How to Enhance Flavor and Increase Nutrition With Dairy
By Alyssa Greenstein, RD, LD/N, FAND & Victoria Pakizer
Enjoying a balanced diet is key to unlocking a healthy lifestyle, which means including nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy in your daily diet.
Three nutrients Americans need to watch closely are calcium, vitamin D, and potassium according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Adding more of these nutrients to your diet is easier than you think thanks to dairy foods like milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
Milk is the main source of calcium, vitamin D, and potassium for most Americans. Packed with 9 essential vitamins and minerals like high quality protein, it’s easy to see why. Dairy is also affordable and versatile and can be used to enhance many different recipes, satisfying your cravings while providing tons of nutrition.
Milk is one of the most versatile foods in the world. Adding milk as an ingredient will make your foods richer and more nutritious. Replace water with milk in recipes like hot chocolate, oatmeal, eggs, mashed potatoes, pancakes and waffles, and canned soup to add richness, tenderness, and moisture.
Add milk to soups and sauces for a creamier taste. Boiling fresh or frozen corn in milk adds sweetness to the vegetables. Freeze milk into ice cubes and add them your favorite coffee drink for a creamy, iced twist. You can also use milk to brown your bread and pastry crusts by brushing milk on top.
Add a tangy taste to your favorite foods and recipes by mixing in some yogurt. Garish your soups, chilis, or stews with yogurt for a tangy kick. Adding yogurt to muffin, cake, bread, and bagel recipes produces a light and fluffy texture. Marinating your favorite poultry with yogurt will tenderize the protein and yield a delicious texture and flavor.
Consider using yogurt as a healthier substitute for other ingredients. Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise for sweet and savory dips. You can cut down on the amount of oil that you use in a recipe by substituting half of the amount of oil with ¾ the amount of yogurt. If you’d like to use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt, add water to thin the Greek yogurt out.
Use caution with cooking yogurt as high heat will separate into curds and whey and over stirring yogurt may cause it to break down and thin out.
Cottage cheese is super versatile and packed with nutrition. Use it to make pizza dough or puree and add honey, vanilla, and nuts for a delicious and nutritious bagel spread. You can add protein to your pancakes or waffles by including cottage cheese in your mix. Same goes for your daily smoothie, salad dressings, or mac and cheese!