Saturday, December 20, 2014

Beat the Bloat, Trim the Trimmings

Avoid Digestive Dilemmas this Holiday Season - new recipes & holiday post ideas

The holidays can quickly go from “ho, ho, ho” to “ho, ho, oh no!!!” for all of us. This holiday season let’s trim down the trimmings, beat the belly bloat, and avoid digestive dilemmas with healthful, delicious recipes and entertaining tips from Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery and their award-winning product lines: Redwood Hill Farm goat yogurts, kefirs and artisanal cheeses, and Green Valley Organics Lactose Free yogurts, kefirs and sour cream. Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics make the only kefirs with Flourish - a custom blend of 10 live active probiotic cultures for optimal digestive tract and immune system health. 
  • Creamy Parsnip & Potato Mash with Garlic & Rosemary
    • Who says holiday side dishes can’t be healthy? By adding fiberful parsnips to traditional mashed potatoes your guests will enjoy up to a whopping 10 grams of fiber per serving without missing a beat. A tummy-taming pour of Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir adds creaminess, a delightful tang and beneficial bacteria to boot. For a lactose free option use our Green Valley Organics kefir. Try our tempting add-ons to take this showstopper over the top!
  • Holiday Brunch Egg Strata:
    • Sweet or savory, gluten-free or not, our basic brunch strata recipe satisfies everyone at the table with easy-to-digest Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir and loads of flavor from endless combinations of fruits, veggies, nuts, herbs and spices. Can be prepped the night ahead leaving you more time with your guests.
  • Gluten-Free Lactose Free Holiday Brunch Blintzes
    • If you're hosting a holiday brunch or lunch for a crowd, how about including a festive dish that everyone can enjoy? Here's a delicious solution to your holiday brunch dilemmas
  • Honey Lemon Yogurt Gluten-Free Gingerbread Trifle 
    • Made with Redwood HIll Farm or Green Valley Organics Wildflower Honey Yogurt, this delicious dessert is sure to get your holiday guests buzzing

You'll find healthy holiday entertaining tips from Registered Dietitian Tamara Duker Freuman below. Tamara’s NYC private practice is affiliated with Eric S. Goldstein, MD, a leading internist and gastroenterologist. In addition to her clinical work, Tamara is a gluten free blogger for US NEWS & WORLD REPORT’S new health page eat + run and hosts a popular blog devoted to healthy eating and gluten-free living at
  • Beat the Holiday Belly Bloat: ‘Tis the season for heavy, multi-course meals; too many fatty and sweet desserts; and one too many cocktails spent toasting the holidays. It’s a lot for a tummy to handle all at once, and for the digestively sensitive, it can produce a state of virtually perpetual bloating from November through January. Most attempts to remedy the side effects of too much cheer come after the fact, and may be too little, too late.  This holiday season, why not take a more proactive position in trying to prevent the bloat to begin with? According to Tamara:
    • "You can help keep belly bloat under control this holiday season by adding 1-2 doses daily of cultured, probiotic-rich dairy products to help boost the population of friendly bacteria in your digestive system. The diverse population of bacteria in your gut appear to have a hand in everything from how you metabolize sugar to manufacturing key vitamins."
  • A Host’s Guide to Entertaining the Digestively Diverse: As if the holidays weren’t fraught enough with issues of finding the perfect gift for each person in your circle, holiday menus are now becoming increasingly individualized affairs as well. Gone are the days when all a host had to worry about was having something to offer the lone vegetarian in the crowd.  Now, there are gluten-free diets to consider, lactose-intolerant guests, diabetic relatives and a variety of other dietary restrictions that a thoughtful host needs to consider. But as complex as this all may sound, following a few simple strategies can help streamline holiday menu planning and ensure a festive, delicious holiday meal that everyone around the table can enjoy. Tamara's tip:
    • "Replace all dairy ingredients with lactose-free versions: From the sour cream in your crudités dip to the heavy cream in your pumpkin pie, lactose-free versions are finally available and your dairy-friendly guests won't notice any difference in taste or texture, but your lactose-intolerant and no gluten guests will appreciate being able to partake in the full meal without paying for it later. For recipes that call for cheese, hard aged cheeses like cheddar or Parmesan are virtually lactose-free and shouldn't be a problem for lactose intolerant guests in small quantities."
  • Trimmed Down Trimmings: According to the American Council on Fitness, the average adult consumes 3,000 calories (229g fat) in one Thanksgiving meal. Tamara recommends “you won’t taste the difference” swaps using lactose free, real dairy products. Lactose intolerant? According to Tamara:
    •  "You can swap in plain kefir ounce for ounce in your recipes that call for heavy cream (Green Valley Organics makes the only lactose-free version on the market).  It’ll save you at least 90 calories per slice of pumpkin pie and help lighten up everything from mashed potatoes to eggnog." 
Last but not least, we wanted to share some of the Bice family's favorite holiday recipes - we'd love to send you free product coupons or samples so you can give them a try and share them with your readers and loved ones:
  • Redwood Hill Farm Owner Jennifer Bice's recipe for Old Fashioned Brandied Pumpkin Pie which she makes with either Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir - or her Lactose Free Green Valley Organics Kefir in place of heavy cream
    • One cup of Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir has 90 calories, 2.5 fat grams and 10mg cholesterol compared to one cup of heavy cream with 821 calories, 88 grams of fat and 325mg of cholesterol. Go Kefir!
  • Sharon Bice's Lemon Kefir Cookies recipe - perfect to leave out for Santa with a cold glass of goat milk kefir! Here are 4 reasons to go goat from RD Tamara Duker Freuman:
    1. Goat’s milk is naturally lower in lactose than cow’s milk, making it easier to digest for people who are mildly lactose intolerant.  In addition to its lower lactose content, goat’s milk is also widely regarded as being more easily digested than cow’s milk for other reasons. Scientists are still trying to figure out why this seems to be the case; some research points to a possible role of anti-inflammatory carbohydrates called oligosaccharides that are present in goat’s milk dairy, or to differences in the protein and fat structures.
    2. Goat’s milk contains more of the amino acid tryptophan than cow’s milk, making it a great bedtime snack. Tryptophan is the precursor for serotonin, the neurotransmitter produced by our brain that trigger feelings of calm and sleepiness. Instead of a glass of warm cow’s milk before bed, why not try out a glass of Redwood Hill Farm goat milk kefir?
    3. Goat’s milk dairy is as good of a source of calcium—if not better—than cow’s milk dairy. Not only is dietary calcium important to protect bone mineral density as we age, but it seems to have a preventive effect against colon cancer.
    4. Unlike other calcium rich foods, goat’s milk actually seems to enhance iron absorption!  This may make goat’s milk dairy a good swap for cow’s milk dairy among people who suffer from chronically low iron levels or anemia.
  • Pumpkin (or Butternut Squash) Soup With Kefir
    • Delicious and creamy made with one quart of Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Plain Kefir (360 calories and 10 fat grams vs. 3,284 calories and 88 grams of fat in one quart of heavy cream)
  • Red Onion and Russet Potato Latkes with Cinnamon Apple Sour Cream - as well as its savory alternative with lemon dill sour cream, thin slices of smoked salmon and a dollop of caviar. Serve left over (or make extra) Cinnamon Apple Sour Cream on pancakes, French toast, poached pears; rolled in crepes with sautéed apples; or mixed with fruit and granola. Make delicious Latke Benedicts for breakfast or use any leftover latkes as a gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas in Mexican dishes as a different way to enjoy this traditional treat for Hanukah that's moving into the mainstream.
  • Green Valley Organics Eggnog offers a lactose free variation on the classic recipe made with creamy lactose free kefir. Safe to drink because the eggs are cooked and lower in fat with more health boosting probiotics than traditional eggnogs.
  • Carmelized Onion and Sherried Mushroom Dip made with Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream is an elegant and earthy holiday classic. Serve with an assortment of crackers, crudités, breadsticks, crostini and chips for dipping or, for a one-bite, ‘wow’ appetizer.
  • Balsamic Strawberry  Preserve and Creamy Yogurt Cheese Crostini is a classic pairing of tangy meets sweet and creamy meets crisp. Or use fresh or frozen peaches simmered with apricots, figs, honey, cinnamon and walnuts. For a savory herbed spread add fresh garlic and a mixture  of chopped rosemary, thyme, basil and lemon zest. The balsamic strawberry preserve also adds festive flair to a holiday pork loin roast and makes a great glaze for ham.

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