I was recently approached by Maple Hill Creamery to see if I might like to write about their products. I’m pretty picky when it comes to talking about companies, because not many meet my nutrition AND sustainability criteria for being awesome, but let me tell you why these guys are, in fact, completely awesome. I also interviewed their CEO, Tim Joseph on a recent podcast where we talked about how he started the company, why they are 100% grass-fed and full fat, and about how cattle can help sequester carbon. Tim and I will be with them at the “Consumer Revolution” VIP event for the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado on October 28th, and at the New York Savory Hub event on November 4th. This company is committed to regenerative agriculture and I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with them!
First of all, I love how their products taste. Their plain greek yogurt was my favorite, but I also really loved the flavored yogurts. They’re not packed with sugar like most flavored yogurts, so I feel great about eating them and also giving them to my kids. The texture is creamy, not too thick – just right. Their regular yogurt is a bit tangy, and has a cream top, which was a yellow-cream color, indicating the fat was high in carotene, a sign that the cows were eating rich grass. They also make raw milk cheese, which was delicious, plus drinkable yogurt and kefir.
Secondly, I love that their products are full fat. Enough with low fat yogurts – we’re not in the 80’s anymore! Low-fat dairy products often contain thickeners, excessive sugars, and other additives to improve flavor (since they eliminated the best part, the fat!) The health benefits of yogurt are the probiotics found in the cultures, but also in the fat. Grass-fed dairy has much more omega-3’s (the anti-inflammatory fat that you want more of.) Take away the fat and you’ve just eliminated most of the flavor, plus tons of great fat-soluble vitamins, which are much higher in grass-fed dairy products. The company sent me some data that they’re working on, testing their yogurt against other popular brands and theirs either tied or (in most cases) came out on top in nearly all categories.
Finally, their milk is certified organic, from certified 100% grass-fed cows. Cattle do not need to be fed grains, which can make them sick and also leads to a lower quality milk. When cows eat grass, their chomping stimulates new growth. Their hooves make marks in the soil that can trap rain. Their manure inoculates the soil with healthy bacteria, which produces healthy soil and also helps to sequester carbon. Being out on pasture is more humane for the cows, because they’re not trapped in a barn all day long – and they can freely socialize with each other. It’s also a better deal for the farmers because they don’t have to buy in grain from far away, all they need to do is grow great grass, which the cattle help do. These guys are not only 100% grass-fed, but they do holistic, rotational grazing, which means the cattle are constantly moved from paddock to paddock to the most optimal pasture for them. This is considered the gold standard of pasture management.
So, if you’re into really great tasting, healthy yogurt from a company that is committed to happy and sustainably raised cattle, check them out. You can also check out their beautiful Instagram feed or follow them on Facebook.
Now onto the recipe:
My husband and I recently bought 25 pasture-raised “freedom ranger” chickens from a farmer up the street. Each week, I’ve been making homemade stock, which gels very easily from such high quality birds. The gelatinization you see when the broth cools means there’s tons of great collagen in your broth, great for skin, hair, nails and intestinal health. When I roast a chicken for broth, I remove the majority of the meat and use it for another meal later in the week. Sometimes it’s chicken tacos, but often I make a love to make a curry with tons of vegetables. This dish works great with any leftover roasted meat or sautéed fish. Feel free to substitute any other seasonal vegetables, adjusting the cooking time as needed. If you don’t have leftover chicken, just sear some chicken in a pan before you start, and follow the recipe.
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon madras curry powder
- pinch to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (scale to desired heat)
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Leftover chicken from a roasted chicken, about 2-3 cups, diced
- 1 cup Maple Hill Creamery plain Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and melt the ghee.
- Add the onion and sauté about five minutes
- Next, add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, red pepper flakes, zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms and continue to sauté for about ten minutes
- Add the drained tomatoes, chicken broth and chicken and simmer for ten minutes
- Remove from heat and add the yogurt
- Adjust for salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish with cilantro, serve over rice
- For dessert, serve a cup of the yogurt with some honey and nuts on top!