The holidays can get a little crazy (at best) and with a lot of food options it’s easy to lose track of your regular routine and throw caution to the wind in terms of your diet. Because the holidays are so busy you really need foods to keep your endurance and energy levels up, so today’s we are sharing three ways to stay energized over the holidays with dairy!
Protein is absolutely essential to maintaining overall health, helping to build and repair muscles as well as all other body tissues which is so important.
While dairy products are key contributors to the diets of Canadians, many don’t realize that milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt are reliable sources of high quality protein.
We receive the greatest benefit from protein for our bodies by distributing protein evenly across meals: about 30 grams each at breakfast, lunch and supper (the 30-30-30 Rule), which means protein intake should be spread out throughout the day.
Milk or milk products are a great solution as they can be incorporated in any meal or snack, making them a reliable and convenient source of protein.
And to give you some fun ideas I’ve partnered with the Dairy Farmers of Canada to share some fresh ideas for you to serve and enjoy over the holidays!
STAY ENERGIZED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THESE FESTIVE RECIPES
Milk, cheese and yogurt provide a plethora of health benefits, but did you know that dairy prodcuts are also a great source of protein?
Milk products are wholesome, healthy and versatile foods that can help you stay strong. They contain up to 16 essential nutrients including protein, which helps build and repair muscles, body tissues and develop antibodies. Meaning it’ll help keep you fueled through your busy schedule (and work-outs too) see below for the protein breakdown:
One glass of milk (250 mL) contains 8 g of protein
3⁄4 cup (175 mL) of yogurt contains 8 g of protein
50 g (11⁄2 oz) of cheddar cheese contains 12 g
But how do you shake things up from the same old same old?? Here are some fun recipes for enjoying milk, cheese, and yogurt over the holidays, and bonus they’ve been dietitian approved!
Cheese contains a host of nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12. Calcium is one of the nutrients found to be most likely to be lacking in our diet.
And if you’re looking for a beautifully festive recipe you need not look further than this tomato + feta spaghetti. I just love the red and green together, but even better the lemon adds the perfect amount of zip to this super easy and delish recipe. Of course we can’t forget about the feta (my favorite part), adds much needed protein to help keep you fuller longer while also helping you feel strong and energized (who doesn’t need that this time of year?)
GARDEN TOMATO + FETA SPAGHETTI
1 Box (13 oz – 375 g) spaghetti
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) Canadian Feta, crumbled
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili flakes (optional)
In a large saucepan, cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
Drain pasta and return to saucepan. Add tomatoes, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, Feta and chili flakes. Stir and serve.
SPICED CHIA PUDDING
Milk contains calcium which helps to builds healthy bones and teeth (i.e maintains bone mass) while the protein serves as a source of energy, and builds/repairs muscle tissue (i.e gives you strength), and yet most of us just aren’t getting enough (no matter how many cups of coffee with milk you drink in the run of a day).
With our increasingly busy and hectic lifestyles, the high-quality proteins found in milk, yogurt and cheese helps satisfy your hunger and provide you with the strength and stamina to power through your day.
Milk products provide high-quality complete protein, as well as many valuable nutrients and well-known health benefits.
Milk contains two types of protein: whey (20%) and casein (80%). Both are high-quality proteins, according to science-based rating scales, and both contain all essential amino acids in amounts sufficient to support the multiple roles of protein in the body.
If you’re looking for a fun recipe that you can make in bulk and ahead of time (really great way to stay on track over the holidays) look no further than this spiced chia seed pudding. Get the recipe here.
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground ginger
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cardamom
1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (80 mL) black or white chia seeds
1/3 cup (80 mL) vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup (125 mL) strawberries or other fresh fruit of the season
In a saucepan, heat milk, honey, vanilla and spices over medium heat until milk is steaming. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in chia seeds. Refrigerate 12 hours or more.
Mix in yogurt. Divide three quarters of the strawberries into four ¾ cup (175 mL) glass bowls. Scoop equal amounts of the chia pudding into each. Top with the remaining strawberries.
SPICED ROASTED PEACH AND YOGURT PARFAITS
With the perfect balance of fat and protein Greek yogurt makes the perfect base for all your favorite holiday dips. I love using Greek yogurt for rich and creamy desserts because the protein boost will keep you feeling fuller longer (ultimately preventing you from indulging on all those empty calories).
All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. What distinguishes Greek yogurt is that its thick creamy texture because the liquid whey is strained out. Greek yogurt also contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose AND has twice the protein of regular yogurts.
Desserts really don’t need to be super complicated, if you have some fruit and some yogurt you’re set! Fragrant spices and a touch of sugar, along with roasting the peaches, add intense flavour and the spiced, glazed seeds add crunch (my fave). Layered with vanilla-perfumed thick and creamy yogurt and you’ve got a parfait fit for company, yet easy enough for every day. Grab the recipe here.
3 tbsp (45 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
Pinch ground allspice
3 large peaches, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) wedges
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
2 cups (500 mL) plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
Place peaches in an 8-inch (20 cm) square glass baking dish; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture and toss gently to coat. Spread in a single layer. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until peaches are tender and lightly browned. Let cool slightly, or to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until starting to turn golden; add remaining sugar mixture cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until toasted and glazed. Spread out onto parchment paper and let cool.
To assemble, in a bowl, combine yogurt and vanilla. Divide half of the yogurt equally among 6 dessert dishes and top with half of the roasted peaches, then half of the glazed seeds; repeat layers.
A high standard of care for our animals, quality and food safety and very high standards of milk production. Besides great taste, there are many reasons to choose Canadian milk. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, look for the new Dairy Farmers of Canada logo on your favorite dairy products, and feel good knowing they’re made with quality Canadian milk without the use of antibiotics.
Hope you found this post helpful, and happy holidays to you and yours
*This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada; however, all opinions expressed are my own.