[media-credit name=”bigstockphoto_breakfast_cereal_and_milk_242318-800×533″ align=”alignleft” width=”300″]bigstockphoto_breakfast_cereal_and_milk_242318-800x533[/media-credit]    “I think many consumers would be surprised to learn that milk is a local food, going from the dairy farm to the supermarket shelf in just two days,” said Ashley Rosales, Registered Dietitian with Dairy Council of California. “We’re highlighted these little-known facts in an infographic to help consumers feel great about including milk and milk products in their food choices.” View the infographic and recipes at HealthyEating.org/SecretsofMilk. Other wondrous secrets contained in the infographic include:

• Adults and children who regularly consume milk and milk products have healthier diets overall.

•Milk hydrates and provides protein and carbohydrates, making it nature’s sports beverage.

• At around 25 cents per serving, milk is an affordable kitchen staple that can be used in smoothies, soups, casseroles, puddings and many other recipes.

• Milk contains a natural sugar called lactose and a protein powerhouse of whey and casein that make it naturally sweet and satisfying.

• The proven health benefits of milk go beyond bone health to include lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity and reducing the risk of certain cancers.

“When you put all of these facts and benefits together, it really shows that milk and milk products are irreplaceable,” said Rosales. “No other single food or beverage offers the same package of nutrients or variety of benefits—and we’re excited to unveil the wondrous secrets of this shopping cart staple.”

About Dairy Council of California Dairy Council of California serves as the dairy industry’s contribution to community health by providing a science-based nutrition education curriculum and resources that help children and families improve their eating habits and make nutrient-rich choices from all the food groups. For nearly a century, Dairy Council of California has partnered with schools, health professionals and community leaders to offer families simple steps for making balanced food choices while communicating the irreplaceable role that milk and milk products play in a balanced diet. Funded by California’s dairy farmers and milk processors, Dairy Council of California’s nutrition resources reach millions in California and throughout the United States. Find them at HealthyEating.org.

Quark Cheese

By Ellie Jayne

There may be a new item in your dairy case to save you fat and calories. Look for “Quark”, the new cheese, featured as 2012’s best cheese, awarded by the American Cheese Society. Quark cheese is only 35 calories per serving (1 oz.). The first batch of quark cheese was made up in 1985 by co-founders Allison Hooper and Bob Reese. Other choices of quark cheese include a non-fat quark cheese instead of the regular 2 grams of fat that the regular quark cheese produces. The non-fat variety of quark has a bit more of a richer texture than low-fat sour cream, but a milder flavor than low-fat yogurt. Quark cheese is a fresh cheese originally from Central Europe.The soft, un-aged cheese is compared to other dairy products, from old fashioned cream cheese to greek yogurt. If you happen to come across quark cheese at your local market be sure to remember it is a healthy treat to either enjoy as a snack with a little granola or even as a delicious quark cheesecake! Be sure to keep an eye out. http://www.vermontcreamery.com/quark-1 http://www.food.com/library/quark-566