Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank you Josephina!

Josephina, a 15 year employee, celebrated her retirement from White Mountain Foods today with gifts and her favorite strawberry cheesecake. She has helped White Mountain Foods succeed for many years and now will be moving on to take care of her family in Mexico. Josephina will be greatly missed, although we hope it is not the last time that we will see her.
    To Josephina: thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vegetarian Thanksgiving!

Just because you don't eat meat, doesn't mean you have to have a boring Thanksgiving! Don't settle for only eating the sides and check out the links below to spice up your Thanksgiving. This year try these fun new recipes that also satisfy your vegetarian lifestyle.

33 Vegetarian Dishes for Thanksgiving!

The New York Times: Vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Food Network Vegetarian Recipes

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lemon Bulgarian, Blueberries & Homemade Granola Parfait. 
4 cups oats
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds or pecans
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix oats, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the honey, oil, vanilla mixture over the oat mixture and mix gently, but well. Mix with spatula and eventually your hands. Spread out onto a sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes (stir after the first 20). Cool and break up any clumps. 

Yield: about 9 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Berry swirl:
3 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Lemon yogurt:

1 1/2 cups Premium WMF's Bulgarian Yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Add blueberries, lemon juice and confectioners' sugar in a pan over medium heat. Cook until the berries break down and mixture becomes syrupy, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the yogurt and juice in a mixing bowl and stir. To serve, set up jars and layer with granola, yogurt and berries.
Prep Time: 5 minutes


Friday, September 26, 2014

Don't buy the false hype about soy/tofu!

Here are a few links about Soy & Tofu.  Make sure you do your research and don't be so quick to write something off, just because of all the hype.

Rethinking Soy?

Health Benefits of Soy!

Tofu Benefits!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bulgarian vs. Greek Yogurt.

Greek yogurt has taken off, practically overnight. Many people enjoy it for its thick, rich, and creamy texture. Most brands add sweetener but traditional Greek yogurt is used in Greek, Lebanese, and Mediterranean dishes and does not contain added sugar. To achieve that thick consistency, most companies use artificial means such as added thickeners and pectin while others (White Mountain Foods) go about it the old-fashioned, steering clear of added pectin and artificial thickeners.     

Bulgarian yogurt, in contrast, is also creamy in taste yet it is not as thick as Greek yogurt and contains the Bulgaricus strand of live culture which originated in Bulgaria. The Bulgaricus strand combined with Acidophilous, Thermophilous & Bifidum is the most beneficial in supporting one's health.   

In Bulgaria, yogurt is a staple food. Bulgarians consume it like ketchup and eggs in the US and use it for everyday cooking. Additionally,  Europeans understand the power of good bacteria, known as probiotics. They believe that these powerful microbes are essential for supporting one's digestive system, increasing vitality, and flushing out bad bacteria from the body therefore supporting the immune system.

White Mountain Foods' Bulgarian Yogurt is made with either Non-Fat or Whole Milk. We also offer a USDA Certified Organic version. It is simply milk and culture with over 90 billion probiotics per 8 ounce serving, the highest probiotic count of any yogurt on the market (Bulgarian or otherwise). Traditional in style, there is no added sugar and it has a distinct tart flavor. For those of us that are used to the sweet taste of flavored yogurt in the morning, a little honey, agave nectar and/or fresh berries will give you that sweetness you crave, naturally. 

Stay tuned as we will have a new Greek Yogurt line for sale at grocery stores and natural food markets soon. Presently, restaurants around the Austin area carry our bulk version so you may have already tried it and didn't even know it.     

Saturday, June 21, 2014

White Mountain Foods Bulgarian Yogurt has a full 24 hour fermentation process.

The research and health benefits associated with fermented foods are endless. The yogurt industry standard is four to eight hours and the highest we have found is twelve hour fermentation.

Especially relevant to those on a GAP diet and/or choose foods to support their gut.

No corner cutting, just pure traditional, untainted fermentation. Packaged in a glass jar to preserve purity.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fad Diets

A fad can be defined as “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.” In our culture, people are obsessed with fads in fashion, music, technology, and even food. Most don’t even ask questions and simply jump on the band wagon because it is “the thing to do”. When looking at health fads, it is important for people to research first and make sure they are educated on the effects it might have on your body.  Although diets are nothing new, and many people are looking to lose weight fast, there are always new ideas popping up. Let’s take a look at some of these diets.
The Flexitarian Diet. The idea behind this is that you eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally allow yourself a meaty meal of your choice. In general this diet has been seen in a positive light and a good choice for those wanting the benefits of a vegetarian diet but sill wanting to indulge in their favorite foods on occasion. The good thing about this diet is that it does not advocate any extreme diet change.
The Gluten-Free Diet. People are choosing this diet for other reasons than just allergies; they are actually taking it on as a way to lose weight. The positive side of this diet is that there are plenty of healthy choices to choose from; however a downside is that because of the wide variety of gluten-free packaged foods available now, there are many that are loaded with more sugar and fat than other gluten filled products. It is also important to keep in mind that large amounts of any food can still cause weight gain, even if it is gluten-free. Lastly, avoiding gluten-containing whole grains can decrease the variety of nutrients that are taken in. 
The South Beach Diet. This was designed by a cardiologist in Florida, Arthur Agatston, MD. He wanted to come up with a healthy diet that could protect his patients from medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. This plan stresses the importance of controlling hunger by eating before its onset. By focusing on lean protein, low-fat dairy, and good carbs, as well as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit, the cycle of overeating when hungry and then gaining weight is broken. This diet can be a hard one to start since the first stage is fairly strict. However, the last phase focuses on maintenance and is meant to be a lifestyle change rather than simply a diet. This allows for occasional treats while still being able to maintain a healthy weight.
Volumetrics Diet. Losing weight by eating few calories but still feeling full is the focus of this diet. It suggests that foods that contain more water such as fruits and vegetables are healthier because they have a lower energy density than sugary and fatty foods. This is more of an approach to eating and is actually backed by research. The main goal of this diet is simply eating to feel full. Something that some people may find hard with this diet is the need to create meals at home. Fast food and eating out is a hard habit to break in our culture today.
This is just a handful of diets that are spread across the internet and book stores for people who are trying to find the perfect fit for them. Unfortunately it is hard for most people to decide on a truly effective and safe diet to lose weight and maintain it. Again, it is important to research the methods used in each diet and pay attention to the ingredients and nutrients in the food we eat. Also, check with your doctor before starting any drastic diet changes if you are unsure.  While extreme diets and quick fixes may be tempting to get the results we want, keep in mind that healthy eating and exercise are the most effective means of losing weight.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

White Mountain's View on Non-GMO

White Mountain Foods does not support the use of GMO (genetically modified organism) in our food supply.  We believe the current government regulations do not go far enough in protecting the consumer from profit mongering corporations prematurely marketing altered organisms and food additives without long term, peer reviewed studies, that prove without a doubt no harm will be done to our health.  

Our policy is to use NON-GMO ingredients whenever possible.  Not all crops have a GMO version…wheat for example. The crops that we use that have GMO versions…soybeans, corn, canola oil, sugar cane (molasses) and alfalfa (cattle feed)…have been around long enough to have spread (through cross-pollination) their GMO genetic material to all varieties (except alfalfa)…GMO and NON-GMO alike.  It is now impossible to find 100% NON-GMO varieties of these items grown in the USA and many countries abroad.  All other crops have non-GMO versions so contain no GMO's.

Also, whereas there are tests that will show the GMO content of crops, there are no such tests that work on animal products.  The National Organic Standards include a NON-GMO requirement for food and feed crops labeled organic. 

Due to the lack of leadership from the governmental regulatory bodies, several independent organizations have set up their own NON-GMO standards (% threshold of GMOs to be considered NON-GMO) in order to educate the public and provide some standards by which food products can be graded for those wishing to avoid GMOs as much as possible.

We have enrolled our products in the NON-GMO Project and are working towards NON-GMO certification.

- Jeff Murray, White Mountain's CEO.

Monday, March 31, 2014

White Mountain Foods Bulgarian Yogurt - Certified Organic & Conventional Varieties FAQ's.


What's the big deal about yogurt?

Yogurt was one of the first foods to be termed a "health food" in this country. During the health food movement that blossomed at the end of the 1800's and early 1900's yogurt was known as a life giving tonic and aide to over-all health. Due in large part to studies done by Russian biologists, Bulgarian yogurt in particular was shown to greatly contribute to the health and longevity of the inhabitants of this region. To this day, that region has one of the highest percentages of centenarians on the planet. Around the world yogurt is a part of many traditional diets and is eaten with most meals.

Yogurt is a member of a class of food termed "super foods." Yogurt, cheese, buttermilk, kefir, bread, tempeh, pickled foods and wine are all examples of foods that are the result of microbial or enzyme (yeast, bacteria, fungus, etc.) action on common foods. This action transforms them into nutritional powerhouses by breaking down and altering certain food molecules into a more useable form. This allows for easier digestion of food and an increased level of nutrient absorption. For example, many people cannot eat milk products in part due to an inability to properly digest lactose, the naturally occurring form of sugar found in milk. The bacteria in yogurt convert the lactose to lactic acid, which is much easier to digest. The bacteria consumed from eating yogurt will also assist in the digestion of other foods and help the immune system in its fight against invading bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and viruses.

Yogurt is not meant to be just a Probiotic supplement. Traditional yogurt is an immune system supporting, staple food packed with easily digestible protein, vitamins, and minerals that provide a highly energizing effect on the body.

What sets White Mountain Foods yogurt apart?

White Mountain Foods' Bulgarian Yogurt is a traditional, immune system supporting, staple food. Our yogurt is mostly known for its high probiotic count. In fact, it has one of the highest live bacteria counts compared to other yogurt products; 90 billion CFU (Culture Forming Units or live bacteria) per serving. Furthermore, the milk used in our yogurt contains no artificial growth hormones or antibiotics and comes from our local area dairy farmers. Quality dairy, coupled with our traditional fermentation process, allows most lactose intolerant consumers to comfortably digest our products. There are only 6g of lactose per one cup serving. Our Bulgarian yogurt is also versatile in the kitchen and used in many dishes from around the world. It can be eaten with granola, fruit, or your favorite sweetener. As a marinade, it will add richness to rice, lamb, chicken and beef dishes or use it as a base for low calorie dips, dressings, spreads, soups, and smoothies. Many of our customers eat it because it simply makes them feel good. Lastly, health practitioners have recommended our Bulgarian yogurt to their patients to help with digestive and feminine health, and to support their immune system.

What makes your yogurt Bulgarian?

The Bulgarians have been making and eating yogurt for millennia. Many Eastern European cultures, including Bulgarians, are descended from nomads who lived on the fermented milk of their domesticated animals. The bacteria found in the Bulgarians' traditional yogurt carry their name, L. Bulgaricus. This same bacterium forms the foundation of our yogurt. The use of traditional methods of inoculation, fermentation and the use of glass containers produce a yogurt virtually identical to the Bulgarian yogurt of Eastern Europe and many traditional yogurts from around the world including Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region.

Why is White Mountain Foods yogurt so tart?

The high level of bacteria present causes the tart flavor of our yogurt. Specifically, the bacteria consumes lactose in the milk and produces lactic acid; hence the mildly acidic tart flavor. Traditional yogurt is tart. Modern yogurt has become more of a pudding or ice cream like dessert with many taste and consistency additives and a low culture count. Our yogurt contains only milk and culture (live bacteria).

What are the bacteria in yogurt and what will they do for me?

The culture or live bacteria in our yogurt are Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, and B. Bifidum. The digestive tract depends on several strains of bacteria to function properly. Bacteria helps break down food, making nutrients more available for absorption through the intestinal walls. Good bacteria counts are reduced as we age, consume alcohol, antibiotics, or under go chemotherapy. Yogurt re-populates the beneficial bacteria and supports the immune system in its fight against invading micro-organisms. Healthy digestive bacteria aid the body in breaking down the food we eat making the vitamins, minerals, and proteins more readily absorbable. We recommend a minimum consumption of one cup of our yogurt a day to receive optimal benefit from these live bacteria.

Do you pasteurize your yogurt?

Our yogurt is never pasteurized. The law requires our milk to be pasteurized before the yogurt culture is added. The main consumers of milk and milk products are the very young and the very old, the two segments of the population that are the most susceptible to food born pathogens. The federal government requires pasteurization to ensure that these harmful milk bacteria are not passed on to consumers. In Texas and most other states, it is illegal to produce dairy products for sale using raw milk. All milk must be pasteurized before sale or manufacture.

What is the shelf life of your yogurt?

The yogurt comes with a "Purchase by Date" of 63 days for manufacture.

I opened a jar of your yogurt and it was runny, why is that?

We do not add thickeners such as dried milk solids or stabilizers such as gums or pectin. These ingredients are used as an aid to make a consistent yogurt, hiding yogurt that didn't form, or that has a low bacteria count. Our Nonfat yogurt is generally thinner, as there is less fat to help the yogurt set. This can happen at any time of the year and can be a result of under-incubation, handling during shipping, or temperature stored. Temperature, fat content and amount and type of culture all contribute to the consistency of our yogurt. If the yogurt is thicker than liquid milk, then it is indeed yogurt and you are receiving the benefits of live culture probiotics.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are dietary supplements containing beneficial bacteria or yeast, with lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as the most common microbes used. LABS have been used in healthful eating for centuries because they are able to convert sugars (including lactose) and other carbohydrates into lactic acid. This not only provides the characteristic tart and refreshing taste of fermented dairy foods such as yogurt, but also acts as a preservative by lowering the pH value and creating fewer opportunities for spoilage causing organisms to grow.

How do you know how many beneficial bacteria are in yogurt?

A commercial lab will analyze samples and report a certain number of CFU's, or Colony Forming Units per gram. Colony Forming Unit denotes active bacteria as opposed to inactive or dead bacteria. A single bacterium can divide and form a 'colony' of many bacteria.

White Mountain Foods' most recent yogurt analysis reported 400 million CFU per gram of yogurt. That is 90 billion per one cup serving.

Are your source cows treated with growth hormones or antibiotics?

As of October 1st, 2006 the milk we use for our yogurt is artificial growth hormone (rBST, rBGH) free. The co-op that supplies our milk organized its producers and banned the use of the hormone.

All milk processed in the United States is required to be tested for, among other things, antibiotics. If any antibiotics are found in the milk, the milk is destroyed.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

White Mountain Foods 5 Day Challenge

I chose to use the White Mountain Foods Bulgarian Organic Yogurt for my 5 day challenge.

Day 1: Protein Smoothie
Today I started my week off with a Strawberry, Banana, Blackberry, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie with a scoop of strawberry flavored protein. I added 1 cup of yogurt and it was delicious. I stayed full for the rest of the morning and was able to avoid unnecessary snacking.

Day 2: Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
I made a yogurt parfait today with 1 cup of yogurt, blueberries, and granola. I added a tablespoon of agave to the yogurt and layered the three ingredients in an empty pint jar, screwed on the cap, and took it with me to work. I loved how easy it was to grab as a morning snack, and the agave added a little extra sweetness.

Day 3: Strawberry Yogurt with Agave
For breakfast this morning I pureed strawberries and added them to a bowl of yogurt with a tablespoon of agave. The yogurt was so smooth and adding flavor gave it a nice twist. By the end of the day I can definitely say that my digestion was feeling more regular.

Day 4: Granola & Yogurt
I kept it simple today and had 1 cup of yogurt with some granola. It was fast and easy and I love the crunch the granola brings to the yogurt. I was feeling energized after breakfast this morning and was ready to start my day.

Day 5: Strawberry & Banana Smoothie
Smoothies are always great when you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy your breakfast. Since I was running late this morning, I blended strawberries, a banana, and 1 cup of yogurt and poured it in my reusable to go cup.  I drank my breakfast on the way to work and it was great.

After having White Mountain Foods Yogurt every day this week, I feel like it has helped my digestive system tremendously! I have had great energy in the mornings and overall I feel better throughout the day. I definitely recommend taking this challenge and finding out how it can make a change in your life.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How to know if your yogurt is BPA-free? It comes in a glass jar.

BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a carcinogenic component found in some plastics. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its safety in the use of food-containers. It is a clear form of plastic used in many industrial items from sports equipment to lining water pipes.

So why would food manufacturers' include an industrial grade substance used to make motorcycle helmets as food containers? Just one of many instances of profits at the expense of quality is my guess or possibly a lack of education.

At White Mountain Foods we are puzzled that the FDA still allows yogurt companies to use BPA plastic containers as yogurt enters the containers warm, thus it seems plausible that a BPA plastic container is likely to melt and carcinogenic particles will contaminate the product and eventually your body. That's why we choose to use glass. 

It seems the FDA has taken some action against banning BPA in baby bottles as this demographic is especially susceptible to BPA's harmful effects, however, self-activism is also essential.
Personally, if an item is not labeled BPA free, I would pass. There are many alternative packaging options, good old-fashioned glass being one of them. 

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