Organic Valley Grassmilk and Organic Valley Pasture Butter
Those of you who have tasted raw milk know that it is one of the great pleasures of the table. Alive and full of nuance, raw milk is palpably creamier and sweeter than typical pasteurized and homogenized milk. Tasted side by side with raw milk, pasteurized milk seems dull and monochromatic. Raw milk can make you look forward to a bowl of dry cereal.
Recently I bought a half-gallon carton of whole Organic Valley Grassmilk at Rainbow Grocery, where it was displayed next to glass quarts of Claravale Farm raw milk, my favorite. Unlike Claravale, Organic Valley Grassmilk is pasteurized relatively gently–heated slowly to 161 degrees and kept there for 15 seconds. Like Claravale, it is not homogenized, so the cream migrates to the top. It’s lusciously rich and full of character–as luscious as Claravale Farm. And even though it has gone through a pasteurization process, Organic Valley Grassmilk maintains the vivacity and character of raw milk.
The cows that produce it live in Humboldt County in northern California near the coast, grazing on nutrient-dense pasture supplemented during the winter by hay and forage. They are fed no grain or soybeans. Because they are 100% grass-fed, the fat in their milk is higher in omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and CLA’s (conjugated linoleic acid), nutrients that actually lower cholesterol. This milk contains the same omega-3’s found in ocean fish like wild salmon, so finally we have an excuse to indulge in whole milk. Full fat Grassmilk is actually better for you than 2% Grassmilk.
In San Francisco I have found it at Rainbow Grocery, Cal Mart and Whole Foods. Use it sooner rather than later for best flavor, and remember to shake the carton before every pour to redistribute the cream.
Even If you don’t switch to Grassmilk, try Organic Valley Pasture Butter, made only with Grassmilk produced from May to September. It turns out to be some of most delicious butter I’ve ever tasted. Like European butters such as Plugra, it has 84% butterfat, making it denser and creamier than, say, Land O’Lakes. That pasture butter flavor really doesn’t stop–not in a grassy way, but with engaging complexity. And pasture butter has even more of the omega-3’s that we are told are so beneficial.
Whether these health claims are valid or not, I really do feel the difference between digesting a grain-fed steak and a 100% grass-fed steak complete with every bit of its fat. Organic Valley Pasture Butter is worth seeking out. Remember, healthy fats are healthy, and you can always drench broccoli in it.