oatmeal with milk and granola | My Ohio Dairy Adventure
I’m a breakfast girl. Although, if you had told me ten years ago that I would claim to be a breakfast girl, I’d have told you that you were nuts. Nuts, I tell ya. My old self was a wake up just in time to scram out the door and not eat until noon. Ok, so I’m still a wake up at the very last moment, but now I make time for a quick bite, if nothing else.
In the summer months, my breakfast consist of yogurt parfaits or a bowl of cereal, toast with a runny yolked egg or a piece of toast with jelly. When the weather turns cold, my heart – and stomach – turn to warm, hearty and comforting oatmeal. Oatmeal with milk and granola to be exact. I use traditional rolled oats. Nothing fancy. Up until recently, I made my oats with water and then finished with a splash of milk after cooking them, but after my trip to Cleveland with the American Dairy Association I’ve been trying my hand at making oats with pure milk and the results are rich, creamy and much more flavorful than with water.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a trip sponsored by the ADA mideast that took me and some fellow food bloggers on an Ohio Dairy Adventure. We traveled to a dairy farm before the sun was up,
a cheese making company called Pearl Valley Cheese run by a 4th generation cheese makers and sampled some of the most delicious cheese I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
We had the pleasure of seeing a baby cow who was only 30 minutes old as well as feed a few adorable little cows,
all before sitting down to an Amish lunch, which happened to be one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever eaten. I’m still having dreams about the Amish peanut butter, which is a mixture of peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and maple syrup….so, yeah. It was a pretty awesome meal.
That night we had the chance to check out the Cleveland Browns stadium and meet Joe Thomas who is active in the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative which is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program from the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in cooperation with USDA that empowers youth to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health. The Cleveland Browns have teamed up with the ADA Mideast to work with schools in Ohio and West Virginia.
We finished up our trip visiting a local Cleveland elementary school and meeting some of the students while enjoying a school breakfast before heading to Melt to enjoy the most enormous grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever seen.
So what’s my takeaway from this trip, besides a weeks worth of stretchy pants wearing to recover from all of the delectable food? Well, what I learned on this trip has firmly secured me as a milk girl. I’ve always been a dairy milk girl, not really ever on board with all of the almond milks and milk alternatives. I mean, if I have no medical reason (allergy or intolerance) to avoid dairy milk, then it’s the healthiest choice I can make for both me, and my family.
I buy, and have always bought, conventional milk for my family, but from time to time I’ve gotten nervous as to whether that was the healthiest and safest choice. Rumors can fly and trends can take over and muddle the waters of what is true and what is just plain wrong.
Here is what I learned about milk:
Milk cannot have antibiotics. Yes, it’s true from time to time that cows that are sick need to be treated, just like you and me, but while they are on treatment, they’re taken out of the milking rotation. At a cheese factory, a truck of milk is tested for antibiotics before they accept the batch, however, if any are detected the entire truck of milk needs to be dumped and the dairy farmer incurs the cost. Which actually makes perfect sense. It’s best for both the consumer, the farmer and the cow.
Farmers are not adding hormones to milk. All milk has naturally occurring hormones (cows milk has a cow hormone, just like human breast milk has hormones). But, and this is a big but, cow hormones are processed by our bodies as a protein, not a hormone. Hormones are species specific, so a cow hormone does not affect our body as a hormone. Period.
It feels great to be informed rather than just guessing my way through the market, hoping that I’m picking foods that are both healthy and budget friendly and now I can be confident that my gallon of milk is both of those things. That feels pretty darn good.
If you have been having questions about milk and dairy and want some unbiased answers, visit Best Food Facts. It’s a site full of food and nutrition experts that explore the truth behind food and nutrition. It’s pretty much my new favorite site.
ALSO: During this holiday season, there are thousands of families that will be hungry and rely on local food banks for food. The most requested item at a food bank is milk, and it’s the item that food banks receive the least of, mostly due to lack of refrigeration. Thanks to Milk Life, there is a way we can all help by donating gift cards to local grocery stores, in your very own community, that will be distributed to families in need. Visit MilkLife.com/give to find out more information about how you can help people in need in your very own community.
I’m just glad that I can continue to sit down with my big bowl of oatmeal with milk and granola and sip on my giant latte and feel good about the food that I’m putting in my body. I can’t really ask for more than that.
The Ohio Dairy Adventure was a trip sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.
Sounds like your Ohio dairy trip was a ton of fun! Now you have me thinking about Amish peanut butter… I love to start my mornings with a bowl of oatmeal, especially once the temperatures start to drop and this looks perfect for tomorrow morning! Loving the added granola for crunch:) Thanks for the recipe!
I’m a total breakfast girl too! And this one looks fabulous. I love the dried cranberries in there!
Love these photos, Emily. The ones of oatmeal make me want to curl up with a blanket and a good book–so cozy! And how fun that that bag of cheese was called a nibble bag??
Thanks! Ha, oh my gosh, every time I think about those bags of cheese, I giggle. I want to call everything in my kitchen a “nibble bag” of something or the other. Luckily my family is used to me being a weirdo, lol.