Milk is nutrient-rich and is available in many tasty and refreshing forms.
Whole milk contains at least 3.25% milk fat. When a portion of the milk’s fat is removed, it is called partly skimmed milk, such as 2% milk and 1% milk. Skim milk is virtually fat-free, with only about 0.1% fat. Other than the fat content, all these milks are equally nutritious.
Cream is a natural component of fresh, whole milk. Cream adds flavour and texture to your every day cooking, and adds an irreplaceable touch to recipes.
The cream will naturally separate and float on top of the milk portion from freshly gathered milk. Before commercial processing, this cream layer was spooned off and used to make butter or used in cooking.
Butter, one of the oldest and most natural foods on the planet, has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. Made with 100% natural ingredients, it takes 10.2 L of fresh cow's milk to make 454 g (1 lb.) of butter.
The manufacturing process is a simple, time-honoured tradition: just separate cream from milk, churn the cream till it thickens and we have sweet butter!
Milk contains large quantities of calcium and it is well-absorbed by our bodies.
Since calcium is found naturally in milk, it is evenly distributed within the milk container.
Vitamin D is necessary to help your body absorb and use the calcium found in the foods you eat. For this reason, it plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy bones.
In addition to being fortified with vitamin D, milk is also a natural source of 15 essential nutrients. Whether it is skim, 1%, 2% or homogenized, chocolate or powdered, milk provides basically the same nutritious elements. However, the fat content changes, and for chocolate milk, the sugar content. As well, milk contains about 85% water, making it an effective thirst quencher.
Whipped cream is so rich-tasting that some fear it has no part in a healthy diet. Not true – as long as it's enjoyed in moderation. In fact, two tablespoons supply only 5 g of fat and 49 calories (along with as much vitamin A as a peach!)
Butter is made by a natural process. It has no more calories and fat than margarine or vegetable oils such as olive oil. One serving (10g or 2tsp/10ml) has 8 grams of fat and 72 calories.
Butter is yellow because of the natural pigment carotene. Carotene is also why butter is a source of vitamin A. Carotene comes from the cows' diet, which is mostly hay, silage, grains and cereals, which is converted by our body into vitamin A.
At the supermarket:
Always pick up your milk last (so it has less chance to warm up), and check the "best before" date on the package.
Refrigerate at 4°C as soon as possible after purchase.
- Store milk on refrigerator shelves rather than in your fridge doors – the doors are not usually cold enough.
- Whenever possible, leave milk in its original container to safeguard its flavour and food value.
- Avoid exposing milk to light – light destroys its riboflavin content and can cause "off" flavours.
- To avoid spoilage, do not return unused milk from a serving pitcher to the original container.
- Keep milk containers closed and stored away from strong-smelling foods; milk is sensitive to odours.
- Refrigerate cream as soon as possible after purchase.
- Open cartons of cream should be refrigerated immediately after use and used up within 1 week.
- Store cream on refrigerator shelves where it is cooler, rather than in the refrigerator doors.
- Use the freshest cream possible and always use by the “best before date.” Buy smaller amounts more often rather than storing open, larger containers in the refrigerator.
- Cream doesn’t freeze well. Upon thawing it can separate and lose its creamy texture. If freezing foods such as soups or stews, add the cream after you reheat the thawed food.
- When whipping a small amount of cream (1/2 cup/125 mL or less), use a small chilled bowl or liquid measuring cup and a whisk instead of an electric mixer – you’ll have much more control and will get velvety, fluffy whipped cream.
- Maximize the volume of whipped cream by adding sweeteners, such as sugar or maple syrup, or other flavourings or seasonings, such as lemon zest, herbs or spices, when it’s almost completely whipped rather than at the beginning when it’s still liquid.
- On hot days, set your bowl of whipping cream in a larger bowl of ice while whipping to get the most volume. Keep the bowl in the ice in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.
- For a little extra stabilizer to make sure whipped cream stays fluffy in the refrigerator or on a cake, for each cup (250 mL) Whipping cream sift 1tbsp (15 mL) skim milk powder and icing sugar, to taste, over the almost-whipped cream then beat it until stiff.
- Keep butter refrigerated in its original wrapper. The foil laminated paper helps prevent spoilage from exposure to light and air, and also protects butter from picking up the flavour of other foods.
- If you wrap it well, once opened, both salted and unsalted butter will keep in the fridge for three weeks. However, if you plan to keep it longer than a few weeks, butter will keep its fresh taste better if you wrap it again in extra foil or plastic.
- Butter freezes well, but should be further protected in additional foil or plastic. Properly wrapped, salted butter will keep in the freezer for up to one year. After this, it may begin to lose flavour or pick up freezer odours. The salty taste of salted butter may intensify with freezing. Unsalted butter will keep in the freezer for three months.
- To have a handy supply of easy-to-spread butter, remove a small amount from the fridge and leave it on the counter in a covered container. For this, salted butter is best because the salt acts as a preservative.