03 February 2014
The Beauty of Yogurt
This February, we find ourselves again at the time between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Although the earth is beginning to show signs of stirrings and thaw, I'm still savoring the nourishment of the deep inward time of the winter.
This time of year was traditionally marked by one of the four Celtic fire feasts. Known as Imbolc, the name derived from Old irish "oimelc" which translates as "ewes' milk", as the sheep, goats, and cows often give birth in February. Their life-giving milk was an early source of abundant food to nourish and sustain through the remainder of the long, dark wintertime.
Milk has been a staple food in many cultures for generations, providing nourishment in various forms throughout the ages. While some prefer not to engage in this type of relationship between humans and animals, a number of traditional cultures do honor both breast milk from animals as a sacred gift.
I’ve experimented with many ways of eating the last few decades, including years without dairy, and then bringing back in organic, homegrown sources of dairy in various forms. Today, what's my favorite daily food? Organic, cream-on-the-top yogurt!
Yogurt is rich in micro-organisms, minerals, and enzymes lost through today’s commercial treatment of dairy. Industry standards for pasteurization and homogenization create a form of milk that is very different from the traditional food of our ancestors. The process of making yogurt -- ideally from the organic milk of pasture-fed cows -- reinstates many of the nutrients missing in commercial dairy products.
Dairy is surrounded by controversy, confusion and myth, both from the mainstream and alternative cultures. I absolutely agree that commercial, pasteurized milk has multiple issues--from molecular structure to hormones to humane treatment of animals. And, I also see that the happy cows grazing on the rolling hills of the biodynamic farm where Seven Stars yogurt is lovingly produced, is a whole other ball of wax! There we see farming and preparation methods that restore nutrients and nourish deeply.
We each listen to our own body’s wisdom as we discern nourishing foods for supporting our health and vitality. If you, too, find yourself longing for more of that cream on the top of the organic whole milk yogurt, your body just may be craving more of the creamy richness of this nutritious traditional food!
May you be nourished well this winter ~