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Holiday Classics with Dairy

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By St. Louis District Dairy Council
Posted in Blog on December 11th, 2017

Butter melting on a freshly baked roll, rich and creamy mashed potatoes, a light fluffy dollop of whipped cream atop a slice of pumpkin pie…these classic holiday accompaniments have one delicious ingredient in common: dairy. Dairy foods are a crucial part of many classic recipes and are responsible for the flaky layers in a pie crust, the creamy coolness of a glass of eggnog, and the crispy skin covering a butter and herb roast turkey. Though dairy foods add richness to a meal that cannot be replaced, it doesn’t mean they cannot fit into a healthy diet. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are among the most nutrient rich foods at the supermarket, while also being some of the most delicious.

Many classic holiday recipes call for milk, yogurt, or cheese and one of the best things about these staples is the variety. No matter what your nutritional focus, there is an option for you in the dairy case. Fat free, 1%, 2% and whole milk have the same amount of calcium, vitamin A, protein, and vitamin D, and can be used interchangeably in your favorite holiday recipes. If you are looking to boost the nutritional value of a dish (and who wouldn’t want that!) try using plain Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise to increase the protein and calcium content. There are few ingredients that pair better with vegetables than dairy. Adding dairy to veggie dishes is a great way to increase their appeal to children and adults alike, while adding important nutrients.

This holiday season, focus on the nutritional quality of the foods. Food brings a lot more to the table than just calories or fat. Fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein are all important parts of the foods we eat that often become overshadowed. Enjoy your holiday favorites this season taking comfort in knowing that when dairy is on the menu, many important nutrients are being consumed.