daley, C., Abbott, A., Doyle, P., Nader, G., & Larson, S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal, 9(10), 10-10. Retrieved May 30, 2015, from http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10
Zesty Lemon-Dill Butter
1 gallon cream-top milk
1) Using a turkey baster or spoon, gently remove the cream from the top of the milk and pour into blender. 2) Blend at a medium speed for 2-5 minutes until small flecks of bright yellow butter separate out from the liquid.
3) Pour through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer over a bowl being sure to reserve the buttermilk for use in cooking or baking later. Rinse butter under cold running water to remove any milk residue.
4) When water runs clear, press butter into a ball and place in chilled bowl. Knead with a spatula or spoon to remove any remaining water. Salt, if desired, at a rate of 1 tsp per lb.
5) Using spatula or spoon, knead in 1T chopped fresh dill and 1T lemon zest per half cup of butter. Mold to desired shape. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate.
This recipe can be adapted to any herb you have growing in your garden. Chilled butter can also be made into individual rosettes and other shapes using a piping bag and wax paper.
Farm-Fresh Coffee Creamer
4 tablespoons raw, local honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cow’s milk
1 cup fresh cream
1) Gently heat honey and vanilla in saucepan, on low, until slightly liquefied.
2) Whisk in milk and cream until all ingredients have dissolved and a homogenous liquid is achieved.
3) Refrigerate in an airtight container and use within 7-10 days in your coffee or tea.
Recipes provided by Beth Tysdal of Cable Creek Farms, Post Falls, Idaho.
Article by Darci Barman – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic in Coeur d’Alene.