A Foolproof 5-Ingredient Ice Cream, No Cooking Required

A spectacular summer ice cream recipe with just two steps and five ingredients.

…while most recipeswith or without eggsrequire some cooking, today’s creamy blackberry lemon ice cream does not. Instead, it relies on sweetened condensed milk to thicken the mixture.

Source: Only 2 Steps and 5 Ingredients Stand Between You and This Ice Cream

Summer ice cream?  Ice cream is always in season.

Couple of points to be made:

  1. The recipe calls for half-and-half – effectively off limits for lactose intolerant, and depending on strictness – vegetarianism.  There is vitamin K in half-and-half too – we don’t get out unscathed either.
  2. Evaporated milk is not condensed milk.  Or, I need to find a recipe that uses evaporated milk… 😉
  3. All traditional ice cream has a custard base (cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks). For more information on that, see this NYTimes article.  The difference between frozen custard and ice cream is mainly two things (and one of them is not a non-custard base): 1) milk fat percentage; and 2) serving temperature.

Raw Milk’s “Health Benefits” Are Mostly Imaginary

Maybe you like the taste of raw milk. (That’s more likely because it’s grass-fed than because it’s raw, but okay.) But if you’re chasing after health benefits in raw milk, think again.

Source: Raw Milk’s “Health Benefits” Are Mostly Imaginary

There’s a reason we pasteurize milk…  When I was a kid, we had goats for a while.  Going to goats milk was easy, but it took a while when transitioning back to [cow, pasteurized] milk.  I remember the flavour being a little bitter.

Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in their food. They still get enough vitamin D, because ultraviolet radiation creates it—usually.

Source: Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

If you’re as fair-skinned as the average northern European, you only need about 20 minutes per day.  All you have to show is an area of skin about the size of your face.

Without vitamin D from sunlight exposure, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.  You can read more about it in a previous post.

Asian Cuisine: Where’s the Cheese?

Lactose is the sugar in milk. Your body can’t use lactose directly, so lactose gets broken down into simpler sugars with the enzyme lactase. Mammals naturally produce lactase during infancy to nurse from their mothers, but then stop producing it as they grow older because originally they would not consume milk ever again.  Which is part of the supporting evidence for those against drinking milk/consuming dairy – we’re the only mammal to continue to drink milk after infancy.  But we’re also the one of the few things that uses tools, or are capable of speech.  All courtesy of evolution… 😉

As we evolved, we also got into agriculture and domesticating milk-producing animals such as goats or cows – gaining the ability to consume milk as adults. Our original state did not allow us to do that, but some individuals possessed a mutation wherein they would continue producing lactase as adults and thus allowing them to consume milk. In some cultures that trait was very valuable, resulting in increased survival and reproduction, so the trait became very common and eventually the norm. In other cultures the trait had no net gain and therefore does not propagate, and so not take hold.  What makes adult lactase production worthless for East Asians? It has to do with geography and available sources of calcium and vitamin D.

You need calcium in your diet. You can get that calcium from dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), or tofu, sardines and leafy green vegetables. To make use of calcium your body also needs either vitamin D or lactose. You can get vitamin D from salmon, sardines, milk, tuna, eggs, or Shiitake mushrooms …or your body can make it when exposed to sunlight. Without vitamin D, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.

There is a difference between dairy that’s fermented (yogurt or most cheese) or unfermented (straight up milk). Fermented dairy products still have the calcium, but the lactose is broken down into simpler sugars, so lactase is not necessary to digest it. I suggest a study with a sample of at least 10 lactose intolerant people to test various fermented dairy products… and only one bathroom.   You could call the paper “Insane in the Methane”…  A culture with access to fish or sunlight but not leafy greens would benefit greatly from keeping dairy animals, but don’t benefit from still creating lactase as adults. They consume the milk as yogurt or cheese to get all the calcium they need and make use of that calcium, thanks to vitamin D.

While most attribute lactose tolerance to Northern Europeans, they were not the first people to have cheese – nor were they the originators of western civilization. Agriculture and domestication began in the Near East (Ancient Iraq, Syria etc) and they utilized their sheep (the first domesticated herd animal) for milk and cheese,  while creating massive cities and infrastructure while the Europeans were sitting in tents or mud huts hunting deer. Sure, groups like the Scythians who were a nuisance to the Assyrians existed, but they never had infrastructure and true “civilization”. Civilization (and cheese) originated in the Ancient Near East. The Greeks then borrowed civilization from the Ancient Near East, and later the Romans borrowed civilization from the Greeks – spreading civilization to Northern Europe.  [insert Life of Brian reference here]

Only the Asians living current day China, specifically far inland and to the north, would have an issue with lactose.  Those peoples who became the Mongols, who did consume dairy. Furthermore even fermented dairy never took hold in Chinese culture because of their trade networks – the Chinese were able to obtain their labor animals from other cultures (Tibetans, Mongols, etc).  They did not breed their own cows or goats – pigs were the primary meat animal raised. With no need for dairy, and without really having it around in the first place, they developed into a culture with virtually zero dairy of any type. Chinese culture influenced many others in Asia.

TLDR: It’s not that surprising when you realize that roughly 25% of the world’s population is lactose tolerant.  Most Asian populations are lactose intolerant.

Why Buttermilk Was a Life-Saving Innovation

Every day, we eat scientific innovations, and not just when we’re eating powdered cheese flavor. Our food is the result of remarkable discoveries by long-forgotten scientists. Here’s a look at the weird, and innovative, chemistry of buttermilk.

…buttermilk makes an important source of nutrition available to a whole new section of the population. Lactose isn’t easily digestible. Most animals, including certain humans, lose the ability to digest it as they age. Premature infants often don’t have the ability to digest lactose. When bacteria break lactose down to smaller components, they are pre-digesting it for people. People with mild lactose intolerance can take in buttermilk, and pre-formula medical guides recommend feeding premature babies buttermilk to keep them healthy.

Source: Kitchen Chemistry: Why Buttermilk Was a Life-Saving Innovation

Milk May Do a Body More Harm Than Good

Contrary to popular belief, drinking large amounts of milk each day does not lower a person’s risk of bone fractures and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, according to a new study. This is counter-intuitive to what has long been championed by some doctors and nutritionists: A diet rich in milk products can build strong bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures for those at risk for age-related bone loss.


The article stresses at the end that this is correlation, not causation.  But they did say that eating yogurt or inferior curdled milk-based products such as cottage cheese did give the “positive benefits associated with milk,” without any of the excruciating bone fractures and premature death.

You do not need to eat dairy foods to get the calcium you need in your meal plan. Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and in order to get 1,000 milligrams per day (the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI for women and men 19-50 years of age), you could eat sardines, scallops or sesame seeds.  There’s plant sources but being spinach and such, the vitamin K content is a concern.  Lots of processed foods are calcium fortified because the food sources aren’t part of the typical diet, but the value is debatable.  For more information on calcium see this page.

For more information on vitamin D and how it functions, see this post.

Study: Eating Cheese Can Alter Your Dreams

According to a new study by the British Cheese Board, different cheeses can give you different types of dreams. None of the study volunteers reported nightmares from their bedtime snack. NPR’s Melissa Block talks about the results of the study with Nigel White, secretary of the British Cheese Board.

Source: Study: Eating Cheese Can Alter Your Dreams

…and if you’re lactose intolerant?  Remember that lactose might not be present in cheese

Does a Cheese Contains Lactose?

…if you read the labels and they have 0 g[rams of] sugar, that means no lactose so they ought to be fine.

Source: I Hate You Milk

I’m not, but some who identify as “lactose intolerant” have told me about different stuff affects them differently.  Some can’t tolerate soy milk, etc.  Lactose is a sugar by definition, but the belief is there’s a protein(?) that’s actually the root cause.  Either way, I’m told it feels like coming down with a bad cold (on the best of days?).

The Benefits of Milk as a Recovery Drink

Sorry in advance to any lactose intolerant or vegan readers.  The article talks about skim milk specifically, and touches briefly on lactose intolerance and chocolate milk at the end.

Our studies looked at the potential application of milk to the sports performer, with particular emphasis on endurance performance and recovery from strenuous exercise,” said sports nutritionist Dr Phil Watson from Loughborough University.

The most striking outcome was the effectiveness of milk to restore fluid losses following exercise. This suggests that milk is indeed an ideal post-exercise recovery fluid, effectively replacing sweat losses incurred during exercise and replenishing the body’s carbohydrate stores.

The benefits of milk

I’d heard for a while now that chocolate milk was a recommended recovery drink.  Some were saying it had to be consumed within 20 or so minutes of ending your activity, but I’ve yet to find any sources.