I made this a few weeks back but have been too busy to post it. I realized I better get it up before summer is officially over and we won’t be able to find delicious ripe peaches any more!
Originally I made this recipe many years ago with my friend and web designer, Jacob. We made it because I bought him the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Dessert Book for his birthday a few years earlier, plus I had just started working at the farmers’ market so I had access to oodles of the most amazing peaches I had ever tasted. The result was absolutely amazing, and everyone who tried it agreed. Each summer we swear up and down that we will make that peach ice cream again, and somehow it never gets made, until now.
I finally made it, but this time with delicious local raw milk and cream (if you’re wondering why read my post about raw dairy,) pasture-raised eggs, and a tiny bit less sugar. There is still sugar in there because it helps to draw some of the moisture out of the diced peaches, but I look forward to experimenting with raw honey or even less of the cane sugar.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
2 cups diced peaches
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
sprinkle of sea salt
2 large eggs
2 cups raw cream
1 cup raw milk
Make sure you’re ice cream maker is all ready to go before you start, some require time in the freezer before they are ready to use, others use ice and epsom salts.
The peaches should be peeled first so they have a smoother texture in the ice cream. I find the best way to do this is score the skin, drop in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then submerge in ice water. This softens the very outer layer of the peach so the peel comes right off.
Dice up the peeled peaches and put in a medium bowl with the lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Keep this mixture covered in the fridge for 2 hours, stirring a few times. After the peaches have been sitting for that long some of the liquid will have come out, creating a syrup. Strain to separate the peaches from the syrup, set both aside.
Whisk the eggs until until they are fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Then slowly whisk in the rest of the sugar (1/2 cup) until well incorporated, then the cream, the milk, and finally the peach syrup.
Process this mixture in your ice cream maker according to its instructions. Once it has thickened and is done mixing, stir in the diced peaches, then freeze in a separate container until firm.
Yields a quart plus 1-2 cups
I drive a few blocks out of my way every Saturday morning to an unassuming parking lot in Glassell Park where I can buy raw dairy products direct from the family-owned Organic Pastures. It’s the absolute best local source of raw, organic, grassfed dairy that I’ve found here in LA. While I can get their products at a few farmers’ markets and specialty grocers in my area, this “hub” on Saturdays is the only place where I can buy direct to get the lowest prices and freshest products possible.
When I mention this ritual to friends or patients many question me, “why raw milk?” and that really is a great question. Often raw milk is associated with food-borne illnesses, so many people believe it is truly dangerous to drink milk before it is pasteurized. More over, most people don’t understand that properly handled raw dairy is not only safe, but a nutritional powerhouse. Raw dairy products (including milk, cream, butter, as well products made from them like cheese, kefir and yogurt) are amazing sources of beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, protein and probiotics.
Still, with all its benefits, I understand raw dairy can be a hot topic for some people. I mean, it’s still illegal in 10 states! As with any dietary choice it has to be a personal one, but I believe it should be an informed one as well.
Obviously taste is a huge factor in why so many people gravitate towards raw dairy in the first place, it tastes amazing! It’s not before long that they notice health differences and learn about all the benefits of raw dairy, then they’re hooked, that’s what happened to me.
I grew up drinking milk but went vegan in my early 20s, which put me off dairy for years after that. As a vegan, I learned all the health problems often associated with dairy consumption, such as difficulty digesting it, immune responses, or its link to heart disease. I would list these off proudly when questioned about my dietary choices. The problem was I never stopped to realize that these complaints were related to how dairy is processed, not the nature of the milk itself.
Most all of the dairy found in a standard grocery store has been pasteurized and homogenized, both of which are processes that breakdown nutrients in the milk and make it more difficult to digest.
We’ll tackle pasteurization first. Pasteurization is a process where milk is heated to temperatures high enough to kill most of the bacteria (including beneficial probiotics) and therefore extend it’s shelf life. The higher the temperature the longer the shelf life is extended, sometimes up to 2-3 months.
Unfortunately, this heating process also damages many of the important nutrients in the milk.
Lactase, for example, which is the enzyme used to digest lactose (the sugar most concentrated in milk) is naturally occurring in raw milk but breaks down in the pasteurization process. This makes pasteurized milk much harder to digest because our bodies must produce all the lactase needed to break down the sugars, and not everyone’s body is capable of producing enough. In fact, in a study of lactose-intolerant people who drank raw milk, 82% reported no symptoms.
Probiotics are also killed off with heating. These are the good bacteria found in our gut, they help breakdown food during digestion and play a huge role in immunity. They are plentiful in raw milk, which actually contains more probiotics than pasteurized yogurt.
Important vitamins take a huge hit during pasteurization, usually reducing vitamin C by more than 50% and other water-soluble vitamins as much as 80%. Unfortunately vitamin B12 is pretty much completely destroyed in the process.
Proteins are also altered at high temperatures, particularly affected are the amino acids lysine and tyrosine. The proteins in milk exist as complex structures that warp at high temperatures and become less easily absorbed during digestion.
Now onto homogenization, which seems to be utilized for aesthetics more than health purposes. This process is used to break down fat into smaller pockets so it evenly disperses and doesn’t accumulate on the top of the milk, seemingly innocuous but the effect homogenization has on the nutrients in milk is significant. The milk is processed with very high pressure to break the fat down, these smaller accumulations of fat go rancid more quickly especially since pasteurized milk sits on the shelves for much longer.
Another huge problem with these smaller fat pockets is they are absorbed into the blood stream more quickly, transporting a compound called xanthine oxidase (XO) directly into blood vessels. XO is a harmful compound that damages the arterial wall and causes plaques to form. The normal-sized fat molecules in non-homogenized milk absorb more slowly and do not cause XO to cross into the bloodstream. According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, “some research indicates that homogenized fats may contribute to heart disease.”
In addition to the preparation of dairy products, the diets and lifestyles of the animals the milk comes from is incredibly important to the quality of the final product. Most all factory farmed animals are kept indoors and grain-fed, generally GMO products like corn, soy and/or wheat. Even “organic” products can come from animals fed grains.
Now this is very problematic for cows which evolved to digest grass. A grain-only diets fattens animals quickly, to the point where the cows are technically obese. It also acidifies their systems which makes them sick, this is why antibiotics are then often used on factory farmed animals. Growth hormones are also often utilized to speed up the process and they are passed on in meat and dairy products. These food industry systems are designed for quick turnover, keeping prices down and profits high – but it’s at the expense of quality and nutrition.
Dairies like Organic Pastures that prize the quality of the milk understand the importance of the traditional style of raising cattle. All of their cows are grassfed, which results in milk with 2-4x the levels of omega-3 fatty acids, over 4x the amount of vitamins A and E and more CLA which has been proven to fight cancer. Their cows always have access to the outdoors, which allows them to produce much more vitamin D from sunlight than animals confined indoors. Vitamin D is an important nutrient in milk because it aids in calcium absorption. Grassfed milk does not need to be supplemented with vitamin D as most milk from grain-fed cows is.
And if you are still concerned about the safety of raw milk, keep in mind that pasteurization was invented in a time when sanitation standards were much lower. With modern dairy technology it is rare that raw milk is exposed to toxins. To once again quote Fallon:
“We have been taught that pasteurization is beneficial, a method of protecting ourselves against infectious disease, but closer examination reveals that its merits have been highly exaggerated. The modern milking machine and stainless steel tank, along with efficient packaging and distribution, make pasteurization totally unnecessary for the purposes of sanitation. And pasteurization is no guarantee of cleanliness. All outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades–and there have been many–have occurred in pasteurized milk.”
This is because raw milk actually has mechanisms for battling infectious pathogens. The beneficial probiotics can compete with harmful bacteria, where as pasteurized milk actually creates the perfect medium for bacterial growth. When raw milk ages it becomes sour, which lowers the pH enough to prevent the growth of infectious bacteria. Sour milk is actually a probiotic tonic and easier to on our system because the protein is been pre-digested. Pasteurized milk, however, does not sour because those probiotics have been killed off. Instead, old pasteurized milk will putrefy because it is completely rancid.
It’s up to you whether you decide to include raw dairy in your diet. If you don’t have access to quality raw milk products then I suggest seriously limiting the amount of pasteurized and homogenized dairy you consume.
This fresh summer salad was inspired by something I had at one of my favorite restaurants, Barbrix. The original dish was made with green and yellow beans tossed in a light vinaigrette and topped with delicious grilled octopus. While I don’t usually make octopus at home, their preparation of green beans really inspired me to work them back into my dietary routine. So when I saw Chinese long beans at the market I knew just what to do with them.
I used to work at the farmers’ market where people would marvel at the Chinese long beans, asking what in the world they were and how on earth they were supposed to cook them. Being that they are essentially long green beans my answer was simply to cook them any way that you like to cook green beans. This response would then make people wonder, well then, why favor one over the other? Long beans are much more tender and sweet and not quite as waxy as green beans, they also take a slightly shorter time to cook.
Of course you can simply sautee long beans up with some garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. This is typically how they are served in Chinese restaurants. But somehow I have grown quite bored of this preparation. I guess it’s partly because I don’t like over cooked green beans, and blanching them like I do in this recipe keeps a bit of a crunch in them. Also, because I commonly sautee other green veggies with oil and garlic, it’s nice to get some variety by mixing up these long beans with some fresh tomato and radish, dressed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
Long Bean and Heirloom Tomato Summer Salad 3/4 lb Chinese long beans (or green beans) 1/2 lb mini heirloom tomatoes 2 medium radishes 2 tbsp pine nuts 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp brown mustard 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp sea salt a few leaves of fresh basil
Wash and trim your long beans, removing the rough stems and any dried out ends. Chop them into roughly 3 inch pieces. If you can’t find long beans then you can use green beans. just trim the ends and cut in half, prepare them otherwise the same.
Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. In order to blanch your long beans you’ll need to toss your cut beans into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes to let boil on medium-high heat until they are a bright green color and are slightly tender in texture. While they are boiling fill a bowl with ice and water. When your beans are cooked ladle them with a slotted spoon into the ice water bath to halt cooking. Make sure to mix them in thoroughly and add more ice as needed so there are no hot pockets that will continue to cook the beans. Once cooled, drain the long beans and remove any ice cubes. Dry your long beans off on a towel or paper towel for a few minutes so they do not water down the vinaigrette.
It’s a good idea to roast the pine nuts now, so they’ll have time to cool off. Add the pine nuts to a small, dry frying pan and roast on medium heat. It should only take 3-5 minutes, toss as you go so they don’t stick or burn. You should be able to smell them roasting as the oils heat up. Once they are slightly brown pull them off the heat and remove them from the pan to cool. Now let’s get that vinaigrette started. Whisk together the olive oil and brown mustard, you can really use any mustard you have on hand it will help the oil to emulsify with the lemon juice. Once mixed, whisk in the lemon juice, salt, and minced basil leaves. The consistency should be even.
Rinse your heirloom tomatoes and cut in half. Rinse your radishes and slice thinly, removing the stem and the root. Gently toss the long beans, tomatoes and radishes in the mustard vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, some coarse finishing salt and fresh cracked pepper. It’s best fresh but also does well as a left over. Enjoy!
Yields about 4 servings as a side
For those of you who try to eat organic as much as possible, would you be surprised if I said you don’t always have to?
Every year the Environmental Working Group tests a wide variety of conventionally grown (non-organic) produce for levels of pesticides. They publish their findings in a Shopper’s Guide as well as boiling them down to two easy-to-understand lists: the Dirty Dozen (highest levels of pesticides) and Clean Fifteen (lowest levels.) The Clean Fifteen can help us all to save a few dollars by buying conventional when we can and the Dirty Dozen is a helpful reminder of which foods are the most important to buy organic. Most recently that original dozen has expanded a bit to 15, but Dirty Fifteen just isn’t as catchy.
I can’t seem to keep track of all of these, so don’t feel bad if you can’t either! I mean, potatoes should be organic but sweet potatoes don’t have to be? It’s hard to keep it all straight. Save yourself a headache and just bookmark this page or pin the image to return to later while shopping.
I make roasted chicken all the time, usually once a week. It is one of the simplest and most economical way of cooking chicken since it makes enough for dinner plus leftovers, and I can use the bones to make a batch of broth. I get locally pasture-raised poultry from La Bahn Ranch at the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market on Sundays.
It never occurred to me to post this recipe on the blog because I thought of it as too simple. That was until my friend Heather recently asked me for a good roasted chicken recipe and I realized that it took me a long time to get the recipe just right. No need to suffer through dry or flavorless roasted chicken if you’ve never cooked it before, just follow these few simple steps and you’ll love the results.
First things first you need to get the spices you’ll be using together. I used the mixture listed above, but you can use any variation that works for you. I also often use sweet smoked paprika, dried dill, or ground coriander. If you’re not familiar with the flavor profile of different spices or don’t have many on hand then you can just use salt and pepper, just don’t use much more than 1 tsp of either in your mix.
Take your chicken out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before roasting so it can come up to room temperature, this helps the meat to cook more evenly. A heavy-bottomed pan is best for roasting, I use a Le Creuset and find it works best, but you can also use a roasting pan or ceramic casserole dish if that’s all you have on hand. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Line the bottom of your pan with thick yellow onion slices so the chicken skin doesn’t stick. Wash the chicken before putting it into the pan, also remove any giblets from inside (I use them in making broth.)
Drizzle the chicken with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle on your spice rub evenly. Start with the front of the chicken, then flip over and cover the back, and save just a little bit of the rub. This way, the chicken starts roasting with the backside up, where most of the fat is. As it cooks and the fat renders it drips down to the breast meat and keeps it very moist and tender.
Roast for 90 minutes at 375F and flip it over halfway through so the skin on the front of the chicken gets a chance to get brown and crispy. When you flip it, use that last bit of rub you saved to sprinkle over the front.
Let the chicken cool for at least 10 minutes before carving up, this will allow the juices to settle into the meat without running all over your cutting board. Serve with those cooked onions, they taste delicious! And definitely use the drippings in the pan however you can, it is a great base for making a sauce or soup. Enjoy!