Benefits of Grass-Fed, Organic Cheese

So we’ve all seen the glorious array of cheese at the Market, sold by Ohio Farm Direct.  A visit to the table easily provides you with the following: Fact:  It’s from Ohio. Fact:  They allow us to indulge ourselves in many, many samples. Fact:  They have the basics– think cheddar & mozzarella, but they’re also full of surprises– think pumpkin, lemon zest, &  basil tomato. So, enough with the obvious.  Let’s talk about WHY you would want to visit the Market just to buy THIS cheese… Ohio Farm Direct produces its cheese from 100% (yes, 100%!) grass-fed cows.  This number is important because farmers can call cows “grass-fed” even if grass is only a portion of their diet.  Knowing that this cheese is from grass-fed cows settles that concern.  Whole milk, grass-fed cheese has a variety of nutritional benefits when compared with it’s conventional counterparts.  Included in this list are: vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants like selenium, zinc, and beta-carotene, as well as B vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, choline, & biotin. Whole-milk grass-fed cheeses also provide beneficial fats like omega-3s and CLA, as well as a health-promoting ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fat (if you’re unfamiliar with issues related to omega-6:3 fats ratio, it’s definitely worth reading up on!).  Oh yeah, it’s also helpful in balancing blood sugar. Take a look at the label below.  What’s the first ingredient?  Yep, that’s right, this cheese uses organic milk.  Organic standards help lower the risk of  cows eating contaminated feed and toxins/ pesticides.  Organic cheese is also generally higher in nutrient quality (more Omega 3s, more antioxidants),  given that cows are ingesting higher quality feed– in this case grass.  Finally, organic cheeses are...

Kale Chips

We all know by now that kale is an ultimate superfood!  It’s coming back into season as we approach Spring, so it’s a great time to think about the many ways to use it.  One of our favorite ways is Kale Chips!  It’s super easy to make, takes little time, and is so delicious!  A recipe that gets a three year-old wanting more kale is definitely winner!      Ingredients:      1 large bunch of kale (organic is best)      1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil      1 teaspoon of salt (sea salt is fabulous, if you have it!) Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse the kale under cold water to remove any debris. Remove the inner stalks of the kale by slicing down the either side of the stalk, preserving the leaves.  Cut the kale into bite size pieces, keeping in mind that they will shrink as they bake.  If kale is still wet, allowing it to dry or drying it with a towel helps to ensure crispiness of your chips.  Toss the kale with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until kale is crisp. Why not get crazy and experiment with your favorite seasonings?!  Try some garlic salt, Cajun spices, cayenne pepper, or simply some lemon! Enjoy! See you at the market!  ...

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is very versatile. It has a sweet, buttery, caramelized flavor. You can use it right out of the oven spread on sliced baguettes, on meat before or after it is grilled, mixed with butter, as a great addition to mashed potatoes, pasta, vinaigrette or dips and in a multitude of other dishes.    Ingredients:    4 Heads of Garlic    Olive Oil    Sea Salt    Freshly Ground Black Pepper Preparation:   Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice top of each head of garlic to expose some of the cloves. Remove any excess loose outer skins. Place the heads on a piece of foil. Drizzle generously with olive oil and add a little salt and pepper if desired. Wrap in foil. Roast until garlic is brown and very tender, at least 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate until needed. Simply squeeze the garlic out of their skins to use. Once you taste this you will want to make a whole pan full. Just follow the recipe above but place a dozen or so heads in a pie plate and cover tightly with foil and...