Our organic lifestyle
My family and I have been on a mostly organic diet for over a year now. Removing artificial ingredients and preservatives from our diets have gone a long way towards improving our health and making us feel better. Combine organic foods with clean eating and I cook more from scratch and I have even started baking.
I spent so many years eating fast food and processed food where the extent of my “cooking” skills involved browning ground beef and boiling pasta. But this past year has been so exceptionally enlightening for me not only for the way that we eat but where our food comes from as well. Organic is important but I also believe in shopping local. Supporting my local farmers. Knowing EXACTLY where my food comes from.
Organic Valley is both organic and locally derived. It is a brand I have counted on for my family’s organic dairy needs since we made the switch over a year ago. It is a farmer owned cooperative with 1,766 members across the USA. When you visit the Organic Valley website you can actually search for the local farmers who provide the milk for your regional area. You search by zip code and you can read about these farmers. Learn about their passions. Watch videos and see photos from their farms.
Organic Valley farmers care about their cows, their food and their environment and that comes across in the products they produce. Their cows are pasture raised on certified organic pasture. All Organic Valley milk is free synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. And frankly, I think it tastes better.
Pasture Perfect Holidays
This holiday season, Organic Valley wants you to know that great holiday memories begin with the best ingredients – and I happen to agree with them.
Organic Valley’s Pasture Perfect Holidays is a website full of great recipes and resources for making your holiday meals unforgettable. In addition to recipes, you can download a coupon for $1.00 off Organic Valley butter, learn more about their products and you can enter the Organic Valley Pasture Perfect Sweepstakes.
Enter for a chance to spice up your kitchen
Enter the Organic Valley Pasture Perfect Holidays Sweepstakes and you could win up to $12,000 for kitchen appliances, one of five $1,000 gift certificates for cookware, or a weekly drawing for a year of free Organic Valley products.
Baking with Organic Valley
Organic Valley has a wide range of products including milk, eggs, eggnog, sour cream, cream cheese, whipping cream, butter and cheese.
I am not at all adept at baking in any capacity and I don’t really like cheesecake, yet I was drawn to the Crustless Vanilla Cheesecake recipe on the Pasture Perfect Holidays website. But I thought I’d change it up a bit and make it even more festive by using eggnog and peppermint as well. Oh and it felt like it needed some chocolate…so I added chocolate chips as well.
- 3 (8 ounce) packages Organic Valley Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup Organic Valley Eggnog
- 1-1/4 cups Stevia or sugar
- 4 large Organic Valley Eggs
- ¼ cup Organic Valley Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup Organic Valley Sour Cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Organic Valley Cultured Butter, softened
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 10 oz. bag mini chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- In large bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl each time. On low speed, beat in whipping cream, sour cream, eggnog, peppermint and vanilla until well blended.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil for a water bath.
- Use butter to grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Make sure bottom of pan is fully greased or chocolate chips will stick. Wrap a sheet of heavy duty foil over bottom and up sides of pan.
- Pour chocolate chips into bottom of pan and distribute evenly. Pour cream cheese mixture on top of chocolate chips.
- Place pan in a large roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into pan until it reaches half way up sides of pan. Bake on lowest oven rack until perimeter of cake is set but center will jiggle when pan is tapped (roughly 60-75 minutes).
- Turn off oven; leave door ajar for 1 hour leaving cheesecake in oven. (Cheesecake will be golden brown on top, puff up and settle upon cooling.)
- Transfer from water bath to a cooling rack; cool completely. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving.
- Dust with dark chocolate cocoa powder if desired upon serving.
As I mentioned, I don’t really like cheesecake, so I had to call in an expert to test it. My Dad said it was good and then proceeded to ask who was going to eat the rest of it – meaning that he would take it off my hands. So I guess it was good!
One winner will receive an Organic Valley prize pack valued at approx. $100 that includes: Free Organic Valley for 1 month (10 free product coupons – full value coupons), an Organic Valley tote bag, an Organic Valley storage container, a $1 off coupon for Organic Valley American Singles and an Organic Valley bumper sticker.
Note: This is a sponsored post with Brandfluential for Organic Valley. All opinions are my own.
Giveaway is open to the 48 U.S. contiguous states and ends on December 24, 2012 at 12:00 am CST. Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries and will be contacted by email. Winner will have 48 hrs to respond. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your trusted email filter. If original winner does not claim their prize within 48 hrs, it is forfeit and a new winner will be selected promptly.