Meyer Lemon Pudding with Graham Crackers and Sea Salt

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IMG_8024IMG_8019IMG_8028IMG_8028IMG_8019IMG_8019IMG_8019IMG_8019I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I’m renaming this month Milk Madness. Now that  the winter championship seasons are here, and nothing less than men’s basketball is discussed at water coolers nationwide, I ‘m taking a break from ‘bracketology’. Like every other March, National Nutrition Month is my March Madness. The theme, Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right, is something the Recipe Redux members focus on all year long In support of National Nutrition Month, we are  joining the California Milk Advisory Board (which represents over 1500 dairy families) and their nutrition partner, the Dairy Council of California, in celebrating “dairy good”.  Dairy plays a vital role in contributing to an overall healthy diet and we want to encourage everyone to adopt  healthy eating habits that include dairy! So the Recipe Reduxers will be showcasing how easy it is to enjoy the taste of eating right with Real California Dairy by lightening up our favorite dairy recipes and rolling them out all week!

This March, don’t change your team, but please e-x-p-a-n-d  your focus to include making healthier food choices for better overall health and wellness.  Aside from great taste and good bone health, there are lots of reasons to include 3 servings of dairy everyday, including a positive effect on immunity levels, weight control, and blood pressure. You can read more about the health benefits of dairy at  RealCaliforniaMilk.com and about the higher nutritional standards in milk/dairy produced in California at healthyeating.org Because I’m a fitness enthusiast, I’m focusing on the benefits of dairy for athletes and active individuals. Milk is a source of nine essential nutrients: calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Niacin and Phosphorus. The essential nutrients in milk can help  to refuel your muscles with carbohydrates, restore energy levels, rehydrate, reduce muscle breakdown, stimulate muscle protein synthesis and over time improve lean body mass.

  It’s not complicated, faster is better  protein is an essential component of a sports nutrition training program. The power of protein includes its ability to maximize training gains!  The protein naturally found in milk and dairy foods is a  complete protein. If you want to take advantage of the  interaction between training and protein, you’ll want to comsume  protein  immediately after workouts, and at meals. Optimally, meals should provide  30 grams of high quality protein.

Milk is a staple in my house. Besides enjoying a glass of cold milk  I also include it in my skinny lattes, smoothies and delicious dairy desserts.  So how do desserts fit into healthy lifestyle? I guess I should tell you, my one suggestion for eating healthier: eat what you like! I know, it might sound counter intuitive, but if you’re satisfied, you’ll find it takes much less food to feel you’ve had enough. If  your food preferences are too high in fat, calories, salt, and/or sugar, have a small portion or make a lighter version of the food,  like I did.  I’ve recreated a lemon pudding that satisfies my craving for lemon cream. I came up with a smooth and creamy dessert that’s a fraction of the calories and fat of lemon cream,  yet higher in protein and the eight other essential nutrients provided by milk. Here’s how you too can lighten up your dairy recipes:

1. Start with fresh ingredients because they have the BEST flavor.

2. Use reduced fat or fat free dairy for a portion of the full fat version when possible.

Please join me in an active lifestlye that includes California Dairy in your daily lineup. Be sure check the links at the bottom of this post for more ways to enjoy the taste of eating right with Real California Dairy!

What favorite dairy recipe will you lighten up this month?

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Meyer Lemon Pudding with Graham Crackers and Sea Salt

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer or regular lemon zest
  • 2 level tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 2oz. California skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon California unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh Meyer or regular lemon juice
  • 4 graham cracker squares, crumbled
  • Flaky sea salt, (such as Maldon)

Instructions

1. Place skim milk in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat just long enought to warm the milk. (This will reduce cooking time).

2. In a medium saucepan, combine eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and cornstach. Beat with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

3. Place the pan over medium-low to medium heat and gently whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture.

4.  Take your time and continue to whisk during the cooking time until the mixture comes to a full boil and thickens. (Takes about 15 to 20 minutes)

5. Boil for one minute then remove from heat.

6. Stir in butter and lemon juice.

7. Allow to cool completely, for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

7. To serve, layer lemon pudding and graham crackers in small glasses or bowls, finishing with graham crackers. Top with lemon zest and sea salt.

Do Ahead: pudding can be made 3 days ahead. Store in refrigerator.

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