People with celiac disease often have secondary issues with dairy products. That’s a long and convoluted story, but I’ve had some trouble with dairy in the past, so for the most part I avoid it. For information on milk and a basic glossary, check here for a past post I did on the subject.
Last Saturday I attended a membership gathering of the Raw Milk Association of Colorado and the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Pete Kennedy, lawyer and VP for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund was the keynote speaker and did a presentation on raw milk trends and food politics. (I’m such a geek, I absolutely love this stuff.) David Lynch, founder and director of Guidestone, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable development and conserving regional agricultural resources, gave a historical perspective of how the raw milk movement has taken hold in Colorado and the legal aspects of buying and consuming it. David also owns Cottonwood Creek Dairy, which provides local folks in the Arkansas Valley of central Colorado an opportunity to share in the joys of raw milk from his Jersey milking herd. Dianne, a friend of mine from the holistic nutrition world did a short presentation on the benefits CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) in meat and milk from 100% grass fed animals. Not only were the speakers good, the local product exhibits were great as well. It was a day of nourishing food, good information, lively conversation, and food politics. I learned more about local grass-roots organizations that promote healthy living, sustainability, and ethical food production, which is something I’m very interested in.
Meg and Arden, owners of Windsor Dairy, sold me on trying some raw cheese from their certified organic dairy farm (I bought two types seen in the photo above). Both Meg and Arden are veterinarians and together have developed a system of dairy farming suited to Colorado’s altitude and growing conditions. They have cows derived from Brown Swiss and Tartentaise breeds from the Alps — perfect for our climate (not that I know anything at all about dairy cows). Arden gave me a quick info session on why some people with celiac disease and a casein intolerance might do okay on raw milk and cheese. He’s a vet and I don’t have a “regular” doctor, so I decided to take Arden’s advice and give it a try, starting with the most mouth watering cheese you’ve ever tasted. Here’s how I used their Nakhu cheese, which is a medium flavored raw cheese, reminiscent of traditional farmhouse English Cheddar. And that’s from a Swiss cow in the Colorado Rockies. A delightful taste of cultural diversity, wouldn’t you agree?
Spinach & potato soup with Nakhu cheese
what you need
1 large bunch of spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I don’t peel them)
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 tomato, diced
1/2 pound chorizo sausage (make sure it’s gluten-free, ask the butcher)
6-8 cups chicken broth (I used Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, it’s GF)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
cheese (in this case raw Nakhu cheese)
what you do
• Brown the sausage in a small amount of oil, drain and set aside.
• Using a heavy soup pot, heat a glug of olive oil and brown the onion over medium-low heat until soft.
• Add garlic to the onion mix and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often.
• Add the potatoes, some salt and pepper, stir and sauté for a few more minutes (3 to 5).
• Add the sausage and the chicken broth, bring soup almost to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minute or so.
• Add beans, spinach, and tomato about 10 minutes before serving.
• Salt and pepper as needed.
I added slices of the raw Nakhu cheese after I served it into the bowls. Let it melt a little bit and enjoy. If you don’t have access to raw cheese from a nearby dairy farm, grated parmesan would be nice.
Makes about 6 servings.
I’ll let you know how I do with my reintroduction of dairy products. Maybe sticking with raw, unpasteurized, organic cheeses and milk will be okay. Arden, my new vet, might be right. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Go forth and support your local farmers,
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.