Israel is known through out the world as the dairy capital, even though it is selling Tnuva to the Chinese!. Perhaps it stems from the way we still take a kibbutz attitude toward the protection of our dairy cattle, to the quality and variety of kosher dairy products; and there is practically no cheese that you cannot enjoy kosher in this country.
Shavuot is the celebration of all that is milk and honey here in Israel. This year make each morsel of creamy delicious dairy count. Instead of loading every salad, quiche, pasta or fish with cheese and sauce, feature one dairy element in each course. This lets the "cheese stand alone" and stand out as a superstar at your meal.
Moderate your dairy intake and you will find that you can appreciate the rush you get from great whole cream, or a lasagna cheese bake.
The casein in dairy is what makes us feel so comforted by dairy foods and why we can tend to over do them. The problem is the saturated fat content and the sugar or refined carbohydrates that we use alongside that fat in traditional favorites like cheese cake, blintzes and pasta sauces.
Over indulging in these fats in combination with the high refined sugar and carbohydrate products means that more of the fat is directly absorbed into our blood stream, a cardiac nightmare and detrimental to our health.
Selecting your single dairy star at each course is a way to honor the symbols of blessing in Israel, milk and honey. It also respects the idea of receiving the Torah a moderating force in our lives. The Bikurim, the giving back of a portion of our own produce to the Temple, reminds us that our bodies are not here just for our pleasure, so take good care of them.
Check the recipes section for a creamy mini cheese cake that will showcase your love of the sweet and creamy and still respect your health.
For more Shavuot recipes check out www.lilyaronin.com
Baked Mini Cheesecakes
2 Cups 3% Ricotta
1 Cup 9% sour Cream
2 eggs + 3 whites
1 Cup Raw sugar or 3/4 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons of spelt flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 T lemon zest
Preparation (preheat the oven to 350 F 185 C)
1. Mix the dairy products and the honey with a hand mixer until well combined.
2. Add the eggs slowly as you mix
3. Add the lemon zest and vanilla
4. Add the flour
5. Place a lined or silicon cup cake pan in a roasting pan filled with and inch of boiling water
6. Pour the batter evenly into the silicon cupcake pan or lined cupcake pan
Bake at 350 F 185 C in the water bath until just set, then let them cool and chill for an hour.
You can add a crust, chocolate chips, or garnish with fresh fruit preserves. I have even been known to make a crust out of a bit of chocolate chip cookie dough to celebrate.
Lily Aronin is a Health Coach. She works with women of all ages who want to live at their ideal weight through self-love and body harmony. She specializes in re-framing goals so that they are achievable, sustainable and fun.