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Originally published: 2013-06-25 14:53:57
Last modified: 2013-06-25 14:54:42

Lovin’ Spoonful: June is National Dairy Month

Sherrie Norris / (news@averyjournal.com)

The month of June became a time to promote the drinking of milk in 1937 and for many years was known simply as National Milk Month.
That all changed a few years ago when the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause and expanded the focus, giving June the new name of "Dairy Month."
From calcium to potassium, dairy products — including milk — contain at least nine essential nutrients, which may help to better manage weight, reduce the risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
Whether it's protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products serve as a natural nutrient powerhouse. Those are just a few of the reasons to celebrate dairy, not just in June, but all year long.

Easy Cheesy Lasagna
Ingredients:
• About 9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
• 16 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
• 16 oz. container cottage cheese
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
• 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
• 2 cups vegetables of your choice (zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes), chopped
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nine-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Place three lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan.
Spread 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce on top then cover with 1/3 of the cottage cheese. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Add 1/2 of the spinach and vegetables.
Repeat layers of noodles, sauce, remaining vegetables and more noodles, finishing off with remaining cheeses on top.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Creamy Fruit Dessert
Cool and refreshing, a light and delectable end to a summer meal.
Ingredients:
• 2 cups sour cream or light sour cream
• 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
• 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 2 Tbsp. grated orange rind
• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (plus mint for garnish)
• 2 cups berries (raspberries, blackberries, or chopped strawberries)
• 2 cup chopped nectarines or peaches
• 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Preparation:
Whisk together sour cream and brown sugar. Slowly stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate. Serve with mint sprig garnish, if desired.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to https://ssl.jonesmedia.biz/circ/index.php?db=avery.