November 30, 2022

Nyman: ‘Tis the season for dairy drinks

With winter approaching, ice-cold milk on ice-cold days may not sound as appealing as it does in the heat of the summer.

Surprisingly, milk sales actually increase throughout the winter months. Milk is a staple in many comfort dishes created for the long nights of winter.

So, while drinking ice-cold milk may not be a current seasonal choice, enjoying milk in hot winter beverages is still showing to be an American favorite.

All dairy milk, whether served warm or cold, contains 13 essential nutrients the body needs. These nutrients include calcium, vitamin D and potassium, all of which are nutrients of concern within American diets.

The dairy case has something for everyone. There are many varieties of milk, including low-fat and fat-free, as well as lactose-free options.

Adding milk to a favorite hot beverage is a simple way to work these 13 essential nutrients into a busy day.

Coffee has proven year after year to be the most popular hot beverage, with over 60% of Americans drinking it every day. There are many variations of the caffeinated drink, and most of them contain milk.

As the FDA recommends a daily caffeine intake of 400mg a day or less — about four cups of coffee — coffee offers many opportunities to boost dairy consumption.

The latte, a combination of an espresso shot and steamed milk, continues to stay atop the leaderboard of favorite American coffee drinks.

The cappuccino is another coffee and milk beverage that layers espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. Additional coffee favorites include the macchiato, flat white and mocha and all have milk as an ingredient.

In recent years, milk and cream-based coffee drinks have become increasingly popular, allowing individuals to creatively increase their dairy intake.

Coffee and caffeinated beverages are not alone when it comes to hot dairy drinks enjoyed during the winter months.

Hot chocolate is another classic dairy drink that is easy to prepare. Adding cocoa mixture to a mug of hot milk is a tasty and comforting way to warm up on a cold winter day-for kids and adults.

Making homemade hot chocolate mixes is also a perfect activity for a snowy day. Try adding peppermint, cinnamon or whipped topping for a fun new take on the classic dairy drink.

Sipping a warm winter beverage that includes milk, such as a latte, hot chocolate, or even just a warm glass of milk at the end of the day, can help increase important nutrients.

Consuming a dairy drink with at least one cup of milk puts an individual one-step closer to getting three servings of dairy a day.

White Chocolate Mocha

Get creative this winter with a delicious dairy drink. This white chocolate mocha recipe will not only keep you warm on a cold winter night, but will also get you closer to three servings of dairy a day.

Servings: 1

Ingredients

1 cup milk

3 tablespoon white chocolate chips

1 cup brewed coffee

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

2 tablespoons. whipped cream for garnish

A dash of ground nutmeg for garnish

Procedure

Whisk together the milk and chocolate chips in a heavy bottom pan over medium-low heat until the chocolate has been incorporated and the sauce is smooth.

Pour the coffee into a mug and top with the white chocolate sauce. Stir in sugar if desired.

Top with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg.

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman is a senior educator and registered dietitian with St Louis District Dairy Council. For more information on the health benefits of dairy, visit www.stldairycouncil.org.