National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month and to recognize that at our house we are planning to make homemade ice cream! National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month back in 1937. It was initially created as a way to promote drinking milk and a way to distribute extra milk during the warm months of the Summer. It was changed to National Dairy Month in 1939.

Dairy foods – milk, cheese, yogurt – have many nutritional and health benefits. They contain 9 essential nutrients. There are 8 grams of protein in just one serving of milk.  They help improve bone health especially in children and adolescents and according to the National Dairy Council are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure in adults.

The homemade ice cream we will be making for National Dairy Month has plenty of milk and cream in it but also has eggs. As I was growing up we had a favorite homemade ice cream recipe that used  raw eggs. We did not think anything about eating those raw eggs at the time but over the years we have learned much more about the possibility of bacteria, especially salmonella, getting into the eggs through the hen’s ovaries. Eating raw eggs that are not pasteurized is not recommended in any dish i.e. ice cream, cookie dough, Caesar dressing, eggnog and smoothies. So we will be purchasing and using pasteurized eggs in our homemade ice cream. You will find pasteurized eggs in the refrigerated section of the  grocery store right next to the regular eggs. You can buy them in the shell just like regular eggs. Pasteurized eggs are heated to a precise temperature that heats them but does not cook them for an exact amount of time to kill any bacteria present. Due to that heating process you may notice the whites are a little cloudy but otherwise they look exactly like other raw eggs and are used in the same way. It is not necessary to use them in baked products or if you are scrambling an egg but you certainly may if you wish. Because pasteurized eggs are usually a little more expensive than regular eggs, most people only use them when they are preparing something that calls for eating raw eggs.

If your diet allows dairy products I hope you will make and enjoy some of your favorite dairy recipes this year during National Dairy month!

Marcia Steed

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and traveling.

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