Milk is fundamental to mammals. In fact, it’s one of our defining characteristics; “mammal” comes from the same root as “mammary,” i.e. the gland that produces milk. It is composed of water, butterfat globules (the white, “milky” part) plus carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, B vitamins. With carbs, protein, fat and micronutrients, it’s the perfect cocktail for a young mammal to grow and survive, and an excellent pan-nutritional food for adult humans.
Whole or skimmed?
Low fat or skimmed milk (in which the fat content has been separated and “skimmed” from the solution) has been marketed as a sort of diet milk, with fewer calories and fats. However, whole milk is not exactly swimming in fat to begin with. It usually has 3.5 to 4 percent fat content. (Even the fattiest milks, from, for example, Jersey cattle, only have around 5 percent fat content.) But fat (like protein and carbohydrates) is a necessary macronutrient, and it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamin A and D, which means skimmed milk may actually provide fewer of those vitamins though the content is technically the same. Furthermore, new research suggests fat has wrongly taken the blame for obesity and heart disease. Sugar is a much bigger culprit, and it is often added to low fat milk to make it taste better, which might be one reason why children who grow up drinking skimmed milk actually seem to be more obese, some studies suggest.
Is it OK to drink skimmed milk if I am lactose intolerant?
You’ve been invited to a Christmas party and have been put in charge of dessert and snacks. It is then you try to hide the panic on your face - it’s been a long time since you have attempted to make anything from scratch. In this case, making something elaborate is completely out of the question. See also: The Perfect Christmas Snack - Raspberry Marzipan Drops Not to worry – there are simpler and more fuss-free alternatives to the typical Christmas log cake. Furthermore, with Christmas turkey, roasts and deli meats already in the main course, fellow guests may just be too full to try that double chocolate cake that you slaved away in your kitchen for. Here are some light yet impressive sweet treats that are easy to prepare.
Chocolate cookies with mint cream filling
Turning up to dinner with a bag of cookies screams lazy and unenthusiastic. But what if you are really pressed for time or are on a budget? The solution? Jazz things up and make it fancy with this mint flavoured icing that you can use as a sandwich filling between two chocolate chip cookies. If you are really short on time, you can use store-bought cookies (don’t say we told you). Just make sure they are large enough to spread a considerable amount of cream filling. Ingredients:
250g icing sugar (adjust for sweetness)
57g softened butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food colouring (optional)
Combine all icing ingredients. Using a hand whisk or a mixer, beat the mixture until smooth. If you are making the cookies, make sure your cookies are at room temperature before spreading the icing, or it will melt and turn sloppy. Chill the cookie sandwiches before serving.
Holiday ham is a must at Christmas dinners. Luckily, there are several ways you can repurpose it – ham sandwiches, stews and soups come to mind. But why not try making a quiche out of leftover ham and shredded cheese?
You’ve basted the turkey, mashed the potatoes, laid the table and your home is ready to welcome guests for your perfect Christmas dinner. It’s been a whole morning and afternoon of work, and everything is in order. But somehow you can’t help but feel you’ve missed something. Then, you feel your parched throat, and suddenly your craving for delicious, creamy Eggnog hits. Oh no. You’ve forgotten to prep the beverages. Hot chocolate to keep the children well-fed and sleep-ready. Eggnog for the festive must-have. And mulled wine for the boozy Christmas party-goers. So many beverages, so little time. As usual, not to fear, we’re here with our speedy, quick and last-minute recipes for your favourite Christmas drinks. Read on to find out how you can whip up delicious festive beverages for your friends and family to enjoy after a hearty meal.
5-Minute Blender Eggnog
Light, deliciously creamy, and only takes the duration of two rounds of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, this 5-minute eggnog recipe easily whips up the classic boozy drink to hit that holiday spot! Yes, yes, you can pop by the store for some carton eggnog - but why do that when you can effortlessly boast about your homemade version? All you need is your trusty Kenwood Blender, your ingredients, and...voila! For those that are not comfortable drinking raw eggs, remember to get pasteurized eggs and add booze to sterilize the eggnog! Ingredients:
4 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp dried nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
3 oz cognac
3 oz bourbon
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
Add the eggs to the blender and blend on medium for 30 seconds.
Add sugar and continue to blend for another 20 seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
This flourless chocolate cake is packed with rich cocoa flavour, its structure is moist and dense - it's truly the perfect ending to any hearty holiday meal. Also known as chocolate caprese cake, this traditional chocolate cake hails from the island of Capri, in the Campania region of Italy. It calls for ground almonds in place of flour, which results in a wonderfully indulgent cake. What's so good about flourless cakes,you ask? It's not just to tick the 'gluten-free' box. Omitting flour from a cake recipe results in a creamier, silkier cake texture. Generally flourless cakes don't 'rise' to the height of normal cakes, they have a slightly depressed structure in the middle. They are also much more fudgy, especially in the middle. Use a springform pan for this cake, because the absence of flour means less structure for the cake and you don't want it to collapse with a normal pan. Chef's tip: For an added kick, you can also dust espresso powder on top of the cake, which really enhances the flavour profile of chocolate. Love anything chocolate? See: Chocolate souffle, the ultimate chocolate cake, super easy chocolate bread. Want some easy festive baking recipes? See: Quick and easy Christmas treats – perfect for baking beginners
This cake or loaf (if you want to call it that) has delicate orange notes, a warm nutty pistachio flavour and a moist crumb structure. It's delicious with a slab of cold butter and paired with warm tea. A few things to note:
Beat your butter and sugar using a creaming beater until it is pale and fluffy. Creaming is a proper baking technique that is crucially important in baking cakes. Properly creamed butter and sugar will be pale yellow in color, but not white. Creaming incorporates the maximum amount of air bubbles created by dry sugar mixed with solid fat (butter), so a recipe will rise in the oven and be light in texture when baked.
If orange flower water is difficult to get, use orange zest or orange juice.
You can grind pistachios up in your Food Processor - just make sure that the skins are peeled off the pistachios.
If mascarpone if tough to procure, replace it with a blend of softened cream cheese and butter. Alternatively, you can simply mix powdered caster sugar and orange juice for a thinner, more drippy type of frosting. It should cool and harden with time.
Lastly, it's very important to let the loaf cool in the tin before popping it out - you don't want to risk the loaf crumbling. Cooling is just as important as any other step in baking!