I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with dairy.
Growing up, I ate it with no problems on cereal, in recipes or a yummy bowl of yogurt or ice cream-to no ill effects. But I noticed as I got closer to puberty, I was becoming more sensitive to it with stomach upsets and unmentionable bathroom visits. So I began to just strategically avoid it as best as possible.
When R was born, I was unsuccessful with breastfeeding-so we ended up bottle feeding him. Very quickly we noticed he began showing obvious signs of a lactose sensitivity and made the choice to put him onto a lactose free formula-and had great success with it.
When he turned 1, we attempted cows milk to the discover the same lactose sensitivity he’d had as a newborn. Soy products made me nervous and we tried goat milk with some positive results, but ultimately ended up choosing to have him on nut milks as they were the easiest to come by and the most affordable.
While researching the best alternatives for R to have, I also unfortunately discovered the downside to the dairy industry. Cows kept in tiny stalls, fed processed feed, pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones (this is somewhat better controlled and monitored in Canada then in the US) and just living a miserable existence hooked up to pumps daily. It bothered me to find out that a food group so widely consumed was not being run very ethically.
We ended up deciding to just eliminate dairy entirely from our home.
R has never been a picky eater, and ate a wide variety of fruits and veggies and whole grains, yet we always struggled with his protein in take as he was not an avid meat eater and seemed to have a distaste for eggs.
Diving into the world of nutrition, it kept leading me back to dairy. There’s no doubt that dairy offers a growing body a lot nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin A-and as much as we enjoyed trying the vegan lifestyle-I’m a huge believer in eating balanced and clean, as opposed to eliminating certain foods from your diet.
But the ethics behind the dairy industry still bothered me.
That’s when I came upon Rolling Meadows Dairy. A company made up of farmers from Southwestern Ontario, the milk is 100% Canadian and from happy, healthy cows that graze on pasture as long as our weather allows-and then are fed stored grasses throughout the winter.
Grass fed dairy is not only higher in Omega 3 (up to 300% compared to non grass fed), but also CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring fat with numerous health benefits) and easier to digest. It is also milked from cows that live the way a cow should, grazing and munching on pasture for as long as the weather permits, and treated with nothing but love and respect.
Check out our yummy recipe below for peanut butter and jam pancakes featuring ingredients from Rolling Meadow Dairy.
Peanut Butter and Jam Pancakes (batter recipe courtesy of Tasty with our personality added to make it our own)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2cup sliced strawberries
Mix milk, egg and peanut butter in a bowl and whisk until blended. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl, then blend with peanut butter mixture-whisking until smooth. Ladle batter into a greased pan. Place strawberry slices into batter in pan. Flip and fry until cooked through. Top with maple syrup or topping of your choice and enjoy!