Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Drink Real Milk

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Smart Eggs Cho-Cho Casserole. Cho-cho casserole is a creative spin on cho-cho, with the protein boost of milk-based products.
Contributed Photo Egg nog made with real milk is a creamy drink you can have all year round.
1
2

Cow's milk is on the fast track to reclaiming its title as the energy drink of Jamaicans.

Cow's milk is a long-time staple on the tables of rural Jamaican homes. Fresh milk would be bought from local farmers and boiled (for sterilisation), the 'skin' would then be skimmed off and sweetened with sugar as a snack, and the nutrition-rich liquid used in the day's meals, whether traditional chocolate tea, coffee, or consumed as a nice warm beverage before bed.

"Milk contains nine essential nutrients that most children don't get enough of, including calcium, potassium, protein, vitamin A, D, etc," states Richard Pandohie, CEO of Seprod, producers of cow's milk as well as other value-added dairy products.

Convenience facilitated cow's milk that lasts longer through pasteurisation, making it conveniently offered in supermarkets and shops. However, in recent years, Jamaicans have been lagging behind in the consumption of cow's milk.

"As an indicator of nutritional status, Jamaicans are not drinking enough milk for a normal healthy life," said Hugh Graham, CEO of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board. He added: "Per capita consumption of milk in Jamaica remains at 105 ml/day. This is one-third of the average for Latin America and the Caribbean; one-fifth of the average for developed countries; slightly less than the average for other developing countries; and half of The World Health Organization (WHO) minimum requirement."

Thus, putting a glass of locally produced milk in the hands of Jamaicans will not only contribute to physical health, but also help to reinvigorate a oncevibrant industry.

Thus, Caribbean Broilers Group, along with Nutramix, Seprod, the Jamaica Dairy Development Board, and Fersan, has recently launched the Drink Real Milk Campaign.

"It's a 360-degree approach reminding consumers that real

milk provides the best nutritional value, especially for our children and our athletes. Increasing our consumption will result in farmers going back to the industry, resulting in more jobs, saving the country foreign exchange by import substitution, and earning foreign exchange by exporting, especially to the Caribbean," said Pandohie at the recent campaign launch.

Though Mathew Lyn noted the thrust is to educate Jamaicans about the health benefits of drinking more cow's milk it is the far reaching effects that are even more important.

"It's about improving production, better pasture management, earlier calving, better diets for cows, better facilities," said Lyn.

Lyn is also encouraging other partners to come on-board to help resuscitate the industry.

Incorporating milk into daily recipes helps diversify the use of the nutrition-rich product.

Try the exciting recipe.

Smart Eggs Cho-Cho Casserole

Ingredients:

4 medium cho-cho,

peeled, cored, and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet pepper, diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

1tbs butter

3 Smart Eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1tbsp Parmesan cheese (garnish)

1tsp salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in medium sauce pan.

3. Add to hot pan onions, sweet pepper, and garlic.

4. Add cho-cho and sautÈ until it begins to soften.

5. Remove from heat and let cool.

6. In a mixing bowl combine Smart Eggs, 3/4 of the cheese, milk, and the salt. Mix thoroughly until combined.

7. Add cooled cho-cho mixture to the Smart Egg mixture, fold together until evenly distributed.

8. In a greased baking dish, pour in mixture and top with remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese, followed by the Parmesan.

Place in oven for 35-40 minutes or until top of cho cho browns nicely.