As you might already know, I am very keen on organic food. I grew up on organic, my parents used to grow their own organic vegetables and my grandmother used to rear her own chicken and pigs. The milk came from relatives of mine who kept cows and goats. This is why these days I choose to buy organic.
I was delighted to try Arla Organic Milk which has been awarded Product of the Year in 2018. Arla works with 89 British organic farmers who are clearly very proud of their milk.
To my tastebuds milk tastes more of milk when it is organic, I find that it has a deeper milky taste. Organic milk guarantees that no artificial fertilisers or herbicides are used on the land. Their organic farmers don’t believe in intervention with nature.
A 200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk provides for an adult: (source: Nutritious Dairy)
31% of our recommended daily calcium (needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth)
74% of our recommended daily vitamin B12 (contributes to the normal function of the immune system)
41% of our recommended daily iodine (contributes to normal cognitive function)
35% of our recommended daily vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) ( contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue)
16% of our recommended daily potassium (contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure)
14% of our recommended daily protein (contributes to the maintenance and growth of muscle mass)
At Arla they believe that organic milk should be available to everyone. Their cows are free range and they graze outside on 100% organically farmed land whenever possible on grass and clover and no artificial fertilisers or herbicides are used.
They rely on traditional crop rotation, with a careful selection of crop varieties to control weeds and pests and to maintain fertility.
Their system of farming encourages wildlife by avoiding manufactured chemical sprays.
Arla is a farmer owned cooperative, therefore farmers own the business and all the profits go straight back into the farmer’s pockets; after all they are the ones who put all their hard work and care into producing a quality milk.
Organic milk is always in my fridge. We use it in tea (and yes I do love a good English traditional cup of tea!) and my children have it for breakfast with granola or cereals.
I also love a little bit of organic milk in my coffee
Of course I also use organic milk in many of my recipes and today I am sharing a recipe for crepes (known as crespelle in Italian) with seasonal asparagus and ham. It makes a good dinner for the family.
#ArlaOrganic milk is available as whole milk or semi-skimmed in 2l bottles
These crepes have some herbs added in them. You could use parsley, chives or rocket (arugola).
I made a classic bechamel sauce using full fat milk (my favourite will always be full fat), but you could use semi skimmed milk if you prefer. I have rolled the crepes with asparagus, ham and a tbsp of bechamel sauce and baked them in the oven for 25 minutes.
It made a divine meal for the whole family!
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 4
- plain flour - 130 g - slightly less than a cup
- eggs - 2
- Arla Organic Milk - 250 ml - 8.5 fl oz
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- chopped parsley or chives - 2 tbsp
- For the bechamel sauce:
- Arla Organic Milk - 500 ml - 17 fl oz
- flour - 50 g - ½ cup
- butter - 50 g - ¼ cup
- salt and pepper
- nutmeg - the tip of a teaspoon
- For the filling and topping:
- grated parmesan cheese - 3 tbsp
- asparagus - 600 g - 4 + 7/8 cup
- ham - 150 g - 1 cup
- butter - a few flakes
In a bowl whip the eggs with the milk and the salt and then slowly add the sifted flour. As you add the flour keep mixing all the time to remove any lumps. Add the olive oil and the herbs and give it a stir to get a smooth consistency. Cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Heat up a frying pan of 20 cm or 8 inch diameter and pour 3 tablespoons of batter in the center. Cook the pancakes on both sides and repeat the process until the batter is all used up then set your crepes aside.
Wash, trim and steam your asparagus or boil them for 3 to 4 minutes until they are still al dente. If they are very large I usually peel the ends as they can be stringy.
Make the bechamel sauce: in a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for about a minute. Add a little bit of milk at a time and stir well to make sure that there are no lumps. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to the boil whilst stirring all the time. Cook for a couple of minutes. If you find that the sauce is too thick add a little bit of extra milk.
Slice each crepe in half. Place a slice of ham, 3 or 4 asparagus and a tbsp of bechamel sauce on each crepe and roll up. Make sure you leave out some bechamel sauce for the topping.
Place the rolls on a well greased baking tray and pour the remaining bechamel sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, add a few flakes of butter and bake at 180C or 350F for 25 minutes.
This post is sponsored by Arla, all opinions are my own