Delicious ways to indulge in dairy foods

June 16, 2004|by LYNN F. LITTLE

Dairy foods are a delicious way to build strong bones and beautiful teeth - with plenty of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D and other nutrients. Dairy products also can help people maintain healthy weight, lower blood pressure and prevent cancer, diabetes and gout. Milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese aren't just kids' stuff - Three servings a day are important for everybody.

To increase dairy intake, try the following:

  • Milk with meals: Make 1-percent or skim milk the beverage of choice for all meals - morning, noon and night - for three servings a day.

  • Milk on cereal: Combine a whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk for breakfast or a snack - and your heart will thank you.

  • Milk in hot beverages: Lattes, mochas, chai tea or old-fashioned hot chocolate are all delicious ways to drink dairy.

  • Yogurt to go: Low-fat yogurt is a sweet, easy-to-eat treat.

  • Frozen yogurt: Looking for a cool summer dessert? Top your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt with fresh or dried fruit.

  • Yogurt smoothies: Blend one at home with fruit and milk - or pick up a bottled smoothie in the dairy case.

  • Cottage cheese: Combine low-fat cottage cheese with fruit or nuts for a high-protein snack - any time of the day or night.

  • A string cheese snack: For eating on the run, enjoy string cheese in standard mozzarella, cheddar or a swirled combination.

  • Melted cheese: Try cheese pizza with veggies, grilled cheese on whole-wheat bread, or a quick quesadilla with beans and salsa.

  • Sprinkled cheese: Sprinkle blue cheese on a salad, Parmesan cheese into tomato soup, or feta cheese on cooked vegetables.

  • Creamy soups: There's no need for cream; just make soup with low-fat milk for flavor and calcium.

  • Dry milk powder: Use nonfat powdered milk to add an easy protein boost to smoothies, soups, casseroles and other dishes.

Low-fat Veggie Dip

1 (8-ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese


2 tablespoons skim milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon onion salt,

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Dash of red pepper

1 tablespoon ketchup

Drain any excess liquid off cottage cheese. Put cheese in blender, add other ingredients, and blend until completely smooth. Chill for several hours for flavors to blend. Makes about 2/3 cup. Serve with vegetable dippers.

Blender Smoothies

1 cup buttermilk or skim milk

1 banana

Pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together and serve. Use 1 cup frozen strawberries to blend for a thick shake.

Blender Soup

10 ounces chopped frozen spinach

1 peeled, chopped potato

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

Cook spinach and potato in chicken broth. When potato is tender, blend all ingredients together until smooth and season with thyme, basil and nutmeg.

Lynn F. Little is a family and consumer sciences educator for the Maryland Cooperative Extension in Washington County.

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