I read in a book by Dr. Andrew Weil a few years ago that you should never eat the traditional American Mac and Cheese. I would guess that many health experts would agree with this statement. It is one of the most unhealthy things you can eat. But….. do not fear there are an abundance of healthy Mac and Cheese recipes you can make! Some are even much tastier than the fat laden traditional way it is prepared. I had a Butternut Squash and hankering for some Mac and Cheese the other day so I googled the recipe below and grabbed some Kale to make a super, super tasty comforting Mac and Cheeze recipe.
What gives this dish is cheesy flavor is a health food called Nutritional Yeast. Nutritional yeast can be found in many natural food stores. I’ve also seen it at King Soopers. So, what’s so great about Nutritional Yeast? Well…. it can be super fortified with many vitamins that many people need each day, is a complete protein, low in sodium and fat but not low in taste (it is very delicious in my opinion!). When fortified, it contains one of the most important vitamins the human body needs; B12. Vitamin B12 is essential to a variety of the body’s metabolic processes and a lack of B12 can cause you several problems.
I made a few variations to the recipe but the original is found here:
Now for some other quick, fun facts about butternut squash, which I really love. Squash is one of the richest sources of plant-based anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3s and beta-carotene, which are important for a strong immune system and help promote optimum health. It is also a very good source of numerous other vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and contains many anti-cancer properties. Squash can be made into a large variety of incredible dishes, if you do not cook with squash, please try it! It has an amazing flavor adds a great component to many dishes.
And while we are on the subject of cheese…. I’m reading the book Food Revolution by John Robbins. It is very good. Mr. Robbins talks a lot about how many people are misled by the Dairy Industry’s multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and blatantly dishonest attempts to promote milk as a healthy and perfect food. There are many reasons it is not, milk is for baby cows and no other species in the world drinks milk after the baby can eat solid food. Many people are also highly allergic to milk and lactose intolerant. Hence, the numerous “cures” for lactose intolerance you see when you visit the grocery stores. In the Food Revolution, John Robbins gives some alarming statistics about lactose intolerance:
Lactose intolerance among adults of Asian descent: 90-100 percent!
Among Native American: 95 percent!
Among people of African descent: 65-70 percent
Among people of Italian descent: 65-70 percent
Among people of Hispanic descent: 50-60 percent
Among people of Caucasian descent: 10 percent
These high numbers lead me to believe that milk is likely not a very natural thing for humans to consume and should be reconsidered in our diet. In addition to this fact, the Dairy Industry is one of the cruelest industries in modern times (which we will discuss in further posts), there also a multitude of other negative health implications of a diet rich in dairy products. So, I will leave the decision to you but the reasons above are great evidence in support of alternatives to dairy, all of these are much healthier and much more humane for our wonderful and precious cows and their babies.
Another interesting Care2 article on this subject: