Monday, May 11, 2009

Whole vs. Skim

Good morning! As predicted, yesterday's Mother's Day feast was amazing. While we cooked, my mother put out a cheese and cracker plate, which I enjoyed with a glass of sparkling rose (which we needed to open for cooking - so figured we might as well drink it!).

I decided to make it even pinker with a little pomegranate juice.

My father and I spent hours slaving away over the huge pan of seafood risotto we made using Martha's recipe. I was supposed to be the sous chef - which I have to admit, I'm not very good at. I'd much rather be the one in charge - I'm a little too bossy :) My dad cooked all the seafood, which was a lot of work. He boiled and broke down 3 lobsters, steamed a couple pounds of clams, and sauteed the shrimp and calamari. I made the rice, because I just love making risotto rice. I never leave it alone - I stand there forever and stir and massage the rice to bring out all the starchy creaminess. I like my risotto a little softer and creamier than recipes generally call for. The rice is usually supposed to have a little bit of a bite to it, but I really prefer the smooth, comfort food texture of fully cooked rice.

Here is our beautiful spread!

The risotto was delicious and packed with seafood.

My mother made a salad on the side with arugula, pears, goat cheese, and pecans.

I had generous servings of each, along with a little more sparkling wine.

Dessert was my beautiful yogurt tart, which I topped with blueberries and blackberries.

This was a great recipe. It was made with very healthy ingredients - but my mother said it didn't taste healthy, which I think makes it a success! I used a little less ginger than was called for, and the flavor wasn't very strong. I actually really like ginger, so I think next time I would use the amount called for in the recipe or more.

The berries on top were perfect, and it would be delicious with just about any fruit. I could see using dried or candied fruit in the winter, and poached apples in the fall.

This morning started with a Green Monster - shocking!

Now I have an important question to pose to you guys -

If you drink milk, do you drink whole or skim?

Like most health conscious folks, I've always bought skim milk. Fat free is obviously better for you, right? Turns out, that may not be the case. In the latest issue of Bon Appetit (can you tell this is my favorite magazine?), there's an article that lists 10 superfoods that you wouldn't expect to be as healthy as the are. The second one is whole milk! According to this article, saturated milk fat helps you absorb calcium better, and we know its a great source for vitamins A and D. But did you know that the government requires milk manufacturers to add synthetic vitamins to skim and low-fat milk, because they don't contain as much of these vitamins as whole milk? Since I think its so important to eat natural, unprocessed food, this disturbed me a bit.

Ok, so whole milk has more vitamins, but what about all that fat? Well, the article also cited a study that followed 19,000 women over 9 years, and found that the women who ate full fat dairy products actually gained less weight than the women who ate less dairy.

So here's what I'm taking away from this - if you're eating a diet full of whole, natural foods, the amount of fat in full fat milk products is probably not going to make you fat. And it contains more vitamins and healthy nutrients, and is less processed. So we've decided to make the switch to whole milk! We don't use that much of it - mostly just for our tea - so I'm really not concerned about the extra fat and calories. I think I'm going to stop buying low fat cheese, too. Again, I don't eat that much of it, and the full fat versions just tatse so much better. Can't quite bring myself to switch to full fat yogurt though - cause I do eat a lot of that.

BUT, here is my dilemma. When trying to purchase whole milk this weekend, I found that even the whole milk is fortified with synthetic vitamins. I only looked at Shaw's and a little gourmet market in our neighborhood. I'm hoping Russo's will have some natural whole milk - that's not ultra pasteurized (i.e. more processed!).

Anybody have any tips on where to get fresh, local whole milk in Boston?

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Whole Foods? Never truly looked for it though.
    My mom switched me to skim when I was little so I actually don't like whole milk now :)