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Dairy Pairings for Winter Activities

By St. Louis District Dairy Council
Posted in Blog, and Recipes on January 8th, 2018

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season have settled down, we look forward to engaging in our favorite winter activities. Some of us keep warm by amping up our fitness level. Some prefer to settle into hibernation mode, spending the cold months relaxing in warmth and comfort. Delicious dairy recipes can partner with your favorite winter activities to warm, refuel, indulge, or nourish. Whatever activity you choose and outcome you seek, there is a complementary dairy pairing.

If you’re playing a winter sport, making muscle gains in the weight room, or aiming to maintain year-round consistency with your fitness level, look to dairy to help you refuel. Drinking flavored milk such as chocolate milk is a natural choice to replenish your body after a workout. It is ideal for muscle recovery, providing fluid for hydration, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and high quality protein to promote muscle repair and growth.

Reminders during the holiday season may prompt us to use the cold winter months to maximize quality time with friends and family. We prioritize reconnecting, socializing, and investing in time with others. Quality time is often highlighted by the sharing of food, drink, and conversation. Whether we’re sharing a rich, decadent cheese dip, sipping whipped cream-topped mochas, or serving up our favorite mac and cheese dish, dairy ingredients add an element of delicious indulgence to precious time with favorite people.

If your style is to hunker down when the weather gets chilly, find warmth, comfort, and nourishment in dependable dairy favorites. The richness, creaminess, and fullness of milk, cream, butter, and cheese put the “comfort” in “comfort foods” while nourishing us with valuable nutrients. Get cozy with a movie, book, or craft while including one of three of your daily dairy servings.

However you balance your winter activity priorities, include delicious and nutrient rich dairy. Whether you’re seeking a smart snack to refuel, an indulgent treat to celebrate time with a friend, or a cozy comfort food to warm you up, dairy has you covered.


Hearty Baked Potato Chowder

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1)
  • ½ cup chopped carrots (about 1)
  • ½ cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 4 cups lowfat 1% milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 Russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces


In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside. Add onion, carrot and celery to bacon drippings and sauté over medium heat until onions are soft (about 10 minutes).  Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir for one minute. Reduce heat and slowly add in cheese, stir constantly until melted. Add cooked onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes; stir well. Heat until all ingredients are warm. Serve with a sprinkling of bacon crumbles.   Makes 6 servings.   Variation: For a thicker, creamier soup, puree 2 cups of chowder in blender. Pour back into pot and stir thoroughly.

Nutrition Facts:  260 calories, 9 g fat, 14 g protein, 35% daily value calcium


Chipotle Pepper Dip

Makes 5 (1/2 cup) servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes        Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle pepper sauce
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers low-fat plain yogurt
  • ½ cup thick and chunky salsa
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Assorted cut vegetables or pita chips 


Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; mix until blended and refrigerate. Add shredded cheese. Serve with assorted cut vegetables or pita chips. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 90, Total Fat: 3 g, Protein: 6 g, Calcium: 20% daily value