Kitchen Diva: Got milk?

June is National Dairy Month — the perfect time to celebrate the delicious dairy foods that fuel our bodies and minds.

June is Dairy Month! Since 1939, the National Dairy Council has encouraged families to make milk their beverage of choice.

Originally, it was a way to distribute extra milk during the warm months of summer by grocer organizations. Dairy’s rich history continues with people, communities, companies from across the country observing Dairy Month in a variety of ways.

In many areas, dairy farm families open their gates to visitors for tours, while local fairs and festivals offer taste testing and events featuring tasty dairy products. Dairy farming is a family tradition, one that has been a way of life for many generations.

Ninety-eight percent of dairy farms are family owned and operated. These hardworking men and women provide Americans with fresh dairy products year-round.

Whether it’s in coffee, cereal, smoothies or dairy-based dressings, adding one more serving of milk to your family’s day can help ensure they get the nutrients they need to build strong bones and teeth.

Dairy provides three of the four nutrients that are typically lacking in American diets: calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Dairy’s unique combination of nutrients plays key roles in preventing heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Dairy also is important for building strong bones and teeth.

Low-fat, fat-free milk or lactose-free dairy products are the best choice for the fat and calorie conscious, or those who are lactose intolerant. An 8-ounce glass of whole milk has 150 calories and 8 grams of fat with 4.5 grams saturated fat. If you choose an 8-ounce glass of fat-free milk, you consume 85 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

This dairy-licious recipe for Tres Leches Cake is popular in Mexico and has been updated with a few time-saving twists. It’s typically soaked with three kinds of milk — sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.

This recipe uses frosting as the third milk, in the form of whipped cream. It’s a delicious way to celebrate National Dairy Month.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www. divapro.com. © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.

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