[Disclosure: This post is one in a series sponsored by The National Dairy Council.
I was compensated for my time.]
~ by Regan Jones, RD
I’ve heard my dad say that he never met a potato he didn’t like. I feel the same way. Potato chips, mashed potatoes, french fries… or just your basic baked potato. They’re all good, no?
But let’s be honest. Most of us want our recipes to go beyond good, and become great. And how do you do with that a potato? Most of the time it means adding some sort of cheesy, creamy goodness. Think about it. Have you ever had blue cheese topped potato chips? Parmesan mashed potatoes? Cheddar fries sound good to anyone?
See what I mean.
So what about the folks who want to step up to our virtual creamy, cheesy potato bar but are concerned about lactose intolerance? Here’s the good news: lots of the dairy foods that turn potatoes from good to great are lactose intolerant-friendly -- often because they contain no (or minimal) lactose, as is the case with Cheddar cheese OR because America’s dairy farmers and milk processors are making real, dairy foods in lactose-free options as well.
Most people I tell this to just can’t grasp how in the world dairy foods can be naturally lactose-free. But it’s really pretty simple. During the cheese-making process, for instance, milk is separated into “curds and whey.” The whey is removed (which contains most of the lactose anyway) and the “curds” (mostly the dairy protein casein) are left behind, destined to become cheese. It’s during this next aging step that the cultures in the cheese (friendly bacteria and enzymes) break down the remaining lactose. By the time a cheese ages to a “hard cheese” (like Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss) there’s minimal lactose, making it lactose intolerance-friendly (and as far as lactose-free cow’s milk goes, that’s also a simple process. A little lactase enzyme added to the milk breaks down the natural sugar.)
Pretty cool, huh? All the great taste (and unparalleled nutrition) of real dairy products, without the lactose.
Here’s one of my favorite new ways to enjoy potatoes and cheese together.
Basically a hybrid of a loaded baked potato + potato skin + mashed potato. Crazy simple, extraordinarily yummy and lactose-intolerant friendly. Hope you enjoy!
Smashed Potatoes are a yummy side dish made simple with the help of the microwave and a little broiling in the oven Tweet this