Decoding the Milk Aisle
Milk is part of the Dairy food group along with yogurt and cheese. Dairy foods provide calcium, a vital mineral for bone health as well as high quality protein. With so many options in the milk aisle, how do you choose the right one for you?
- Is available as Whole milk, 2%, 1% and skim.
- Each variety contains the same amount of carbohydrates and natural sugars, with only the fat and calorie content changing.
- Choose 1% milk more often than whole milk.
Lactose Free Milk
- Milk that has had the lactose (natural milk sugar) removed, making it easier to digest for those with lactose intolerance.
- Lactose free milk is also available as whole, 2%, 1% and skim.
- This milk is produced by cows that only produce the A2 protein, which some claim is easier to digest.
- This milk may be right for you if you have trouble digesting conventional milk.
UHT Shelf Stable Milk
- Shelf stable milk is real milk just like you can buy down the chilled dairy aisle but, its special pasteurization and packaging process gives it a shelf life of several months.
- Once UHT milk is opened, it has a shelf life of 7-10 days and should be stored in the refrigerator.
Dairy-free Milk Alternatives
- This is an ever-growing category that includes soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk and more.
- Unlike dairy milk, these alternatives can have less protein and more sugar. Always compare labels when shopping for non-dairy milks.
- The most comparable non-dairy milk to conventional dairy is soy milk. Soy milk is comparable in protein content to conventional dairy milk.
Georgia Peach Smoothie
Yields 2 servings
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup low-fat milk
- 2 cups frozen or canned sliced peaches
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Recipe courtesy of The Dairy Alliance
Easy Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
Yields 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 cup low sodium canned black beans (or any type of bean you have)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or any shredded cheese you have)
- 4, 8-inch, whole wheat tortillas
- Cooking spray
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sauté onion until tender.
- Add beans and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a clean bowl.
- To make quesadilla, spray cooking spray on pan. Add one tortilla. Spread with tablespoons cheese and ½ of the bean mixture. Top with extra cheese if you’d like.
- Top with the second tortilla. When cheese is melted and bottom of tortilla is golden, flip to other size. Brown for 1-2 minutes. Remove to plate, cut into wedges, and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Recipe courtesy of UNIVERSITY of NEBRASKA–LINCOLN
Cooking with Kids: Mac and Cheese Casserole Cups
Yields 6 servings
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup low fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
- Preheat oven to 350°. In medium saucepan, slowly add 1 cup of milk to flour, stirring constantly until all lumps have dissolved. Add remaining milk, stirring thoroughly. Place on stove and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
- Add 1 cup of Cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese; stir until blended. Add macaroni, stirring gently to coat well.
- Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups and place one scoop of mac and cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Top with reserved 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
How kids can help!
- Gather ingredients.
- Line muffin tins.
- Scoop macaroni mixture into muffin tins.
Recipe courtesy of The Dairy Alliance.