I love farmers markets for the smiling faces I see, the pleasant chatter, the hand holding…everyone enjoying the simplicity of a Sunday morning.
But of course, there’s the occasional drama- the “problems” that break out.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago I was browsing the produce at Suzies, and I heard somebody complaining about their lack of spinach. Yes, the spinach had sold out a couple minutes earlier, and this man just didn’t know what he would do without that organic spinach!
Another time, just 2 weeks ago, I was by the Happy Pantry when a nice lady and her family came up looking for their favorite Sauerkraut. But, alas, Mark was all out! He, of course, gave them plenty of other fermented options, and they did settle. But this lady- she looked as if she was about to cry! She had become so accustomed to having this particular pickle on hand all week!
And lastly, and this one I hear often, is about the Claravale Farm Milk Lady. You see, Collette is not there every week. She is there just every other week. And, well people want their raw milk! “I thought she took off last week”, people will say. “She’s definitely supposed to be here this week!”
Drama, I tell you.
But hey, if this is the kind of drama we see, then we’re doing something right!
Well, Collette from Claravale was finally there last week, and I was thrilled. I have been wanting to write about raw dairy for some time, and I needed to purchase some of this infamous raw milk before I could do that! Sure, I buy raw milk at the grocery store, but is anything as good as buying from the source? I think not. Anyway, as I expected, her milk was phenomenal, as well as her cheese and her ice cream! Woah, that ice cream…
Claravale, located in Panoche, Ca is not the only vendor of raw, unprocessed dairy.
There is also Spring Hill Cheese, located in Petaluma, Ca. They obviously focus on cheeses, many of which are raw.
I took some time to speak with Collette and Rachel, of Spring Hill, about the benefits of Raw Dairy. This is what I got…
– Raw dairy is guaranteed fresh- it comes out of the cows only a day or a two before you receive it. (Other milk has a much longer shelf life due to the amount of processing that goes into it.) Raw dairy farms are inspected regularly and MUST be cleaner than other farms. The standards are stricter.
– It is REAL milk- honest, from the cow, not processed, fresh, natural, no added hormones. Un-altered- nothing taken, nothing given
– It is more nutritious- natural nutrients, vitamins, enzymes have not been destroyed by heating/ pasteurizing it. Your body needs enzymed to poperty digest, absorb, and make full use of the food we consume. In raw food, these enzymes THRIVE and turn food to FUEL.
– It is ALSO more nutritious because the milk comes from Jersey Cows, which produce creamier, less watery milk.
– Market direct- meaning the entire process happens there, at Claravale or Spring Hill, from raising the cows to milking the cows to bottling the milk to distributing to US. There are no middle men.
– The dairy is ethically produced- cows are fed, they are treated with respect, have space to graze, they are not fed hormones.
– Milk is sold in reusable glass bottles. No plastic to fill landfills!
– It TASTES better! The milk is not burned (between 161 and 275 degrees), and you can taste this difference!
You can see for yourself the process (or non process?) of getting this raw mil by going to visit Claravale. It’s nice to know that unlike some farms, they are not closed off and private. We can see how clean and wonderful this space is if we go for a tour! Nothing to hide here…
Now that I went raw, I can’t see going back. It is SO much better for you, and SO much tastier. Once you learn what goes on most dairy farms that pasteurize their milk, it’s hard to be okay with drinking it/eating those products.
I plan on taking full advantage of the weeks that Collette is at the market, and making a visit to Rachel at Spring Hill any time I want (need?) cheese! Also, I love being on Rachel’s email list- she puts some great information about raw dairy out there-and I so appreciate her passion for CHEESE! If you want to be on her list, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, for a recipe. I bought some delicious ice cream and created a masterpiece! Some caramelized plantains provided the base, topped with ice cream, sprinkled with dark chocolate covered almonds, studded with fresh mint, and drizzled with more caramel…YES!
Caramelized Plantain Raw Ice Cream Sundae
Directions: Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Let it melt and stir it together until a caramel sauce forms, about 4 minutes. In the meantime, cut the plantain or banana into long, thin strips. Add to the caramel and let them cook down and soften (especially if you are using plantains). Place plantain or banana on a plate, top with ice cream, then almonds, then mint, then more caramel sauce.
For step by step pictures of the recipe see Jamie’s blog, balancedpalate.com.