By Sharon Bice
Who brought in those luscious brownies to work today? I can smell them from my desk, All chocolatey, chewy goodness! And chocolate, coupled with February means that Valentines Day is near. Naturally, sweet treats come to mind. But very special doesn’t have to be about sweet. Luscious, savory goat cheese just as is or in a simple recipe that showcases it’s unique flavor, aromas, and texture, can be a very special offering for your favorite someone.
Goat milk yogurt and kefir are also wonderful Valentines Day cake and can be used in nearly any recipe calling for milk, buttermilk, or sour cream. Yogurt or kefir will lend a delicious, tender crumb to your baked goods and delicious, mild tang to cream pies and puddings. And possibly best of all?Â You will be able to enjoy a sweet treat with your loved ones that is truly of the “heart”: heart healthy!
Goat milk dairy products are easier on the human digestive system and lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than their bovine counterpart. In addition, they are rich in calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorus, niacin and thiamin. Dr. George Haenlein of the University of Delaware points out that the fats found in goat milk products are high in middle chain fatty acids, which are easier for the body to process than those found in cow’s milk. Also, according to research by epidemiologist Serge Renaud, goat cheese does not seem to be implicated as a cause of heart disease. He models his own diet on that of Crete, which has the lowest rate of heart disease in the western world. Their diet is heavy in fruits, vegetables, and grains and they eat goat cheese!
I think this is a perfect time to share a few favorite recipes from our archives that, handmade by you, would be a very special treat for your loved one.
Redwood Hill Farm Chevre is so incredibly versatile. I just love this simple, elegant presentation and it’s fun and easy to put together.
Chevre Dessert: Take 8 oz. of Redwood Hill Farm Fresh Chevre, blend with two tablespoons of sugar, maple syrup or honey, one teaspoon of honey, and juice of about 1/2 lemon. Blend together with a whisk (or blender). And that’s it! A great, low calorie alternative to cream cheese frosting and use it to fill crepes or blintzes. Or simply serve with slices of fresh fruitâ€¦poached pears? Mango? Strawberries! Here I’ve set it in a heart shape cheese mold. Line first with cheese cloth or plastic wrap, press in firmly, chill 20-30 minutes. Unmold onto a pretty dish about 30 minutes before serving and garnish.
Blini with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Caper Sour Cream: Something savory for you and your loved one? Ultra-creamy Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream that we make at the Redwood Hill Farm Creamery, mixed with capers and zesty lemon, adds the perfect touch to these savory appetizer bites. For ease, make the batter a day ahead, or go a step further and make the blinis a day ahead, refrigerate and reheat on a baking sheet in a 300Â°F oven until warm. Got some gluten-free guests? Simply substitute your favorite gluten-free all-purpose baking flour blend and one teaspoon xanthan gum for the all-purpose flour. Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir in the batter creates the most tender, flavorful blini. Select here for the delicious recipe.
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake: Rich, chocolatey and decidedly decadent, our no-fail sour cream chocolate cake is oh-so-moist and lactose free (thanks to silky Green Valley Organics Sour Cream) and begs for a fork when topped with sweet-n-tangy cherry vanilla yogurt sauce.Â Share this very special heart-shaped cake with your very special someone for the perfect way to say â€śI love youâ€ť on Valentineâ€™s Day. Here is the link to recipe for this luscious cake.
And we love YOU, our loyal fans! Thank you for supporting family farms. If you try these recipes, will you please let us know how you like them? If you alter them at all, share your recipe secrets with us and other Bleat Beat readers. I want to wish you a beautiful St. Valentines dayâ€¦spend it with the special people (and critters) that you love. It’s all about the heartâ€¦