Delightful Dairy Recipes for Summer

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Harvard Milk Days

Jim Anderson milked 72 head of dairy cows in Northwestern Illinois for more than 20 years, learning the business from his father. He gave it up when interest rates starting climbing in the 1980s.

And while he doesn’t miss the discipline of milking at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, he certainly hasn’t lost his love for dairy products.

“A gallon of milk does not last long at our house,” says Anderson, who lives in Pecatonica. “A good tall glass of cold milk – that’s a treat for me.”

His wife, Marilyn, often prepares a favorite family recipe of Swedish Rice – rice with milk and cinnamon – for dessert.

Dairy Products

Like Anderson, many farmers have left the business for other farming pursuits. Anderson worked for Dean Foods when he left the farm. Illinois still has 810 dairy farms and 36 plants that process one or more dairy products. Those state dairy cows produce 223 million gallons of milk annually and generate $394 million in milk sales. What’s more, the milk travels from the farm to a nearby grocery store within just 48 hours.

Dairy’s nine essential nutrients help build strong bones and teeth, help control blood pressure and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. The nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, phosphorus, protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and niacin. Protein stimulates muscle growth, calcium and vitamin D strengthen bones and reduce stress fracture risks, vitamin B12 provides energy, and potassium and magnesium replace electrolytes lost in sweat.

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

The following dairy recipes make those nutrients not only taste good, but add a boost to any meal. The first, a fruit smoothie, makes a quick on-the-go healthy breakfast. I recommend Greek yogurt over traditional yogurt as it contains double the protein.

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